Lafawndah in conversation with Christelle Oyiri

29 Sep 2020

Musician Lafawndah delves into the themes, processes and influences behind her new audio work Antinomy, a radiophonic play composed in residency at Somerset House Studios for this year’s ASSEMBLY series. 

DJ, producer, artist and writer Christelle Oyiri (aka CRYSTALLMESS) talks to Lafawndah to gain an insight into the conception of her new work for ASSEMBLY 2020.

A companion piece to her newly released album The Fifth Season, Lafawndah's Antinomy adopts a composition approach that cites inspiration from Mark Fisher & Justin Barton's expansive audio-essay On Vanishing Land, revolutionary radio documentary The Idea of North by pianist Glenn Gould, and the dramatic tradition of the Greek chorus, to explore sonics as a tool for vivid world-building. Enhanced through spatialised arrangement in collaboration with immersive sound studio Call & Response, Antinomy’s use of space and movement suggests a physicality; organic and alive. 

About the speakers

Christelle Oyiri
Christelle Oyiri is a Paris-based multidisciplinary artist, who goes by the moniker CRYSTALLMESS when she operates as a composer and DJ. In 2019, she released music on label PAN and country music and self-released her 2018’s EP MERE NOISES.

Her work highlights the intersection between forgotten mythologies, memory and alienation. Whether she explores black French erasure with her performance piece Collective Amnesia (2018), reflects on the idea of progress and therefore linear time with Necessary Evil (2019) or on her own family history and sonic hauntology with Kiss & Tell (2020), sound is always her place of choice for worldbuilding. 

Lafawndah's journey to her current incarnation as a devotional pop polymath has wound as unpredictably as her compositional style. The ceaseless artist returns in 2020 with The Fifth Season, recently released on Parisian label Latency. 

2019 was a banner year for Lafawndah. ‘Ancestor Boy’, released on her own imprint Concordia that spring, was met with enthusiastic acclaim, featuring on ‘Best of the Year’ lists from the likes of Dazed, Resident Advisor, Bandcamp, Dummy, and FACT, as well as collecting praise from NPR, Vogue, and The Guardian. 

Assembly 2020's artist residency programme Sonic Terrains is supported by Jerwood Arts' Development Programme Fund.

Media partner: The Wire