Q3 2021 Artists Revealed!
A new year and a new round of Church funded artists to announce! We here at the Church are thankful to all of you for sticking with us since our inception in 2020 in the early throws of COVID times... Here's to hoping that 2022 will be a bit brighter for all of us. But in the meantime, thanks to your generosity, we have 3 new artists to share with you as the newest members of our Funded Artists! Take a moment to get better acquainted with all 3 of these phenomenal musicians:
Nominated by Karl Hofstetter
Mamady is a guitarist from Guinea, coming from a long line of musicians and poets. His dad was the first musician in Guinea to transcribe traditional Kora and Balafon music to electric guitar. Mamady is a really amazing player in the West African tradition, where the guitars sound a bit like mallet instruments. Despite the fact he is one of the best players in the world in his specialty, he's been living in poverty since he moved to the US 30 years ago (when he was 35 years old). COVID specifically hit him hard - his wife left him, he lost his day job, and he's been without a permanent place to live, sometimes sleeping in his car.
Mamady is the heir to a long line of griots, first taught by his father who was one of the first Guinean griots to introduce the guitar. Kouyaté senior specialized in transcribing traditional kora and balafon lines for the guitar and his son Mamady first made his mark as an electric guitarist in some of the national bands that were part of president Sékou Touré’s campaign of “Authenticité” - a movement that sought to create an Afrocentric popular sound. Kouyaté eventually joined Guinea’s most famous export, The Bembeya Jazz, with whom he toured for years. After some political trouble, Kouyaté relocated to the US in the early 2000’s where he founded the Mandingo Ambassadors, a vehicle for his own music that uses the classic 70’s sound of of the best Sylliphone recordings.
Church of Noise has selected Mamady as a recipient for his profound musical influence on a wide number of artists, and also in fulfilling our Church doctrine of being a support for artists in times of struggle.
Rachel Toups’ music operates as a vivid elegy to a childhood roaming the woods of south Louisiana. Their harplike guitars and honeyed singing walk us through a memoryscape of disappearing wetlands. Toups’ music is a captivating mix of soothing and creepy, easy and complicated. Rachel is working on a new collection of songs which serve as explorations of bodies in various forms: bodies of water, bodies of blood, tissue, and bone–the things that exist inside and around us, giving us form, life, and occasional turbulence.
From nominating Elder CJ Boyd: "Rachel is a dear friend originally from Louisiana, who has been mostly living in LA recently, though they are also an outdoor educator, and spend a lot of time educating folks about nature. I love their music and have been eagerly awaiting this next batch of songs. I’ve had [her music] on permanent rotation since Rachel and I met."
Sarah La Puerta
Last month Perpetual Doom released Sarah La Puerta’s debut solo album, Strange Paradise, a six-year long collaboration with Austin producer, Craig Ross. Built around the gentle pulse of a Baldwin Fun Machine, a midcentury organ and synthesizer, the album recall traces of Mexican boleros, early twentieth-century ballads, and the melodic sensibilities of Old Bollywood. This set of songs was composed and recorded mostly at home by SLP between 2015- 2020 as she moved around Texas and ultimately settled in New York.
With any luck, the second record will follow quickly now that she and her partner, Jared Samuel Elioseff, dwell in a recording studio inside a 200-year old barn. The two formed a live band in late 2019 and had just played their first few gigs together when the pandemic hit in March of 2020. Since then, SLP has shifted her focus to visual arts, creating text-based “infographics” that draw on studies of archaeoastronomy, geometry, botany, the history of chess, heresy, and astrology. She just released a second volume of her postcard anthologette, Always Check the Mail, through Perpetual Doom. Ongoing and upcoming projects include continuing her calligraphy studies under master calligrapher Sharon Roos, as well as working with Cuneiform Press to republish Sharon's original pamphlets she did for iconic New York composer, Moondog, in the 1960s. She and co-author Clemens Poole are creating an illustrated book from their archive of more than 1500 spoonerisms collected over the last decade.
Sarah Gautier, better known by her nom de plume, Sarah La Puerta is a musician, artist and calligrapher working in different dimensions. She was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, raised in Austin, Texas and now lives in upstate New York.
After receiving degrees in Spanish and French from the University of Texas in 2007, she moved to South Korea in 2008 at the age of 20 to become a teacher. Freed from the suffocation of the “live music capital of the world,” she started performing publicly for the first thyme. From 2009 - 2012, she essentially lived on the road, playing shows in New Zealand, Europe, Australia and the United States, calling Aotearoa and Australia home between tours. When she returned to Texas in 2013, she quickly got involved in music again, joining the group Tele Novella, with whom she recorded and toured relentlessly through 2019. In 2015, she and her brother, Thor Harris, and his partner Peggy Ghorbani recorded the first Thor & Friends records in Albuquerque with A Hawk and a Hacksaw’s Jeremy Barnes and Heather Trost. This group went on to release three more records, collaborate with tens of thousands of people, tour the US, Canada and Europe and play festivals like Transmusicales, Roadburn, Explore the North, Sled Island, Festival L’Erdre, and Treefort.
From nominating Elder Thor Harris: "Sarah is a huge part of the band Thor&Friends. This record she has made is beautiful. It is a dreamy vocal record she made with my long time collaborator Craig Ross, he and I have worked on music together since 1985. [This grant will help her] to keep living and put her music out in the world."
Thank you as always for your continued support to the Church, we have some really exciting new projects that we're looking to announce in the coming months, and more funded artists to announce soon!
xoxo, Church of Noise and the Elders