The following poem and sound bath are a response to the We Need Queer Liberation Now digital residency on queer rest.Experience the full collection of artists’ responses here
Hear 15 minutes of a live sound bath experience that was performed live by Sayang on 28/04/22 using modular synthesis, as part of We Need Queer Liberation Now project:
This sound bath experience was a one-hour sensory session with taste, smell and sound, created in response to the previous days and months of shared space as artists who face queer censorship together. Sayang developed the audio for a nourishing, restful experience that allowed for internal reflection, daydreaming, sleep and rest of any form. Equally important to this, it explored being together as a group of artists in different countries and locations, across sonic waves and without screens, video or verbal communication.
The quote by artist Keith Haring, “Nothing is important…so everything is important” became a source of inspiration for this experience. As Sayang also found inspiration from previous conversations as a group and with guest hosts that explored change, failure, expectations and responsibility as Queer artists, they in particular, wanted to hold space to reflect on failure as beauty and finding comfort within it.
All audio was created and performed live by Sayang on 28/04/22 using modular synthesis, as part of East Street Arts WNQLN project. The accompanying poem can be read with or without the audio.
SAYANG is a Malaysian/British DJ, sound artist, producer and activist exploring race, queerness and accessibility in club and queer culture. A creator whose drive comes from self-exploration and community understanding, they develop ambitious, responsive and political sound experiences as a way to express themselves and unpick their story.
In creating their sound, they look to their roots from Penang Malaysia, with field recordings and electronic emulations of familiar noises, and connect it to their British childhood and history in electronic music, from film soundtracks to live bands and dancefloors. They draw particular inspiration from artists including Green Velvet, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Terre Thaemlitz, Nine Inch Nails and Cabaret Voltaire.
Their DJ sets traverse raw noise and high voltage beats through mostly vinyl sets, while nods to a background in UK techno and dubstep add depth. Curveballs from their musical roots, alongside freak, fetish and oddball favourites elevate their DJ style. SAYANG’s tongue-in-cheek approach questions their place in the music they play while taking the reigns behind genres and tracks they weren’t always invited to.
Their activism is an extension of their sound, connecting audiences together through queer theory, explorative conversation and sound experiences. They bring together minds, bodies and thoughts from society’s intersections while centring and uplifting trans, non-binary and QTIPoC folx.
Founder of the QTIPoC, trans and disabled queer centred techno-fetish party and cause, Flesh in Tension, and custodian of Leeds KiKi House, House of Flava, Sayang has carved a home behind decks, on stages and in producing and facilitating queer space in music and the arts. They are a Rinse FM resident, Love Muscle resident and some of their recent highlights include playing SPIELRAUM Amsterdam, Off Location in Kyiv, releases with Dark Carousel and Obskur records and they were also booked for Dimensions festival 2020.