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July 14, 2014

Sunrise, Sunset: Doe Paoro

The Fast-Rising Brooklyn Songstress Takes a Walk on the Wild Side in Our Series With Yours Truly

“Part of my process is to spend as much time creating in silence as possible,” says singer-songwriter Doe Paoro of carving her own brand of ethereal R&B. “Silence clarifies that relationship with sound.” Abandoning the bustling environment of her New York base in favor of a bucolic retreat––the Wisconsin studio of Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon––Paoro shows off her distinct wavering voice in a live performance of new track “Walking Backwards.” Having encountered an age-old Tibetan folk-opera tradition during a backpacking trip, the singer distilled its influence into her recent EP Ink on the Walls. “Making the record in Manhattan would have been a nine-to-five experience,” explains Paoro, who was captured for the latest episode of Sunrise, Sunset by NOWNESS regulars Yours Truly after making waves in this year's festival circuit. “I guess there is no set time when inspiration strikes; it might happen at 2pm or 3am.” 

Ink on the Walls is available now on Middle West.

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Soko: Love Letter

Aaron Rose Animates Late Artist Niki De Saint Phalle’s Drawings on Desire For MOCAtv

The beguiling illustrations of Niki De Saint Phalle come alive to the sound of French starlet Soko’s “Love Letter,” a song directly inspired by the late Franco-American artist’s 1988 book, My Love, Where Shall We Make Love? “When the idea first came up to do a film based on Niki’s artwork, Soko was the first person I thought of, as there is something very tough and tender in everything she does,” says artist, curator and filmmaker Aaron Rose, who made the short based on the drawings found in Saint Phalle’s accordion-folding book that muses on the quirks and intricacies behind human devotion. “The way Soko took the feeling of the text in the book and completely transformed it into her own just blew me away.” The video forms part of a collaborative series of art-inspired lyric videos created by Rose and MOCAtv: he has so far worked with LA-based musician Sam Spiegel, hip-hop pioneer Fab Five Freddy and Brazilian-American songwriter Kool Kojak on a lyric video based on the graffiti of Jean-Michel Basquiat, and on a film based the work of conceptualist Sol Lewitt with Tim Armstrong from US punk group Rancid. “The whole idea is to package an artist’s writings in a pop format,” says the filmmaker, whose 2008 documentary Beautiful Losers looked at the art movement that he helped to spearhead along with Harmony Korine and Shepard Fairey. “Sometimes their words are only heard in lectures or read in the pages of academic catalogues; I thought it would be fun to reframe them and turn people on to writings that they would never have read before.”

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Drummer Boys

Photographer Deirdre O’Callaghan Zooms in On Music’s Unsung Heroes

The Roots’ Questlove, Brian Chase of Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Death Grips’ Zach Hill are all captured unleashed at their respective kits in this series that takes a look at the oft-ignored life of the drummer. The dependable beat-maker at the back of the stage rarely gets his or her moment in the spotlight, but photographer Deirdre O’Callaghan's project, The Drum Thing, focuses on these musicians who are integral to a variety of successful bands. “It’s interesting to focus on the characters obscured behind prolific acts,” O’Callaghan, who started a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign to help turn the project into a book. “To talk with these musicians who may not be front and center but nonetheless essential.” The Irish photographer was awarded Book of the Year by The International Centre of Photography, New York and Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles in 2003 for her book Hide That Can, which followed the Irish emigrant community in north London. For her current project, she traveled to the UK, Ireland, Germany and Jamaica, as well as across the United States, shooting over 50 drummers, and planning to capture 20 more. Along the way she has been star-struck by John Densmore of The Doors—“I mean, I was in the same room with someone who was in the same room as Jim Morrison!”—and had a go on George Hurley of The Minutemen's kit. “The drums are a very visual instrument,” says the photographer. “Some people have a knack for playing with a dramatically visual style, while others are more subtle and reserved. I just love how their personality translates into the way they play.”

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