Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A Collection Of: Magic

I'm so happy to be included in the wonderful creative collective of good friends and strong women, headed by Gilda Davidian and Stefani Greenwood. Their curated world is called "A Collection Of".

For about 6 years(ever since moving to Vashon Island in the Washington State Pudget Sound), I have been learning from my environment, and experimenting with wild harvesting, herbalism, farming, gardening, creating health elixirs and making magic. 

This magic comes in the form of tinctures, teas, salts, vinegars and foods.

These items have been for personal use and given as gifts. Within the last year, there has been an overflowing abundance of materials, and as my knowledge and experience has increased, I would now love to share these items with other people, and I hope that this magic can help heal/nourish others as I have healed and nourished myself, my family and my friends.

The only place these items are available is at
"A Collection Of". 

All of these items were created from my local environment, and also from my hometown in the desert in California where my parents still live.

Below are some pictures and links:










 cleavers


 







**Here is a link to an interview I did with Gilda with A Collection Of in 2011: LINK**



Friday, August 12, 2016

Interview with Bitch Magazine

Heres an interview I did with Bitch Magazine on the influence of "goth" music and gender subversion. Some of the questions (and I think my answers too :)) were really cool, although some of them did not wind up in the article, so I will publish some of them here.

Link to interview: https://bitchmedia.org/article/female-fronted-goth-bands-subvert-gender-androgynous

Some unpublished questions and answers:

Who are some of your biggest music influences, both generally and within goth/dark music?
My biggest inspirations in high school that helped me to want to create music were the SWANS,  Einstürzende Neubauten and Lungfish. Later influences were Fovea Hex, Khanate, Earth, The Bulgarian Women's Choir and Alvin Lucier. My current influences are Arvo Part, Philip Jeck, Daniel Menche, William Fowler Collins, Black Spirituals, Aaron Turner and Alice Coletrane. 
What goth/dark musicians do you most often get compared to -- and do you think those comparisons are fair?
Mamiffer and Mára often get compared to The Swans, The Cranes, Mazzy Star and Cocteau Twins. These seem fair to me, since many of these bands/projects were influential, and inspired me to create music. I see a similarity in these comparisons to the crushing nature of utilizing beauty and heaviness in sound.
What elements of the original goth movement do you think you’ve incorporated into your own work, and why have those elements appealed to you?
The elements I have incorporated into my own work and music are issues of difficult beauty and emotion and washy/gossamer delivery methods that leave room for the personal interpretation of the listener. I also utilize assuming different performative roles, and subverting their connotations in the live performance, during collaborations and in the composing and recording process. These elements appeal to me, because they can draw a listener in with beauty and blurriness, while maintaining the strength of personal interpretation and narrative. These elements are appealing because they are not exclusionary, instead they are inviting, creating a connection that can be made deeply meaningful. Subverting performative aspects of music appeals to me, these are the seeds of what can bring change to already seemingly solidified systems, using what has been historically seen as weak or submissive, and revealing the power and strength inherent in emotion and beauty or the feminine in music and sound.

What elements of those early days do you see carrying over into modern-day music? And what elements do you think are now dated or obsolete?

The elements that seem to carry over into modern day music are a DIY method to recording and releasing, using the cassette format, 4 tracks and unorthodox production techniques, and being OK with low-fi qualities. The power of the female voice taking the center also seems to have carried over, and peoples want to listen/pay attention. Men playing with or interpreting a feminine stage presence has also carried over. I'm not sure what is outmoded or obsolete, except that maybe some bands or people are just trying to re-create the past, instead of finding their own voice and creating something new.

One of the notable elements of early goth culture was its focus on gender play and androgyny; it seemed to make room for women and femininity in a way that other scenes didn’t. Do you feel like that’s still the case, and/or do you feel like that’s in any way made it easier for you to make the music you make?

This aspect of the music was very influential for me. It felt very welcoming to see men disregarding stereotypical male stage presences and methods of creating and instead welcoming and playing with female/gyno-centric based ideas of performance, living, experimentation and composing. These elements of the music drew me in, and felt very familiar to me.
I was raised in the theatre in Palm Springs CA, where performers from all genders played many different roles, I thought this was normal, and that people could flow between identities very easily. Seeing this in music made sense to me, and when I am shocked/saddened by the realities of sexism in music and the world, I know I can rely on the support of people and musicians who subvert the dominant male, or masculine paradigm, and welcome all methods of difference.
A big influence on me in terms of me wanting to perform music, was seeing the VHS video for the Einstürzende Neubauten album "Halber Mensh". The video is amazing, musicians making music with the materials at hand, the waste of architecture, and excess of garbage etc. In the video Blixa Bargeld wears the traditionally "male" instrument of power: the guitar. Not once does he actually use the guitar, yet he wears it as a prop. In high school I interpreted this as him subverting its supposed connotations, and rendering it useless, showing it for the object of projection that it is. I loved that silence could be so powerful when displayed this way, amidst the cacophony of controlled chaos and destruction.

Do you have anything new (music, tour dates) happening now or on the near horizon that I should make sure to mention in my article?

Mamiffer just released "The World Unseen" in May 2016 (Sige Records) and Mára released "Surfacing" November 2015 (Sige records.)
Mamiffer just came home from a great European tour, where I was 27-28 weeks pregnant, which was an incredible experience to perform and sing live while being pregnant. 
A new Mamiffer record has been written as well as a new Mára record, which will be recorded next year. Alex Barnett and I just finished recording our new record for the label Blackest Ever Black (Barnett+Coloccia), which will come out next year.
A live collaboration with Daniel Menche is coming out on cassette this year, as well as a collaborative photo book I made with him.
I am taking a break in touring until 2017, and focusing on growing food, making herbal medicine and artwork at our home on Vashon Island in the WA state Pudget Sound. 

Thanks for the interview!

Live Mamiffer photos and reviews from Europe and news






















Photos: 

Arte Factos
Live Photos/reviews from EU tour: 1234, 5

Faith Coloccia Interview with Monolith


Daniel Menche's WFMU playlist: featuring Daniel menche, Menace Ruine, Mamiffer:

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Mamiffer European tour this summer!









Mamiffer will be on tour with SUMAC this June/July in Europe: 

June 30th June Dresden, Germany - Beatpol

July 1st Berlin, Germany - Musik & Frieden

July 3rd Hamburg, Germany - Hafenklang *

July 4th Dortmund, Germany - FZW  *

July 5th Antwerp, Belgium - Het Bos *

July 6th Bristol, UK - The Fleece Bristol *

July 7th London, UK - The Underworld Camden *

July 9th Porto, Portugal - Hard Club **


** with Sun Kil Moon

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Mamiffer interview with Staf magazine (Spain) English translated version






Below is an interview for Staf Magazine (Spain), this is the English translation. to see the original Spanish version go HERE. Thanks!

Staf: You´ve been working on “The World Unseen” from 2011. Knowing that music don´t need to be rushed, how was its growth? Did it have multiple mutations?

Faith: There were multiple versions of the record. I began writing the record in 2011, and then recorded rough demos, and then better demos. From there we recorded the basic structures and piano compositions, and moved on to the first round of recording with Randall Dunn, and then a second round. We mixed the record once and then re-mixed the record a second time, then took apart the record, did home recording and mixed some more with Randall, and then got the final master. We also went through 3 different pressing plants until we got an acceptable test pressing for the 2xLP. Thanks to Cascade record pressing plant for getting it right! The whole process took a very long time.


Staf: You´ve said in others interviews that the album is imperfect. I think what you said like it ´s “intentionally imperfect”. As if you´ve included an emptiness, trying to transmit an impression as if something were missing. If that was your intention, could you explain the idea behind that.

Faith: Yes, absence and loss was such a heavy influence on our lives when working on this record, that in trying to communicate these feelings and thoughts/ideas, the record began to contain this emptiness and loss as a "presence". The "something missing" became the focal point. We were writing about something invisible and intangible that could be felt, and also capture invisible hope or faith, a belief in something you cannot see. The feeling of loss is a presence in itself, trying to reach out to touch this invisible presence in the dark, trying to re-connect, make contact knowing our human hands could hardly interpret the "other side", and hoping for communication with the impossible or the divine, a miracle, both hopeless and full of hope.


Staf: Sorry about asking a question based on my subjective interpretacion, but in your previous work with Menche, “Crater”, it feels like, to me, that working in the Pacific Northwest Forests you evoke a spiritual feeling, that in the massiveness and peacefullness of the stones and trees there is a certain divinity, while also some moments of tension. And the calm of the landscape clases with our own, more  individual, human perceptions. I feel that in “The World Unseen” the tension is stronger than in “Crater”, and clashes between a great spiritual beauty and more human echos. Is that more or less right or do I have serious pyschological damage to my frontal lobe? Also, how do you work such abstract ideas with the musical language that you´ve created?

Faith: "Crater" does have these qualities. The tension on "The World Unseen" is very different. It is a tension of human in unknown relation to the seemingly impossible (mortal limits) or the divine. The distance felt between life and death, and a closeness to information or divinity through extreme circumstances and emotions. Maybe also a longing for connection with belief and a fear of abandonment of this divine presence- like a fear of reaching out across the void and finding nothing. This record is a great leap of faith in a lot of ways. The tension of these questions and fears is very much an influence on how it was made. Trying to work with these ideas by creating something out of nothing.


Staf: We´ve seen in the evolution of Mamiffer how well your work as a designer and graphic artist complements your work as a musician. You´ve approched “The World Unseen” from many perspectives, can you tell us what you´ve “seen”?

Faith: I approach design from the perspective of "objects in space", and this is much like my idea of composition and music: "sounds in space". I also approach design as a puzzle. There are these objects  in space, and maybe there are a lot to choose from. My job would then also be an editor (much like subtracting sounds from a recording). This process of subtraction begins, and reveals the "answer" that the design puzzle needs. 
What I saw for The World Unseen is that the aural properties were so much about transcending the body through hallucinations, space, death and heaven, that the accompanying visual components needed to be an "anchor", rooted in the earth and body, something tangible. The artwork needed to serve as container, and needed secure, and instantly understandable solid images.


Staf: Biology and nature are very strong concepts in Mamiffer and your art. You show full grey forests charged with esotericism, witchcraft or paganism. At other times it feels like a large macro-cosmos (photos of large open spaces) and micro-cosmos (rivers, branches or blocks of ice in the foreground). You also use biological concepts as the name for some of your songs (domestication of the ewe, parthenogenesis…). What attracts you to these concepts and what are you trying to explore?

Faith: I am usually trying to explore questions I have about how space, light and time interact to express emotion and spirit. Nature is a great canvass of opportunity in which to see (by chance) the clues or answers organized within supposed chaos, to these questions I have. Combining the visual "clues" together, to form a narrative helps his process. If I cannot find an answer, I can at least get close, and get a feeling, or the answer reveals itself in time. I am interested in visual information fields, and the document of overwhelming information, or the absence or cover up of visual information (such as the natural covering of snow etc). I am also very invested in objects having their own subjectivity, and narrative arch through time, and how the body (in all its manifestations and stages-biology) feels it witnesses these objects. I like to make the human body the object in the subjectivity of nature, as if nature is witnessing and creating reality or illusions of reality for the human. I love the moment of coming into contact with objects that have their own history, and the stories they release. Implying a connection between people who aren't actually connected through present time interactions, but are connected through an object whose use value has changed in my hands. I see found recordings have this affect also, as do specific spots in nature where the history of a geographical place has been covered over by vines and trees/time etc.
"It is when the experience and emotion of pleasure intertwines with the qualities of the object that beauty arises" Within these situations that is when the answer or spirit is near.

Staf: A few months ago we enjoyed  your work as Mara, with “Surfacing”. How has that Project “cohabited” with Mamiffer and “The World Unseen”.

Faith: Mamiffer is something I create and share with others I want to work with such as Aaron or collaborators. Mára is something I can do wholly on my own. I didn't know how important this was until I recorded The World Unseen. We recorded basic tracks for The World Unseen and also the Mára record "Surfacing" at the same time. At first I tried to approach "Surfacing" as being a part of The World Unseen, and for a while thought they were both part of the same record. Eventually it was revealed through constructing The World Unseen that Mára needed its own space, and I went back to my demo recordings of "Surfacing" and used those basic documents as the foundations for the record.
A little piece of Mára" remains on The World Unseen though: the choir song "Mara".


Staf: I think we can clearly say that Mamiffer is a pillar in the north american underground music scence, with deep roots; Aaron comes from Isis and Hydrahead, you from the House of Low Culture, and a numerous artistic colaborations over more than 10 years. Also the Mamiffers previous works are proof of the fluid musical realtions that you have with many contempory musicians.  Looking back, what idea would you say gave bith to Mamiffer and what is its most inmutable ideal?

Faith: from 2002-2007 or so I was in a project with Chris Badger called Everlovely Lightningheart (Hydra Head records). It was a very chaotic project involving a lot of experimentation and improvisation. In 2007 I was bringing in a lot of composed and less automatic material. A lot of it did not fit in with what Chris and I were trying to accomplish and I had a very strong desire to do music on my own and also a desire to move out of Los Angeles where I was living at the time. The evolution of Mamiffer came through moving to the Pacific North West, and the musicians I lived with when I first moved to Seattle. The new friends and family I met through Hydra Head also helped with the evolution of Mamiffer. The ultimate idea that gave birth to Mamiffer was my will to do something on my own, I create all the music, and direct the contributions, Mamiffer was born to give a vehicle to this expression.

Mamiffer's most immutable idea would be that as a vehicle for expression, it serves to help me learn new ways of living, thinking, seeing and learning. Making creative connections and making friends through music, art and touring, and to explore all the things I have yet to learn from this medium.



Staf: As a co-founder of SIGE Record, you have been, and are, both a musician and a record company in the independant scene. We know it´s a hard but fulfilling job. Could you tell us about the beginings of SIGE Records, the joys it brings and if you can any info about future releases or news?

Faith: We started SIGE to put out the vinyl version of Mamiffer's "Hirror Enniffer". Hydra Head Records put out the CD, so we wanted a small run of LP's where we could control the production. We wanted to be able to do small editions with hand made packaging and not overextend ourselves, and we wanted to make back our investments, and any profit would be put back into the label. We made a set of parameters for releases where we would only release projects we were involved with, or of people we were collaborating with. In the last 3 years or so, we began releasing records we were not directly involved with, and we have overextended ourselves in terms of workload. We never intended for the label to do as well as it has, or have a larger reach, so we are starting to scale it back now, and returning mostly to smaller editions, and fewer releases. Handling mail-order, PR and doing most of all the designs and artwork for so many releases a year was impacting our ability to give attention to our own projects like Mamiffer and Sumac, we are happy to be devoting more time to family and our own music!

This year we are releasing:

Mamiffer "The World Unseen" CD/2xLP/CS
SUMAC "What One Becomes" CS
SUMAC "The Deal" CS re-press
Black Spirituals "Black Treatment" CS
Black Spirituals new full length LP
Aaron Turner+ William Fowler Collins LP
Mamiffer+Daniel Menche "Live at Debacle" cassette
Barnett+Coloccia "Weld" CS
Endon "Mama" CS
Mára "Surfacing" LP
And 3 artist books


























You can get the new record HERE





Thursday, May 5, 2016

Mamiffer on tour with SUMAC this Summer in Europe





June 30th June Dresden, Germany - Beatpol
Tix: http://bit.ly/1rrPTFY

July 1st Berlin, Germany - Musik & Frieden
Tix: http://bit.ly/1q1DRlu
July 2nd Roskilde, Denmark - Roskilde Festival (Sumac only)
Tix: http://bit.ly/1UB8FGD
July 3rd Hamburg, Germany - Hafenklang *
Tix: http://bit.ly/1W9Lh4h
July 4th Dortmund, Germany - FZW  *
Tix: http://bit.ly/1QSJw3e
July 5th Antwerp, Belgium - Het Bos *
Tix: http://bit.ly/1TLd7QW
July 6th Bristol, UK - The Fleece Bristol *
Tix: http://bit.ly/1WKrS8Q
July 7th London, UK - The Underworld Camden *
Tix: http://bit.ly/1T2ZMGx
July 9th Porto, Portugal - Hard Club **
Tix: http://bit.ly/1q1DYxC
** with Sun Kil Moon