I’ve started a music blog with my friend, Mirae to talk about our love of Korean and Chinese music.

Here in Toronto, I feel like I’m always battling a tenuous connection to the music industry in Asia. I spend a lot of my down time listening to old music, chasing new music, researching discographies, cross-referencing composers, lyricists and production companies. I copy lyrics out into notebooks, chase their etymologies, figure out their metaphorical structures, attempt a translation or two.

Before I started writing poetry, I wrote songs. These were my first attempts at form, at structure, at evocative mood and strong affect. All my current fruit and growth in my poetry is traceable back to my love for music. I like to think of my poems as imprints of songs; not in form but in presence.

Last year, I tried an experimental creative nonfiction piece, 9 Meditations on Mandopop and Poetry, using music as a starting point to write poetic paragraphs. It was the beginning of a new possibility. Blending inspirational sources I never imagined compatible.

I have been a little obsessive for a long time in trying to unlink metaphors from each other, and create a new normal for myself. I have been amassing and documenting sources across genres, languages, and cultures in order to create new allusions; a new canon; a series of referents that make sense to me.

And throughout this slowly growing intertext, is music.

Our Jxms is an extension of some of the music musings I write from time to time on this blog. Finding a friend who understands why I listen to the music I listen to is a valuable and precious thing. We talk about music on its own merit, in its proper contexts and histories, against the shallow stereotypes that global translatability prefers. We share about that music which was and is so fundamental to who we are as people, woven into our memories, playing in the backgrounds of our childhoods and adolescences, and reflecting the parts of us that can’t be translated into English.

It’s a wonderful exploration with no strings attached. Just a lot of possibilities. A lot of unknown selves we might come across for the first time, or haven’t seen in a long time. It’s exciting.

Click the icon below to check out our budding site as well and spend an afternoon digging through our curated posts 🙂 If you’re interested in joining us on our journey, please reach out.

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Posted by:jasmine

Jasmine is an editor, poet, and community arts organizer. She comes to poetry by way of Chinese music. This blog is a mapping of ways.

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