ListN Up: Teiya Kasahara (October 22, 2021)

ListN Up is a weekly series of artist-curated playlists that offer an intimate sonic portrait of contemporary artists by showcasing the diverse and stylistically varied music that influences their creative practice. 

Nikkei-Canadian settler Teiya Kasahara 笠原貞野 (they/them) is a queer, trans non-binary, interdisciplinary creator-performer who explores the intersections of identiy through opera, theatre, and electronics. Based in Tkarón:to, Teiya comes from a background of singing both traditional and contemporary operatic roles and is a co-founder of Amplified Opera.

Hi, I’m Teiya Kasahara 笠原 貞野, and I’m a Nikkei-Canadian trans non-binary interdisciplinary artist based in Tkarón:to. I’m a professionally trained opera singer, theatre creator and a co-founder of Amplified Opera. I’ve curated a playlist for ListN Up of some of my favourite songs: songs I’ve recently discovered, and songs that have made a huge impact on my life which I continue to turn to for inspiration, solace, or just to set the mood in any given space. Not everything is classical, and strangely enough, there is no opera on this playlist, either. So, I hope you enjoy listening.

Ghost House by Beverly Glenn-Copeland

Getting to know Beverly Glenn-Copeland’s discography over the course of the pandemic has been a real solace for me. Starting out as a trained classical singer who followed his passion to be a singer-songwriter, Glenn has written and performed such a range of music with a variety of instruments and genres.

Essuwonike by Jeremy Dutcher

I’m eternally inspired by this amazing musician, friend, and human, Jeremy Dutcher. This is the second track on his debut album where he breathes life into the songs of his people, the Wolastoqiyik of Tobique First Nation (Neqotkuk), colonially known as New Brunswick, Canada. The archive recordings on this album were collected over 100 years ago on wax cylinders by settler-colonial anthropologists.

Violin Tsunami by Kishi Bashi

This song connects me to my Nikkei (Japanese diaspora) roots where Kishi Bashi connects us to the experiences of the Japanese Americans who were interned and incarcerated during the Second World War in the U.S. (Canada, too), and of the destruction of Pearl Harbour.

Optimist by Zoë Keating

All of Zoë’s music transports me when I need to escape the inexhaustible urban life. I love listening to her works when I’m cycling through the city and when nature and concrete collide. My mind can wander but my body can remain grounded.

Summer 2 by Max Richter

I’m often looking at how my unique body affects the music that I perform, whether it be from the operatic canon, a new work, or something that I’ve made. I appreciate that this very well-known work by Vivaldi can also exist as Richter’s version, an iterative process of recomposing and reimagination that has a very vast potential.

Leonore Overture No. 3 by Ludwig van Beethoven, performed by the Bavarian Broadcast Symphony Orchestra (Leonard Bernstein, conductor)

I learned of the performance practice of this overture when I first did Fidelio, and fell in love instantly. Now almost 12 years later, this pieces keeps giving me deeper meaning every time I hear it. Lately, it makes me dream about fractals in nature (i.e. Fibonacci sequence) but also in the way in which we can create community care and sustainable artistic practices.

Phyrgian Gates by John Adams, performed by Paul David Kean

My love for the piano started at an early age, and it wasn’t until my late teenagehood that I ever listened to minimalistic music. I could just let it wash over me, especially when doing other busy tasks on the computer. I’m always impressed how much more my writing can flow out when I’m listening to music like this piece or Metamorphosis by Philip Glass.


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