Xiu Xiu covers Mozart on new 7-inch featuring artwork by Heidi Hahn

Xiu Xiu covers Mozart on new 7-inch featuring artwork by Heidi Hahn
"Seriously, though: fabulous muscles."

WHERE the hell ELSE is Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart even supposed to go after tackling a “re-imagining” of Angelo Badamenti’s patently un-re-inaginable music from Twin Peaks?

Duh, three words, baby: MOZART MEGA JAMS.

Luckily, Venice Beach-based label Cosmic Dreamer Music — which previously curated a collaboration between a collaboration between John Vanderslice and filmmaker Guy Maddin — has just announced that the second volume of their continuing series of these artful audio-visual pairings will take the form of a limited edition 7-inch featuring Xiu Xiu and visual artist Heidi Hahn.

Available April 7 in all of its intimate and intricate glory, the musical component of this edition consists of two songs by Xiu Xiu, “Fear of the Horizon” and, yes, Mozart’s own barn-burning summer fest closer “Turkish March,” arranged for marimba(!). For the visual component, meanwhile, the Brooklyn-based Hahn (who has shown extensively in New York and internationally, holds an MFA from Yale, and has been an artist in residence at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, The Fine Arts Work Center, Yaddo, and the Headlands Center for the Arts) has included two new paintings; one gracing the sleeve cover, and the other “as a print on acid free paper, numbered and signed by the artist herself.”

More specifically (and enticingly), the extremely limited edition (as in: there’s only 200) “Fear of the Horizon”/”Turkish March” 7-inch shall consist of:

  • Orange with Black Haze Vinyl 7”
  • 11 x 12.5 inch Archival Pigment Print on Acid Free 100% Cotton Rag Paper, numbered and signed by Heidi Hahn
  • A custom designed 7” sleeve featuring a booklet of thoughts written by Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart, and Heidi Hahn
  • Digital Download Card
  • Certificate of Authenticity
  • Screen-printed packaging
  • Hand numbered and screen-printed envelope

Regarding his choice to include the eighteenth century composer’s classic summer banger “Turkish March,” Stewart recently told BrooklynVegan:

shayna dunkelman (who plays the song on marimba) is from a political stand point interested in the idea of the “exotic” as it factors into “tiki” music and “tiki” culture and has introduced it to the band. the idea of a musical pastiche of the “orient” or the “islands” or the “east” being turned into a something for distraction and relaxation by someone from the “west” is rife with complexity, problems, possible curious results and weird history. tiki culture is a result of the soldiers from the WWII pacific theatre going to the most beautiful places on the earth and then murdering people and being murdered. their minds and hearts were destroyed but in the most beautiful setting imaginable. they came home and wanted to escape what they had done, had done to them and had seen but did not want to forget the beauty of where it occurred. as a result tiki images are usually a bizarre combination of scary masks, references to the world beyond (death) and also gorgeous women with big boobs and flowers. it is peaceful and palliative but also thinly veiled in the horrors of war.
the turkish march is one of the first examples of “exotica” in western music. mozart had an idea of what turkey was, what the east was and he wrote a piece through that lens although it has nothing to do with turkish music or culture. in the same way that martin denny wrote quiet village. it has nothing to do with polynesian music at all but it his idea of what that imaginary world is for a western listener. it is both a type of reverence and a type of racist domination. in that they felt like they could take an concept they were moved by (this concept of course being an entire culture and history) and reduce it to a musical whim.
and titularly it is a comment on the syrian refugee crisis with obvious implications and parallels.

Okay, you passed the reading test. For your prize: stream “Turkish March” down below, check out Stewart and co’s spring tour itinerary, and pre-order your own gorgeous little piece of “alternative history” while you still can.

Xiu Xiu on tour:

03.30.17 - Detroit, MI - El Club
03.31.17 - Chicago, IL - The Empty Bottle
04.01.17 - Jacksonville, FL - The Sleeping Giant Film Festival
04.06.17 - Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Bazaar
04.07.17 - Philadelphia, PA - Boot & Saddle
04.08.17 - Harrisburg, PA - Cathedral Room and Der Maennerchor
04.09.17 - Baltimore, MD - The Wind-Up Space
04.11.17 - Jersey City, NJ - Monty Hall
04.12.17 - New Haven, CT - Bar
04.13.17 - Providence, RI - Columbus Theatre
04.14.17 - Portsmouth, NH - 3SArtspace
04.15.17 - Boston, MA - The Hardcore Stadium

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