By Tiina Liimu
VANCOUVER — If you trace the meaning of the words from the 2013 album title Statu Nascendi and listen to the compositions, you are left with a sense of emergence, but also an impression that there was a greater body of work surfacing. Composer and artist Faith Coloccia along with her partner Aaron Turner of Mamiffer seem to rarely stand still as this pair lives in a highly productive creative existence crossing multiple disciplines, and collaborations.
“At the time of writing Statu Nascendi, I was going through a life changing experience which profoundly altered the way I compose music. I was faced with death and creation entwined,” says Coloccia.
The title was definitely a product of her experience at the time. “I felt there was nothing concrete or solid, my foundation and belief systems were incomplete and changing. I had a new way of looking at life. In that sense, I could feel myself ‘becoming,’ though I did not know what yet,” she explains.
While this album came out of a month long tour in 2013, two others were in the tracking process. One of them was The World Unseen (ETA 2016), and her other project, Māra, releases Surfacing November 2015.
The three records served as a launch point to find her voice, both with lyrics and as a singer. “Statu Nascendi and what I had been through during that time brought about a very different and vulnerable side of music for me, the title captured this almost confident trepidation I felt at creating in such a new way,” she adds.
Although, budgets and scheduling did play a role, this project adopted a minimalistic approach to work within a live performance. “These songs were created to accommodate two performers. Randall Dunn had been doing our live sound on the tour, and when we came home Randall had the idea of recording our set live in one night in AVAST studio. It took about thirteen hours to record and mix. At the time I was working with a lot of this complex emotional content, so the minimalist approach fortunately worked as a simple delivery method with the limited time we had,” says Coloccia.
While some artists separate their visual art from the music, theirs share an intersecting vernacular.
“Yes, I view music, painting, and photography as a similar language. Music happens to be one facet of the language I’m utilizing as a vehicle for communication right now, and my painting and photography support this. I am very interested in photographing snow and ice. It functions much like my use of gesso in paintings, as an ‘eraser’ or obscurer of information or as a coating or protective blanket of blank/empty substrate. The way snow and gesso retain the contours of the temporarily obscured, hint at hidden or secret information, like a communications code system … Snow captured in a moment in time (such as snow falling w/ flash photography) leaves holes in the visual field. I see music/composition functioning in this same way, as in ‘white noise’ (from manipulated field recordings etc.), and in cluster chords. Objects, actions, visuals and sounds become a focal point against this abstraction and static, and something vulnerable yet piercing or un-ignorable emerges. I see my practice of painting as the exploration of the ‘presence of something missing,’ and my practice of music making and composition as trying to figure out signs and systems, and fill in the missing information,” she explains.
New artwork will accompany the two new releases and Crater, Mamiffer with Daniel Menche. “I’m also working on completing four new photo and art books, one with material from Statu Nascendi, another three-part book with documentation from tours,” says Coloccia. Her first video project and artwork for Māra follow very closely.
The Vancouver live date promises unreleased new compositions along those from the 2013 release.
Mamiffer performs at the Rickshaw Theatre on September 30.BC, British Columbia, Mamiffer, Rickshaw Theatre