Sunday, July 22, 2018

Music Video Release: Listen- Cathartic Conundrum

This is Cathartic Conundrum's first ever music video directed and produced by Rivka Cohen.

Listen came out of a place of helplessness and now manifests itself as a song of empowerment. It's a song of protest that celebrates the activists, the culture workers, the organizers, the immigrants, and all marginalized folks who immediately experienced a real sense of greater oppression as soon as Trump was elected. I wrote it while folks were camping at standing rock and while refugees were being pushed away at immigration control upon the arrival to the U.S. I wrote it while contemplating if Trump was going to invalidate any and all efforts immigrants have made in becoming citizens and deport them (i.e. me back to Peru). He has since proven to do that and much worse.

I had contemplated moving back to Peru to combat the possibilities that my paranoia was instigating in my head. I felt hurt for my undocumented immigrant brother and sisters. I felt for my friend who couldn't pay tuition because Trump was causing inflation of the Mexican peso back home.
The video of Listen filmed and directed by Rivka Cohen captures my understanding of protest. Protest means understanding the way in which history repeats itself and being able to manifest new layers linked to old issues to shine light on the urgency for change. Protest means listening and taking time to understand folks being affected by current and past issues (in this case, folks being affected by the world views Trump was preaching and implementing). Finally, protest means love. It means gathering and building bridges with and between folks whom you've built or aim to build community and understanding.
Listen is about an immigrant who tries to cope with the issues of her country and simultaneously confront them from a place of love. Listen is the song for those who have listened and now need to be heard.
Finally, if you'd like more information about Cathartic Conundrum , check out our website at . We are on Spotify, Bandcamp and all streaming services.
This video was made in association to no record label with no budget. This is a completely independently made project in Boston, MA. We thank all the volunteer artists and activists that made this video possible.
© 2018 Rivka Cohen and Anaís AzulAll rights reserved.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Displaced: A Response to Qurban

The link above shows excerpts of the music/soundscape used in the devised theater piece I helped create with sophomore students at the Boston Conservatory. The piece is called 'Displaced: A Response to Qurban' and is based off of stories and experiences a refugee experiences, particularly the play "Qurban" written by 3 boys from Afghanistan in a Turkish refugee camp in 2007.

I was awarded the Kennedy Center American College Theater award for Outstanding Sound Design and Composition in 2018.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Listen - Cathartic Conundrum

This is my band's (Cathartic Conundrum) first EP called Listen. It touches on mental health struggles, political turmoil, and is an outcry for justice and peace internally and at large. For more information on Cathartic Conundrum visit . For booking inquiries email cathartic(dot)conundrum(at)gmail(dot)com .

Friday, May 26, 2017

Brief Lights- Berkeley High School Commission

"Brief Lights" was commissioned by Berkeley High Orchestra alum William Cayanan. It was written to commemorate a number of BHS alums who died recently, and seeks to explore the lights and memories that are left behind when young people pass before their time" -Itai Bojdak-Yates
Premiered in Berkeley California Community Theater by the Berkeley High School Band and Orchestra, conducted by Karen Wells on May 26th, 2017

Monday, May 1, 2017

Me Ahogue (I drowned)

This (work in progress) piece is based off of a song that was a part of a larger work: Mundane Delirium (see earlier post)
Here is the video of the original rendition of Me Ahogue, a song about drowning in systemized oppression as well as drowning in issues pertaining to mental health.
The orchestral rendition is neither programatic nor absolute, just an expression of sonic drowning.

Photo was taken during during the ceremony where I was awarded BU's undergraduate compositional award.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Mundane Delirium (A Collaborative Senior Recital- video recording)

This is a recording of my collaborative, interdisciplinary senior recital on October 22nd in the CFA Concert Hall at Boston University

This collection of ten songs shows an internal voyage. I believe a musician is a vessel and messenger for social change. In a time where many of us feel helpless and numbed by how much violence is happening on a global level towards specific religious groups, races, sexual orientations, and cultures, I want to show that the psychological trauma and turmoil a human being feels is reflected in our mundane world and that in order for us to rest our mundane delirium we must heal from the inside out. We are microcosms and mirrors of our big picture reality.

Anaís Azul // Voice, Piano, Melodica
Aubrey Dube // Voice
David Baylies // Trumpet
Grace Wingler // Voice, Piano
Jamal Fairbanks // Piano, Guitar
Laura Hairgrove Randall // Flute
Lauren Extrom // Voice
Luke Bergamini //Electric Bass
Marisa Giangregorio // Clarinet
Nicolette Mingles // Voice
Sasha Buettner // Viola
Tae’Shaona Matthews // Voice
Yui Kitamura // Voice