Naima is exploring ways to sonically translate the botanic diversity onsite at Testing Grounds. She has mapped all the onsite vegetation: some by profile maps where the vegetation is differentiated by growth habit (tree, shrub, vine, etc), and some by birds-eye maps coded by species. Each of these maps will become a graphic score, interpreted by a small ensemble of musicians.
Because vegetation changes with season, watering regime, life-span (e.g. there are many short-lived weeds), etc., the maps provide a temporal snapshot or record of Testing Grounds at the time of Naima’s residency. But the permanence of the recording is then “broken” by the sonification process: repeatability of a performed interpretation of the map-scores is impossible.
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.