Alles over kunst

21 Tracks for the 21st Century

21 Tracks for the 21st Century: Lia Mazzari

HART magazine and Q-O2, a Brussels-based space for experimental music and sound art, join forces with 21 Tracks for the 21st Century, a series of playlists in which we ask our guests: what music does this century need? Each time, we invite one artist, thinker or musician to prepare a playlist of those sounds, songs and pieces of music that will best arm their listeners with the tools to approach what is left of this young century. Wrapping up this year's series is musician and curator Lia Mazzari.

Photo by Vincent LeChapelin

Lia Mazzari’s practice as a musician and curator is almost impossibly expansive. It includes hundreds of recordings as an improvising cellist, telematic streaming boxes providing a constant sound stream from an Alpine hut, a plastic recycling warehouse in Mumbai, and Heathrow airport, to field recording projects, to whip cracking as a tool for site mapping. Silver Road, the performance venue she ran out of an old water silo in South London, was similarly eclectic, mixing performances from free-improv greats like Joe Mcphee and John Butcher (and KLEIN) with Fluxus performance events and grime nights by local grime MCs. In one interview, she quotes the advice by turntablist Maria Chavez: “ideas need to live outside your head in even the most ill-conceived manner.”

There is much to be admired in a practice that can hold all of these disparate energies together. It is a reminder of what the environmentalist TJ Demos calls a “movement of movements”, a set of uncoordinated energies with different desires and different aesthetics nonetheless pushing in the same direction. Sometimes lines of influence matter less than lines of flight. Mazzari’s playlist reads like a manifesto. It is teeming its hopeful and decentralised energies toward a different (better) 21st century than the one we have now.

  1. Lol Coxhill and the Welfare State - Bring out your skeletons (not available)

‘The Welfare State was a nomadic consortium of artist, makers, musicians, and performers. As Civic Magicians and Engineers of the Imagination they invent ceremonies, devise rituals and construct images for particular times, places and seasons (...) The music of the State is functional. As an integral part of each performance it is specially composed for action, images and atmospheres.’

  1. Nour Mobarak -  Father Fugue - Neurodiversity and the Monte Alba​́​n Scream

Nour describes the piece: 'the left channel of ‘Father Fugue’ is composed of conversations with my father, Jean Mobarak, a polyglot who has a 30-second memory and lives in the mountains of Lebanon. The right channel is composed of improvised song.' Nour and her father speak through four different languages (French, Italian, English, and Arabic).

  1. Maral - Mahur Club

L. A. based Maral composing with a range of pulverized dub effects and samples from her library of Iranian folk. I discovered Maral through mixing ‘Shoes’, a radio show i share with with Zara J Miller.  Each episode focuses on a different pair of shoes, the sounds they make and how, once recorded and reheard, they begin to form a political language across time.

  1. Peter Cusack & Clive Bell - Bird Jumps Into Wood

Please continue to listen to Side B — Beautiful improvised guitar, crumhorn avant-folk by Peter and Clive recorded  mostly  in the LMC (London Musicians Collective) space in Gloucester Avenue (London) over a period of two or three days with two Revoxes playing back field recordings (1983-84). 

  1. Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė, Lina Lapelytė - Sun and Sea

An opera performed live at the Lithuanian Pavillion during the Venice Biennale 2019. When the planet was already burning B. C. ( before Covid).

  1. Loren Rush - Mattina

The album is directly inspired by poems from “L’allegria” (The Joy, 1914-1919), the collection of poetry by Giuseppe Ungaretti (1888, Egypt – 1970, Italy) written in the trenches of World War I. 

  1. Okkyung Lee - Ghil
  1. Terry Jennings - Piece for Cello and Saxophone

Ludo Engels who recorded the record brought me to this beautiful release. I still only heard the excerpt; listening only to 13 minutes feels like I will carry this timeless piece with me for a long time. 

  1. Abdul Wadud - Oasis

Cello from the solo album By Myself (1977) from obscure jazz cellist Abdul Wadud at the intersection of composition and improvisation — this interview gives more insight into the enigma of Wadud who, after disappearing from the scene in the 90’s, reappeared a few years ago. 

  1. Reverend Billy and the Church of stop shopping Choir 

Taking it to the streets with radical activist performance community choir lead by Reverend Billy, singing and performing the streets of NY and world. There is no specific track but the live project belongs here. 

  1. Nuova Compagnia Di Canto Popolare - 2° Coro Delle Lavandaie (From La Gatta Cenerentola (Favola In Musica In Tre Atti))


  1. 99Posse - Curre Curre Guaglio

Italian hip hop/reggae left-wing hardliners from Napoli, singing in Napolitan language. Mitico!

  1. Hildegard Westerkamp - Under the Flight Path

An excerpt of a ‘A Sound Document About Life Near the Airport’ — Hildegard let me broadcast the entire piece on As If Radio, an activist radio lab during the COP26 in Glasgow in 2021. Bill’s voice is endearingly telling us about life under a flight path of Vancouver airport in 1981. 

  1. Baianá - Barbatuques

Essential, live affirming listening, dancing, singing, lypsincing. 

  1. [Ahmed] - Nights on Saturn (communication)

The London based improvising supergroup أحمد [Ahmed] consists of pianist Pat Thomas, percussionist Antonin Gerbal, bassist Joel Grip and altoist Seymour Wright. Formed in order to explore the work of bassist Ahmed Abdul-Malik, the band takes the four musicians outside of their own usual modes of playing and into one which has a deeper focus on composition, metre and rhythm.

  1. Lucia Nimcová & Sholto Dobie - Materina dúška

Ukranian folk songs from the  mesmerising documentary made by the filmmaker Lucia Nimcová and sound artist Sholto Dobie.  The folk songs describe hardship, murder, torture, death in gulags, heavy drinking, outsmarting men, love affairs

  1. Kruder & Dorfmeister - K & D Sessions

I don’t know if it has to do with moving to Bristol a few months ago but after a couple of decades pause, I’m getting back into it. It’s ridiculous but I love it. 

  1. M.I.A. - Matahdatah Scroll 01 "Broader Than A Border"

Essential video watch — such a tune! 

  1. Aine O'Dwyer - Music for Church Cleaners

Aine is a brilliant musician and live artist. When she performed at my Silver Road water tank space in London (2017), Aine climbed on top of the tank in a golden joker costume and performed to the audience from the roof looking through the hatch of the tank with a torch. A prosthetic hand on a fishing wire was slowly lowered down to play a glockenspiel on the concrete ground and surrounded by the audience who was drenched in a rain of glitter, paper cut outs and lots of glitter and in total darkness.

  1. Joe Mcphee - Cosmic Love Recorded in Poughkeepsie, NY (1970)
  1. Robert Ashley - ATALANTA

It's hard to pick a Robert Ashley piece as I’m still discovering so much of his work but I can’t stop clicking through the opera Atalanta (Acts of God), hoping for my cursor to land on one of the beautiful chorale parts…goosebumps (i.e 0:27:30 / 0:33:30 No Never no, never again / 0:39:35 / 1:06:28 Looking in the mirror now yeah / 01:08:48 You got to hold me tighter/ 1:55:00 Giving Love away / 2:01 To someone who deserves it / 2:04). Originally released on Lovely Music in 1985, Ashley makes use of the story of Atalanta — a royal princess, discarded by her family, who was raised by the animals to become the fastest-running human, and who was later reclaimed by her father to marry her off for dynastic purposes - to present the character aspects of the 'successful suitor'.

More info on Lia's website, or find her on Instagram.