Shengjie aka gogoj is an experimental musician and visual artist from Beijing. Her musical performances can be quite varied. The instrumentation and settings that she performs in seem to change every show. It can range from her playing violin or cello with others to electronic music with her own visuals accompanying it. Liberate Haze is a project that gogoj has with Ding Xin and is going to be released as a tape split with Lopez+Petit on Nasty Wizard Recordings. In this project, she plays cello which is run through a series of effects and Ding Xin produces modular drones. The tape will be released on May 25th at fRUITYSPACE.
What is your background in music? What instruments do you play and when did you start learning how to play them?
I had a western classic music background from my whole family. What I mean is my grandfather is a violin performer and my grandma is a singer. Also, my dad and uncles are violinists too. Since I was seven years old, I started learning how to play violin and piano.
I’m guessing you must’ve have been trained, either on violin or cello, as a musician early on. When did you start making your own music?
Actually, I had a lot of training on violin but not cello. I never learned to play cello. Now I am using the cello like an instrument which can make the sounds I need.
When I was doing my studies at art school in France, I began to make my own music. That was seventeen years ago.
From my understanding, you spent some abroad. Where did you go and when was that? What did you do while there?
2008, 2012, 2015, I had some gigs and exhibitions in Germany.
2009 Exhibition in UK.
2010 resident program doing workshops, gigs, and exhibitions in japan.
In addition to being a musician, you make your own visuals too. What is your background with the visual arts? How did you start combining the audio and visuals aspects together?
I started studying music when I was seven years old, and when I was fifteen years old I began studying painting. Later in France I had studied sound art and video art; also installations and performances. Finally I could combine sound and image to make them as the main expression media for my work. It’s very involved with my whole educational background.
Besides making visuals with your music, do you make or are you involved with other types of art?
Yes, I also do installations and performance art because for me, listening and watching are two basic sensory functions for receiving and sending messages daily. So I try to use different media for doing research about that entrance and exit.
What is Liberate Haze? How did the project come about?
Liberate Haze was the name of a cannabis I got in Amsterdam two years ago. It was about auditory sense amplification experience. I told Ding Xin i want to do a long track without any cuts, playing with ours auditory sense only, no thinking, no regular practice, and no head. We should record one by one to have many tracks and choose one. Liberate Haze is totally free playing technique and structure … It gives us enough time to focus on one basic sense of the body like a slow fucked up human being. So next time we play as liberate haze it will be different.
What are music projects are you involved with?
Recently, I’m preparing my own album with cello only. It is going quite slow but i hope i can finish it this year.And the other thing is a ten minute track for female electronic music collection in Shanghai. sound is weird i know. In 2011, I had a project named “gigonline”. That was musicians playing music with earphones and no sound in the show room, cause all sound would be live streamed on the internet in realtime. People could watch the gig online and chat about it at the same time with out being limited by the space and no trouble from the neighborhood. However, this project was finished because of internet control. How pitiful. Then some other projects.
Listen to the Liberate Haze split EP with Lopez + Petit on the Nasty Wizard Recordings bandcamp: nastywizardrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/lopez-petit-liberate-haze