an archive . a mixtape . an audio (visual) exploration of our gendered soundscapes

with the help of dear friends and distant strangers, we explore gendered soundscapes, sound practices, and sound studies of the world — forging threads of connection between (gendered) existences and resistances ︎︎︎

complete episode in development

featured works
i, too, overflow
mother tongue


#mixtape #interview #soundpractice

a woman’s instrument

sophie nzayisenga’s family has a long history with the inanga - but before her, that history was exclusive to the male experience. an instrument that had been played only by men until sophie’s passion and skill broke the tradition. 


from kigali, RWANDA

Sophie Nzayisenga is the first female master of the Rwandan traditional zither (inanga). Nzayisenga learned from internationally acclaimed father Thomas Girupfu before setting out to make the instrument her own. She was just six when she first picked up an inanga and began playing. She is currently the leading professional female inanga player in Rwanda and East Africa.

In 1986, Nzayisenga released her first song ‘Ikera kurima’ which was played on Radio Rwanda. Today, she has multiple albums - many of which are products of international collaborations blending cultural traditions. 

This programme produced in collaboration with DA and GA features her words, accompanied by her music in it’s most authentic form (recorded and produced by Antonovka Records in Kigali, Rwanda). 


greeting (turabaramutsa)
lullaby tune (hoza umwana)
royal cows (inyambo)
cow neck tune (ikigwiti)
bees (inzuki)
we can do it (turashoboye)
winners (inganji)


“I, too, overflow” is an essay in sound, to apply a literary and textual nature to sonic resonances. To me, the page is a sea and sound lives in capsules. The page supposes and betrays linearity, but a text read aloud must be known only by the method of a voice delivering. The page defies time. The lyric moves alongside it, in perfect companionship.

To create something that forms to time, one does not begin in the present but always, only, the past. I was interested in what Marianne Hirsch called postmemory, that doubling of lives as they layer upon each other, and one bleeds into the next, their points of intersection mutative and indiscernible. By working with footage of my mother’s wedding, her personal oratory, and the ideations and assertions of feminist scholars and poets, I worked to stitch together these fragments along my own thinking of filial piety, a child’s debt, and that flightless bird we call freedom. I wanted to strip away the confines of that precarious word, choice, and work it into something that aligns with where we are, in time and in space, in inheritance and in legacy. Sometimes, it seems that to choose is the loneliest act in the world. I would like it to not be so.

But isn’t time always in pieces? I suppose greater poets than myself would know. This work is not a portrait without gaps; I’d like the connections to change over time, to alter with the annals of thinking, to be idea instead of fact.

Such is how stories move through the air. Sometimes we catch at it with our pens, our ears, or with our hands.

The title takes from “The Laugh of the Medusa,” Hélène Cixous’ vital essay on women’s writing and the creating, the finding of oneself in the realm of letters:

I wished that that woman would write and proclaim this unique empire so that other women, other unacknowledged sovereigns, might exclaim: I, too, overflow; my desires have invented new desires, my body knows unheard-of songs. Time and again I, too, have felt so full of luminous torrents that I could burst—burst with forms much more beautiful than those which are put up in frames and sold for a stinking fortune. And I, too, said nothing, showed nothing; I didn't open my mouth, I didn't repaint my half of the world. I was ashamed. I was afraid, and I swallowed my shame and my fear. I said to myself: You are mad! What's the meaning of these waves, these floods, these outbursts? Where is the ebullient, infinite woman who, immersed as she was in her naivete, kept in the dark about herself, led into self-disdain by the great arm of parental-conjugal phallocentrism, hasn't been ashamed of her strength? Who, surprised and horrified by the fantastic tumult of her drives (for she was made to believe that a well-adjusted normal woman has a. . . divine composure), hasn't accused herself of being a monster? Who, feeling a funny desire stirring inside her (to sing, to write, to dare to speak, in short, to bring out something new), hasn't thought she was sick? Well, her shameful sickness is that she resists death, that she makes trouble.

List of sampled sounds, in order of appearance:

丁可 Ding Ke — “We”
Home video, wedding of 张冠伟Guanwei Zhang and 单连泉Lianquan Shan
June Jordan reading “Poem About My Rights”
Instrumental version of “月亮代表我的心 The Moon Represents My Heart”
The Album Leaf — “Window”
Xiaolu Guo at 5x15
Marianne Hirsch, Portraits by the Fondation Auschwitz
The Hours (dir. Stephen Daldry, 2002)
Philip Glass — “Something She Has to Do”
Interview with Ursula Le Guin by TVAP (The Video Access Project) / The Creative Outlet, Inc.
Interview with Vivian Gornick from the Women Have Always Worked series, by ColumbiaX
Muriel Rukeyser reading “The Poem as Mask”
Tracy K. Smith reading Yi Fei’s “Black Hair”, translated by Tracy K. Smith & Changtai Bi
Blue Moon (dir. 柯一正Ko I-Cheng, 1997)
張艾嘉 Sylvia Chang — “愛的代價 The Price of Love”
Piano cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on a Wire” by Amnon Ben-Shach
#mix #dialogue #soundessay

i, too, overflow

xiao yue shan, working with footage of her mother’s wedding, her personal oratory, and the ideations and assertions of feminist scholars and poets, in poetic contemplation of inheritance and legacy.


from dongying, CHINA
from vancouver island, CANADA

#fieldrecording #soundart

mother tongue 

gertrude malizana places lullabies in dialogue with her own words exploring ‘the lullaby as a thread that transcends time and connects us to every woman who brought us into being.’

from dar es salaam, TANZANIA

      produced with support from