This is an audio capture of a collaborative presentation by Bronwyn Malloy and me—both affiliated with the University of British Columbia—on the music of Tanya Tagaq (along with that of Jesse Zubot, Jean Martin and Christine Duncan). The talk, called “Breath, Blood, Throat, Voice: Tanya Tagaq and the Politics of Song,” took place on Friday, 24 March 2017 at the University of British Columbia. In keeping with our subject matter—Tagaq’s recent music, especially from the album Retribution, and live performances—we tried to design our own presentation as a co-creative duo, moving back and forth between voices and approaches. Our intention is to revise and expand this material into a collaborative scholarly-critical essay. We’re focusing in on the collisions of indigeneity and alterity/plurality/community through the co-creative practice(s) of improvised musicking.
I read this paper—“Close Careful Trans Listening: Pauline Oliveros, Joe McPhee, and Rachel Pollack’s Unquenchable Fire”—on June 3, 2017 at the Montreal colloquium for the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation: Still Listening—A Series of Events in Memory of Pauline Oliveros. For me, it represents a first foray into an intersectional social aesthetics, drawing together transgender writing—in particular, Pollack’s speculative fiction—with queer theory and the practice of deep listening. As I point out, the paper leans a little toward Oliveros, despite the composition and recording being principally credited to Joe McPhee. I also need to develop more fully and carefully a reading of the theology of annunciation and its relationship to gendered bodies and the dynamics of consent and the discursive power of the speech act.