Insomnia mix: 'what good is my work anyway?'


Insomnia took my patience.Rain washed away my intellect. The Lover made me lose my profession. What good is my work anyway?

Catching up with myself (chasing my tail?) A Lapkat mix from autumn ...

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Let’s begin with Rumi:

Let the beauty we love be what we do.

So simple that it simply must be. But why does it sometimes seem so hard to really achieve, even when you’re apparently among the more privileged on the planet? What kind of ties bind us? Paper ones.

I've - maybe too often - looked up and found myself doing too much of what I don't love - usually, to fund what I do love. I hate money, the whole idiotic, idealistic, imaginary, illusory concept of it. I don’t mind mathematics, the theories and philosophies of organising societies (and other four syllable words). But to separate actual wealth (that is, ability, produce, health) from actual need (a carrot, an apple, a service) is to create a void space, which is colonised by those opportunistic souls who skim off the top of every single billiongatrillion transaction - every single minute of every single day - and essentially play poker with it. Problem is, after a few too many decades at the table, actual money wealth has effectively ceased to exist, due to the tail-chasing of loan-debt-loan-debt-loan.

Economists stole the word wealth and banks raped it. I want it back.

Periodically, when I look up and realise I'm not doing enough of what I love, I quietly (slowly, and with intention) cross the bridge I'm on and burn it behind me. Eventually, I hope, I'll find a way to not have to cross those bridges at all.

In autumn this year I wasn't getting much sleep, partly because of nice, sleep-robbing things like love, and full moons, partly because of this struggle with how in this world, can I just concentrate on the beauty of what I love, as what I do. How can I escape the money-sucking king tides of this obsessive compulsive society I live in (in the interim, until we evolve it) and still afford a new microphone? A first-world problem of the first order … kept me awake at night in April.

So alot of these frustrations were in play when the "Insomnia" mix was recorded at the Dialectic Live Melbourne residency (on a night I was dubbed "DJ No-Sleep"). As ever the storytellers and the musicians and the voices are - sanctuary. As well as catalyst and inspiration and a conduit to dancing.

Rumi in particular because he has the power to actually unchain your mind from its usual little inner prisons, make you want to sit down and think about what you just read or heard - or get up and kiss something. Also, because he’s funny, wild, drunk with life, which in the end, is what I think I might be missing when I’m digging in the dirt of the city for money for rent.

In the mix: Rumi's poetry interpreted by Shahram Shiva (UStranslator, author, scholar, performer) – from the album “Love Drunk“ - and it’s also re-interpreted by Thomas Jack of Hearts (I don’t think Tom will mind if I tell you that when we met, he was an economist..? A soulful economist for sure, barefoot and dreamy in the corporate Sydney jungle, but his path since then has been wider fleeter and lovelier than any economist you’d think would dare ... power to the boy. He’s based in Newcastle right now after some time in Turkey. Some recent work in collab with Istanbul musicians, Seyr-u Sefer:

From modernTurkey… electronic soundscapes, slow bass music, urgent stories and passionate vocals (you know the kind of quiet passion, so affecting). Producer Şükrü Çetinkaya, fromEskişehir, has many great collaborations and recordings out. Check out No Call 'Recently', Vefa, Sadece Bu Yeterli Değil, Ağaçkakan

The mix is framed by Quebec poet Taqralik Partridge's "No Sleep For the Wicked" (for obvious reasons). Originally from Kuujjuaq, Nunavik (Arctic Quebec) now living in Montreal, Taqralik is a spoken word artist, writer and throat singer of Inuit and Scottish heritage. Ian Ferrier is the man responsible for introducing me to her beautiful, soulful voice.

Finally, we swoon with Sufi chants from Syria, recordings which I have had for some time, I can’t remember how they came to me. I think that the singer is Sheikh Hamza Shakkûr ... I listen to these recordings when I can’t sleep, they open windows out of the frustrating little city traps into horizons wide enough to breathe. I alternate this with Orange Blossom – if I feel the need to break out the raging passions. 

Now, while we're feeling passionate, shall we all do something? Here's a lovely idea - November 5, 2011 is "Bank Transfer Day" - this is where we take our own earned wealth (or you know, the dollar equivalent of it) out of that void space, out of the hands of the problem gamblers, and put it into community credit unions or other 'banking' options of choice. I did this a long time ago now and I can't encourage it more. For one, you get to actually manage your own money without losing the skimmings to the greedy obsessive compulsives; for another, you experience something akin to real-world human interaction, exchanging need with service, with people whose names you know because you have conversations on a semi-regular basis, even face to face... To do this all together, on the one day, across the world, that is a statement of power and effect. A collective taking back of actual wealth from those who cannot be left unsupervised around large sums of money. Hell, it's an intervention! That this is planned for Guy Fawkes' day just makes the links forming in my mind all the sweeter (I burned my bank bridges years ago)

I definitely sleep better after a good fire.

Insomnia track listing>>> No Sleep For The Wicked, Taqralik Partridge, [from ‘Going Down Swinging No.30’: [Disc 2],] Light In The Darkness, Kroke, Ten Pieces To Save The World Sel, Smadj, Take it and Drive [] Aurore, Smadj, Take it and Drive, [] Virgül, Ötenazi, Sadece Bu Yeterli Değil, Galicia, [] A Time for Madness, Shahram Shiva, Rumi: Lovedrunk Kieslowski /w. Kayra, No Call 'Recently', Haymatlos, [] Rude Profile - Fleck & Fish Finger (Pan Agnostix Flamenco-Step remix), Fleck & Fish Finger (Pan Agnostix Flamenco-Step remix) Autology (feat. Jessika Skeletalia Kenny), Filastine, Burn It,] Przlytskyrvqnv, Ağaçkakan, #Olmayan, [] A man is not a camel, Thomas Jack of Hearts, [] Yazaman, Orange Blossom, Everything Must Change, Kabuk, Vefa, Yetimhane, [] Takasim & Sufi chants from Dam, Syria