PHOTOGRAPS BY BILLY EYERS
Divide and Dissolve members Takiaya Reed (saxophone, guitar, live effects/ (Black & Tsalagi [Cherokee]) and Sylvie Nehill (drums, live effects/ (Māori) create instrumental music that is both heavy and beautiful, classically influenced yet thrillingly contemporary, and powerfully expressive and communicative. It has the ability to speak without words, and utilizes frequencies to interact with the naturally occurring resonance. In anticipation of the multidimensional duo’s new album, Gas Lit, available on Invada Records, the band goes into detail behind the meaning of each track.
TRACK BY TRACK ACCORDING TO THE BAND
It is a privilege to work through trauma and feel supported in this work. “Oblique” is an acknowledgement that everyone experiences trauma. Everyone has different experiences with the narrative of trauma and their ancestors’ trauma. The end of the colonial project and white supremacy will forge a pathway to healing from trauma and intergenerational trauma.
“Prove It” calls into question the need to prove you experienced something. If someone wasn’t there to witness it, it still happened and may have caused harm. Colonial power structures, power dynamics, and societal expectations rely on Black, Indigenous, and people of colour being Gas Lit and denying our experiences, because the predominant white supremacist narrative demands us to. When a tree falls in the forest, it has fallen. “Prove It” is about the acceptance of experiences of pain without expectation.
“Did You Have Something To Do With It”
“This is our time
What is certain, is life
Growing out of itself greater than the moment before
Within us, around us, in spite of us.
The thing that brought us up from the cold
and will press us back like flowers into the mold.
We are tethered to a circuit that excludes nothing
a song the dead can hear.
Something resilient forming all
Something that makes time small. So old, that language can’t dispose of it” – Minori Sanchiz-Fung
The act of denial is one of the most powerful mechanisms of the colonial project. Black, Indigenous, and people of colour are continuously being presented with elements of denial that contribute to the ongoing genocide and dispossession of our people, land, water, and spirit. Our song is seeking to exert an even greater force by calling into question the weaponisation of memory, forgetting or denying the existence of an experience or action. The disproportionate harm enacted in the invisibilization of genocide, dispossession of land and people, and relentlessness of systemic power structures is not only unacceptable, but is not conducive to life for people the Earth and all beings. As Indigenous people we will continue to demand our land back which was stolen and clean water. We will continue to pay respects to our ancestors. We push back on “Denial” with a greater force to demand change that is conducive to life.
“Far From Ideal”
The fervent disregard for humanity is far from ideal. In order to ensure an embodied Black and Indigenous future, systemic change must occur. Time and distance are non-linear colonial constructs that need to be transcended in order to defy the harmful hegemonic discourse.
“It’s Really Complicated”
Sometimes it isn’t complicated. White supremacy and colonisation create processes that are unnecessarily complex and relentless in their participation in the settler colonial, capitalist, genocidal, death cult.
Navigating white supremacy, colonisation, capitalism, and hate is exhausting. The ongoing pathways of resistance that our ancestors, Black, Indigenous, and people of color continue to carve out require mental agility and coordination. Despite this, our ancestors have survived, are surviving, and continue to be here even with challenges that threaten our survival and collective wellbeing.
“We’re Really Worried About You”
This song seeks to undermine and destroy the white supremacist colonial framework. This is a call to transformation and freedom. We are weaving together our fight for Indigenous Sovereignty, Black and Indigenous Liberation, Water, Earth, and Indigenous land given back. Decolonise now.