Naima Fine

Blog about the residency and other things

Naima explores music, ecology, and the spaces between. Since childhood music and the environment have been her passions. After several years concentrating on ecological work, she returned to composing, only to miss ecology! In the past few years she has been moulding a creative practice that deeply involves both composition and ecology. She is moving beyond familiar compositional processes; and experimenting with cross-arts pieces, new composing techniques and collaborations. She is trying to use her music/ecology meld to reach out to broader communities, hoping her explorations will enable more people to easily access both important ecological information and enriching creative experiences.

Influences include jazz chords; minimalism’s entrancing woven structures; gamelan’s rhythms and microtonality; tonal languages; fractal, harmonic, and microscopic patterns; ecological datasets; anarchism; cultural traditions; intricate natural phenomena; and strong wom*n. She never practices.

Naima is currently composing a piece exploring a work by Ursula Le Guin, commissioned by L.A. composer’s collective, Synchromy; and about to start a residency to compose a site-specific work for the Tilde New Music and Sound Art Festival, 2019. She’s also currently recording and mixing Leagues of Breaking Light and is excited to release it as a multi-media album in 2019. Watch this space!

As well as her data-sonification work Leagues of Breaking Light, Naima has written music for short film; 2 full-length live circus shows (Women’s Circus, Melbourne); Orkeztra Glasso Bashalde (Melbourne community klezmer/balkan+ band); and professional chamber ensembles. She lives in Melbourne where she composes music, reads queer and feminist sci-fi, rides a bicycle as often as possible, and plays music at protests with Riff Raff Radical Marching Band.

Blog Example (visit the above website for more!)

11:30am: Things I need to figure out to make the botanic map-score concept work:

Accuracy – so I’m often a perfectionist and with science-type stuff like mapping vegetation I want it to be exactly accurate. But there is such a lot of vegetation here – not just high species diversity, but also the individual plants. And many of the plants in the ground are all intertwined and overlapping, like plants do. And many of the plants in pots can be moved anywhere onsite and will probably be somewhere different for the performance in January so even if I get all the beds right, my map-score will still be INACCURATE! I need to figure out if I want to reflect a temporal snap-shot, or if I partly incorporate the move-ability of the pots into the score.

Creating the score – ok so once I figure out how to do the above … I can totally make a detailed site map with “spp 1”, “spp 2”, and the shapes of the individual plants, overlapping and all. BUT then how do I convert this into a thing musicians can read? I’m not thinking of it being an interpretable graphic score as such. What I want is to assign a strict musical note or gesture to each plant species. But the diversity is so high I can’t possible ask a performer to remember what 60+ numbers are, and to cross-reference a map key during performance is totally impractical. So I have to then put these notes and gestures directly onto my map score. And how will I do that????!

Reading the score – this isn’t such an immediate concern, but after I’ve figured out how to create the score in a useful and readable way, I need to figure out how musicians can read it. It’s not linear: the site is a big triangle. Will they read as though walking through the site? Around the perimeter is easy enough, but how about the little discrete beds and all the individual pots within the site? Grid it up (it’s already pretty griddy) and give them an order of grid squares to play? Let them decide?

2pm: Here’s a film of my residency studio door and one little bit of Testing Grounds’ garden. The hissing sound is a sprinkler on the garden. This is just to give you an idea of the profusion of green that I’m trying to figure out how to map.

I started working on the mapping.

Really excited to learn that there’s another science-art mash-up practitioner onsite. She’s called Andrea Rassell, she’s absolutely lovely, and the work she’s doing is really cool! Here’s her website. She has an opening here on Friday night 23rd Nov 6-9pm. I immediately want to sit down and have chats about what we could collaborate on … but I have plants to map!

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