The Drop and The Turning

Hosted by: Rebecca Bruton

The Drop and the Turning is a new, monthly music podcast exploring the unpredictable magic of change – change we didn’t anticipate, change we shape, change we deeply long for. We turn to artists, mainly soundworkers*, who touch and shape change** as a primary, invisible, spellbinding material. How are they noticing and creating small actions and connections in response to crisis? How might tiny reverberations be a part of the complex patterns and systems that become ecosystems and societies? What is most necessary, and what must we pay attention to, now, so that it might grow?

*Musicians, Composers, Sound Artists, Noisemakers, Sonic Dreamers, Acousticians, Witches and Magicians.  

**The ideas presented in this podcast owe great debt to the Black Feminist visionary writers Octavia E. Butler and adrienne maree brown, whose intergenerational, collaborative ideas on change and emergence offer critical philosophical groundwork for my approach as a producer and host.  I am also deeply inspired by the work of Donna J. Haraway, most notably her books When Species Meet, and Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene.  For more information please visit www.adriennemareebrown.net and www.oebsociety.wordpress.com/

The Drop and The Turning is produced in partnership with New Works Calgary and CJSW Radio, and made possible with generous support from Calgary Arts Development.


Episode 1

Nathaniel Robin Mann – The Responsibility to Transform

To listen to the full episode, click here.

Nathaniel Mann is an experimental composer, performer and sound designer. Oscillating between music and sound, Mann has a compositional practice that is expansive in scope and varied in form. He takes on many roles in his work, including researcher, instrument-maker, archive-digger, surround-sound designer, filmmaker, broadcaster, storyteller, producer, curator, entrepreneur, sonic-artist and folksinger. He is also one third of the experimental folk ensemble, Dead Rat Orchestra.

Mann’s compositions probe history, politics and audio culture, resisting established formats and frameworks for creating music. Each work is crafted, adapted and nuanced towards its setting, fuelled by continued dialogue and collaboration with professionals and enthusiasts from varied fields. These have included filmmakers, musicians, visual artists, academics, curators, a pigeon fancier and a swordsmith.

Mann has explored many subjects including the colonial residue of recorded music in South Africa, in dialogue with Andile Vellum, a deaf dancer/choreographer based in Cape Town (Cape Sound Stories, 2016); the psycho-geographic horror of England’s public execution sites (Tyburnia, 2014-17); and the deeply rooted traditions interlinking noise and social control, creating bronze musical meat cleavers with swordsmith Neil Burridge (Rough Music, 2014). 

Nathaniel writes and presents feature documentaries for BBC Radio 3 & 4, so far each of his programmes have been selected as “Pick of the Week”. He was awarded the Paul Hamlyn Award 2019, Arts Foundation Fellow 2018 and his work Pigeon Whistles (2013), a flying orchestra of flute-carrying Birmingham Roller pigeons, won the George Butterworth Prize for Composition in 2015. 

Nathaniel works as sound designer, project director and producer for Madrid’s Factum Arte. 

For more information on Nathaniel Mann, please visit: www.nathanielmann.co.uk

To listen to or purchase Akari Wauja: Wauja Songs from Upper Xingu (as described in the episode) with all proceeds going directly to the Wauja community, please visit: www.antigenrecords.bandcamp.com.


Episode 2

FOONYAP & Mustafa Rafiq with Ethan Bokma

Live Studio Concert

To listen to the full episode, click here.


FOONYAP is a classically-trained violinist and vocalist with an incomparable sound. Drawing comparisons to Björk, Braids, and Lhasa, her latest release ‘Palimpsest’ is a therapeutic reconciliation with her sheltered Chinese-Catholic heritage and the intense classical music training of her childhood. Over the course of the past three years FOONYAP has toured extensively throughout the UK, Europe and Canada, along with New York City, garnering increasing acclaim everywhere she has performed, from outlets such as The Fader, The Line Of Best Fit, and the Toronto Star, amongst others, while appearing on CBC Q + Music Lab. Looping violin, mandolin, and voice, FOONYAP showcases a gifted voice that swings between a brittle fragility and explosive dynamism.

…a tense and bespoke mixture of swampy electronics, strings, and vocals that flash with a bold, volcanic brilliance” –The FADER


Mustafa Rafiq is a multidisciplinary artist based in Treaty 6 land in Edmonton, Alberta.  Their primary focus recently has been in exploring feelings connected with diaspora, gender expression and alienation through sound art.  They also promote shows under Sweat Palms which is, at its root, an organization based on amplifying comfort in community.  Mustafa also performs as a solo artist under the moniker of Family Injera, a project which has taken many forms.  It moves from being an experimental ambient – traditional (Arabic/East Indian) guitar – collaborative free-form project.  Mustafa will be joined by Ethan Bokma, an Edmonton-based improviser known for colliding together influences from free-jazz legends and drone music alike.