Experimental turntablism meets lysergic, looping visuals.
Experimental composer and turntabalist Shiva Feshareki and multidisciplinary artist Yoshi Sodeoka both seek to reach tangible physicality through sonic and visual abstraction. Just as Feshareki uses a unique, deconstructionist approach to turntablism to contort samples of her own compositions in strange and unexpected ways, Sodeoka moulds fluid forms using a variety of media to create what he terms neo-psychedelia.
“Both of our work is abstract and very much based on fluid motions, manipulation, and deep physicality”, explains Feshareki. “My compositions are based on cyclical sounds created by using turntables in a very personal and physical way. These sounds are therefore very sculptural in the sense that the varying circular motions and speeds of the spinning discs impact the sound and rhythms rather than there being a linear construction or regular four by four beat.”
“This circular shape and physical motion lends itself very well to the physicality and fluidity of Yoshi’s own work. The materiality and malleability of my sound and Yoshi’s visual – the idea that sound and vision are malleable sculptures to be manipulated – means our artistic output merges effectively together.”
‘Vapour’ was originally composed live as an improvisation during Feshareki’s performance at Sónar Festival last year, a performance she was so pleased with that she extracted a four-minute section of the live recording and released it on London label SA Recordings. “I called it ‘Vapour’ because it sounds and feels like thick electronically formed vapour, a bit like what you get from a Vape or E-cig,” she explains.
The samples featured in the track map out an ouroboros of Feshareki’s back catalogue, with sections of O, her 2016 spatial composition for orchestra, turntables and organ, which in later iterations contains reworked elements of another orchestral piece, GABA-analogue, appearing as reworked expansions in ‘Compositions No. 1, 2 and 3’, taken from her debut album, NEW FORMS. These samples are then manipulated using turntables, clashing up against an endlessly echoing recording of her own voice introducing a radio show she presented on NTS.
“Before I even manipulated the sound, it had already been manipulated once before,” says Feshareki, “which actually gives quite a spirallic effect which is very similar to Yoshi’s processes of something birthing out of something else, and then expanding into a new environment entirely.” Sodeoka chases Feshareki’s spiralling sounds with swirling, lysergic visuals that shift when triggered by the movements of the turntables, rippling outwards like opposing tides of technicolor oil spilled over the surface of water and skittering shoals of bioluminescent plankton.
“I use After Effects to make all these,” explains Sodeoka. “First of all, I built some basic shape structure and flow. Then I let After Effects analyse the audio output of Shiva’s composition. After that I used the audio data to distort the shapes and colours with my custom set of filters. The visuals I get from this process can be random and hit or miss. So, it’s a lot of trial and error. I’ve spent days tweaking parameters to make it look like the end result.”
“So far, we’ve been working together remotely between New York and London. It’s been really inspiring to work with Shiva to say the least. She and I have a lot in common in terms of the way we approach our art. The goal for us is to have some sort of live performance together. This video is sort of a warmup piece.”