Five musicians from around the world were invited to create an original song for the newest project by experimental jewelry designer Stephanie Simek- a unisex locket made from cassette tape, steel, and silk. The steel pendant holds a piece of music wound on a ribbon of cassette tape and hangs from an adjustable silk cord. The cord, which has been sewn and dyed by hand, is color specific to every song. While the music could only be heard if the necklace was taken apart, each comes with a compilation CD of all five tracks, so the pendant can stay intact and also be appreciated in an auditory form. The CD artwork is another collective effort, with each musician having contributed a ring of their own design.
In this most recent project, Stephanie has collaborated with the following artists from various cities in the US and Europe. Some she befriended during her time as co-founder of an alternative arts and music space she operated out of her home in Portland, Oregon. Others Stephanie has just recently connected with as a result of researching for this collaboration. The decision to work with these five musicians stemmed from a desire to both engage with worlds unfamiliar to her and support the work she admires from within her own community. They are:
“Dash!” (Portland, Oregon, USA) is a musical project fronted by Jordan Dykstra. A classical string player for twenty years and a violist for ten, Dykstra has juxtaposed a familiar classical sound with new texture and color.
“Gömstellet” (Stockholm, Sweden) is an ongoing project that began in 2008 between artists Karl-Tommy Dufva and Daniel Wiklund. Karl-Tommy and Daniel live and work in Stockholm, Sweden. Gömstellet is a slight misspelling of the Swedish word “gömstället” which is a secret place where you can hide your belongings, or yourself- a hiding place.
“Hexlove” (Portland, Oregon, USA) is Zac Nelson from southern Illinois. He has also been, or is currently involved, in the following projects: Prints, Who’s Your Favorite Son God, Chll Pll, Trawler Bycatch, and Chant Oh’s. His records are all over the place ranging from ambient to free chaos pop. There are albums out on Weird Forest, Porter, Temporary Residence, and Holy Mountain. He plays drums like the late 60’s.
“oOmiaq” (Bézaudun-les-Alpes, France) lives in the south of France in the mountains. He recorded the album taKe keEp gO with kids and Camille. They invented a language, playing with pebbles and neolithik keys. An oomiaq is a ship used by native tribes for conveying families and essential objects during the summer season. On the grass you turn the boat=it’s a hut.
“Stag Hare” (Salt Lake City, Utah, USA) is just a crystal dust dreamer playin some sounds, vibin it out. He plays various instruments, electric and acoustic.
Stephanie Simek has been experimenting with a number of unconventional materials in the context of body adornment for the past two years. The pieces in her collection of “wearables” are the discoveries of this exploration. Stephanie is also involved in a number of other multimedia projects and is making an effort to perform and exhibit regularly.