Lead Time: Obuxum
 Winter/Spring 2023

Photo Yung Yemi. Courtesy Obuxum.

The Art Gallery of York University was pleased to host Obuxum in our ongoing mentorship program, Lead Time. From March to June 2023, emerging electronic musician and producer Obuxum was mentored by renowned experimental musician and multi-instrumentalist Heidi Chan. Developed in close consultation with Obuxum, this mentorship was an opportunity for one-on-one professional development with focused hands-on training using Ableton, a primary tool for electronic music production.

Through these mentorship sessions Obuxum gained valuable knowledge and honed her composition and editing skills with the support and guidance of Chan, a music educator who is at the forefront of electronic music innovation. Focused on sampling, audio manipulation and synthesis using both digital and analogue synthesizers, this mentorship has equipped Obuxum to build templates for live sets and advance their expertise in digital music production.

Obuxum is an up-and-coming electronic musician, producer, and beat maker based in Toronto. In 2020, Obuxum’s album Rebirth received critical acclaim when it was longlisted for the 2020 Polaris music prize. In addition to performing at various events including Wavelength Festival, Luminous Fest, Kazoo Fest, Electric Eclectics, and Mutek, Obuxum produced In Women Colour, a song featured on Hip Hop Powerhouse Haviah Mighty’s  Polaris Prize-winning debut album 13th Floor. Her other production credits include the soundtrack for Gloam Collective’s video game, Bravery Network. In 2018, Now Magazine highlighted Obuxum as one of Toronto’s “electronic musicians to watch.” Known for her richly textured soundscapes which weave together the sounds of hip hop, house, techno and electro R&B, Obuxum is committed to celebrating and paying homage to fellow emerging and established BIPOC women artists who have inspired her.  An advocate for equity in the instrumental music industry, her musical practice is a platform to engage with themes of feminism and the lack of female representation in music production. As a young Somali woman, Obuxum is also interested in exploring how musical production enables her to imagine and manifest an Afrofuturist vision of Black liberation.

Heidi Chan is a Toronto-based electronic musician, composer, music researcher, and sound designer who has a PhD in Ethnomusicology . Their research and writing has explored cultural perspectives on music technologies as well as the technological mediation of world music cultures. A versatile multi-instrumentalist, Chan plays percussion (drum kit and Japanese taiko drums), Dongxiao (Chinese vertical flute), shinobue (Japanese transverse flute), erhu (Chinese violin), piano, and bass ukulele and often fuses the sounds of traditional instruments with synthesizers and electronics to create singular hybrid soundscapes. Working as musician, sound designer and sound editor their music has been featured in theatrical, film and dance productions all over the world. Playing flute and modular synth, Chan has collaborated with Andy Yue as part of the experimental electronic duo Deenzi. They have also worked with Lorne Shapiro playing Baroque and classical music on the ukulele as part of a duo project, My Bach Has Fleas. Bachelard is the result of Chan’s most recent sonic investigations, a solo musical project which centres around the interweaving of the sounds of the hardware synthesizer with samples of Cantopop music.

 

Our Lead Time program was initiated in 2020 with the intention of offering artists financial and pedagogical support without asking for specified outcomes. This program is a process of art-making and thinking, not focused on predetermined results. We envision it as generative and open, taking a process-driven approach and building long-term working relationships between artists. Lead Time is a framework that is live, adaptable, and research-based, initially with the intention of activating a latent period for the AGYU while our doors were closed to the public, supporting and privileging the moments between the initiation of an idea and its resolution. Recognising the strengths of the program, we continue our commitment to supporting artists without fixed outcomes.

Our Lead Time program was initiated in 2020 with the intention of offering artists financial and pedagogical support without asking for specified outcomes. This program is a process of art-making and thinking, not focused on predetermined results. We envision it as generative and open, taking a process-driven approach and building long-term working relationships between artists. Lead Time is a framework that is live, adaptable, and research-based, initially with the intention of activating a latent period for the AGYU while our doors were closed to the public, supporting and privileging the moments between the initiation of an idea and its resolution. Recognising the strengths of the program, we continue our commitment to supporting artists without fixed outcomes.

 We would like to give special thanks to Obuxum and Heidi Chan for participating in this program.

See also

Lead Time: Obuxum

Lead Time: Obuxum
mentorship program
Winter/Spring 2023

Lead Time: Rana Nazzal Hamadeh

Lead Time: Rana Nazzal Hamadeh
mentorship programme
Fall 2021

Lead Time: Luther Konadu

Lead Time: Luther Konadu
mentorship program
Spring 2021

Lead Time: Sarah May Taylor

Lead Time: Sarah May Taylor
mentorship program
Winter 2021

Lead Time

Lead Time
mentorship program
Fall 2020

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