Q1 2022 Funded Artists!
The Church of Noise was birthed at the dawn of the Pandemic in 2020, a by-product of sorts from that acute period of uncertainty and limited options for Adventurous Artists to make a living and spread their music. None of us could imagine that we'd be 3 years into an ongoing Pandemic in an every growing uncertain world, marked by compounding conflicts and crises. This crazy world makes the work of the Church of Noise more relevant than ever. Music is life, healing, art, transformative change. Music is a voice to crush patriarchal institutions, overthrow racist and sexist norms, a protest for social and gender equity. Church of Noise exists to help foster these voices, and bring them to the forefront.
Join us as we celebrate these voices, our first official round of 2022 Funded Artists. This quarter, we have chosen 3 unique, talented artists and a first for the Church of Noise, an inspiring community concert series in Queens, New York.
drea the vibe dealer
From the artist: "drea the vibe dealer (they/she) is a genre non conforming self proclaimed punk polymath - poet, songwriter, activist, mystic, zine maker, collagist/painter, noisemaker and crooner. They call their sound "existential dreampunk" and their art style intuitive.
drea's latest project "Lovie's Punk Rock Descendant" came about in a year of solitude during the pandemic that led to a deep spiritual journey. Through the West African practice of ancestral veneration, she was able to uncover her true ancestral practice of hoodoo.
A collection of music and poetry demoed in their parents guest room came about.
Incantations and songs about sensitivity, shame, and feeling invisible and misunderstood. Samples of their grandmother Lovie and a conversation with her great Aunt Jean serve as interludes.
drea wrote about the project : "A queer Black fem artist's return to their ancestral roots and practices, a reconciliation, a healing through honoring her ancestors deep connection to the Southern Black Baptist Church by using their practices in venerating them. This demo also explores the lineages of Black music-gospel to blues to rock & roll and how this influenced the sound and practices of the artist
The Intention: a call to reflection and prayer for Black queer community who may be wrestling with Black church tradition and their own personal connection to Spirit. Though this project centers myself and my community, this journey is for all to go on. Left it in raw format for you to enjoy it how it came to me.
In addition to the music portion of this project, drea is also working on documentary and zine components as well as re-recording final versions of the music with other Black queer/trans musicians in an old Baptist church.
Mt Fog is a creation of love, a response to the world's chaos and absurdity. Mt Fog (Carolyn B.) layers minimal electronic sounds and haunting vocals to evoke magical spaces, real and imagined. You will hear reverberations of training in classical violin performance and years singing the traditional music of the Balkans. Based in Seattle, Mt Fog's music has been heard on Seattle’s KEXP and Olympia’s KAOS radio stations, among other outlets and stations. She released her first album, Guide to the Unusual, in 2021. KEXP's Martin Douglas said, "It’s tough not to get serious Kate Bush vibes from Mt Fog’s sublime debut record....Ethereal tones pop up from the shadows all over Guide to the Unusual, but synth is not synonymous with synthetic here; everything feels as organic as the dirt and twigs under our feet."
From the Artist: "Mt Fog started in 2019 while I was living in an art-filled house without an internet connection in Olympia, Washington. More and more, making music is therapy and a type of survival mechanism, a way to find connection and joy. I grew up playing violin and classical music and spent years singing the traditional music of the Balkans. As an artist, I try to create magical and emotional atmospheres that are grounded in melody and story.
This support from Church of Noise will help me complete my next album and realize my vision for it. This album is a collection of haunted house songs: doorways open into impossible spaces, I am crying in a dusty corner and all of a sudden I am a body of water, I find unexpected happiness in small things. Perhaps this is magical realism in music form? Violin textures and little sounds are woven throughout layers of synths and voice to evoke something simultaneously familiar and strange."
From nominating elder k(aren) hover: "Mt Fog's dreamy aesthetic and romantic soundscapes caught my attention quickly. Mt Fog's vocals will pull you in close and comfort you through an eerie night."
This was a very special nomination indeed! Anyone who has received any items shipped from Church of Noise or Joyful Noise Recordings in the past few years has been blessed by the great and humble Mark Dippel, and more than blessed, you've been Mark'd! Mark has been handling fulfillment for the Church and JNR, and is one of the sweetest guys you could know. Zine subscribers also got a treat for volume 7, with guest curation by our beloved Mark. His art is truly unique, elder Karl describes it as outsider and fascinating, in the vein of Daniel Johnston.
From the artist: "I was never confident about “what I wanted to be when I grew up.” I had some predictably childish ideas as a little kid, then some possibly more realistic ideas in high school, then maybe a couple different ideas in college. None of them ever actually felt like the “right” idea, though. My career history has been equally indecisive– a path of bizarre twists and turns, doing a wide variety of jobs, most of which were taken for the sole purpose of simply obtaining a paycheck. The one thing I have known my entire life with 100% certainty, however, was that I was madly passionate about exercising my creativity. All that ever deeply interested me was music, art, movies, TV shows, jokes, books, magazines… anything that was a fun diversion from “real life.” So, I was always trying to do those things myself– Doodling on my homework during classes and making fake newspapers all throughout grade school, advancing to X-rated limericks in high school, making a couple of horrible films with a handheld camcorder in college, and in adulthood, really getting serious about songwriting, performing, drawing, writing stories, and photography (and, ok, I still think X-rated limericks are hilarious).
Maybe it’s “only-child syndrome,” but when it comes to artistic projects, I only want to work alone. I dive into my own brain to create something really personal and meaningful to me, and it’s just a process that I need to do independently… it’s a form of therapy and catharsis. So, I may hit an occasional sour note on the piano, my range may be severely limited by trying to play an instrument I’ve never played, or I may get a little distortion from overloading the microphone, but it’s very important to me that I accomplish all of it myself.
I’m also a big believer in using whatever tools I have to their fullest capacity, even if they are low quality, or semi-functional. So, I still use cheap or broken instruments, outdated recording equipment, and paleozoic technology, because that’s what I have. And I’ll keep using all of it until it literally cracks in half. The sound is always raw, unpolished, and imperfect, but still somehow totally perfect for me and my particular vision.
My songs, my live performances, my website articles, my photos, my “Quadruped Quorum” comic strip, and every other project that I concoct are all intended to intertwine and interact with each other as one big multi-media artistic experience. It’s all related, and it’s all very much ME.
I sincerely thank the Church Of Noise for awarding me this grant, and I thank all of the donors who have contributed. I am using the funds to release a CD entitled “Nine-Track Minded,” and I want to launch the first issue of my own zine along with the album, both items packaged together. I also plan to keep the zine going, and already have some material written for the second issue. Thank you again to everyone, and I hope you enjoy what I have to offer!"
Woodhaven Music Festival in Queens, NYC
From the organizer Kid Millions (Oneida): "My ultimate goal is to establish a yearly, free, experimental and folk music festival at the Seuffert Bandshell in Forest Park Queens. I recently moved to Woodhaven, Queens with my wife, near the Seuffert Bandshell - one of the best and under-utilized bandshells in the city. Just because my mind works this way, as soon as I saw the bandshell I wanted to make something happen there. We have a baby daughter and of course Covid is making indoor, live music difficult to justify - so this outdoor space, renovated in 2000 and still rock solid, was ripe for use. The space has hosted a cover band series for decades - which is awesome - but there's room for more interesting programming.
In 2021 - I applied, and received, a few grants to support a live show at the park as a first step in establishing my relationship with the Park staff and the local community. Oneida headlined and we also hosted the Jaimie Branch Trio, the Ava Mendoza and Gabby Fluke-Mogul Duo, and my duo with Sarah Bernstein.
This will be the 2nd year of my concert series which I am piecing together with various grants, so I can solidify my relationships with the NYC Park Staff and prove that I can be trusted to put on a free, high quality concert series. My ultimate goal is to establish a non-profit to run this yearly festival that I can eventually hand off as an established institution to the borough once I can no longer run it. Oneida will also perform, as we are releasing our latest Joyful Noise album "Success" in August. There will be one or two additional acts on the bill. A grant from Church of Noise would go towards funding a PA and engineering staff for the event. The outdoor space is large - so the PA requires two engineers.
I will also look to supplement my grant from Church of Noise and the Queens Arts Council with more funding to cover artist fees.
Thank you for considering this project - I am trying to build a permanent, yearly free experimental/folk music concert series in an area of Queens that does not get this kind of culture at all."
Information on the Woodhaven Music Festival can be found on Kid Millions website here: Artist Site. The festival will next take place on Saturday, September 17, 2022 (rain date Sunday, September 18) at the Seuffert Bandshell in Forest Park.
Thank you as always for your continued support to the Church, don't forget about our new Flexi Zine series! A new way to help support more artists and bring exciting music to your ears.
xoxo, Church of Noise and the Elders