With his work taking inspiration from Japanese butoh dancing, postmodern and modern dance, to Classical Greek dancing, erotic dancing, voguing – music plays a key role in Trajal Harrell’s creative process, bringing this wide range of styles into today.
From classical music and soul to indie rock, listen as Trajal shares some of his favourite tracks for our latest Spotify Guest Pick.
Imani Uzuri, Love Story
‘One of my favourite singers. Her songs are in (S) and (XS) versions of the Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at the Judson Church trilogy. She continues to inspire me with the grace and honesty of her voice’
Imani Uzuri, Fodder
‘This Nina Simone cover is on the soundtrack of (XS) from the Twenty Looks series’
Ravel, Violin Sonata No.2 In E Minor, Op.108 Ⅱ. Andante
‘After I had made my first runway piece in 1999, I turned to Ravel to try to make my second. It was never performed publicly, only in studio performances, but the music was always an inspiration and was featured in Antigone Sr.’
Chet Baker, Almost Blue
‘The voice makes me smile and cry at the same time’.
The Isley Brothers, For the Love of You
‘This song always reminds me of being a kid in the summers in Florida and my older cousins introducing me to essential soul music’
James Blake, Overgrown
‘I saw him performing this live and was blown away – so much so that it ended up in the soundtrack for The Return of the Modern Dance that I made for Cullberg Ballet. ‘
‘This piece is from Showpony. I hope I get to reconstruct this dance from Showpony one day. It was originally performed by dancer Katy Hernan, and she mastered it as a feat of athleticism, balance, and poise.’
Beth Ditto, I Wrote The Book
‘I love Ditto’s wit and intelligent way of telling off lovers. This song is from The Ghost of Montpellier Meets The Samurai’
Rachelle Farrell, Extensions
‘An amazing singer. I’ve seen her live in Boston and also used her music in Antigone Sr. This though, is maybe my favourite song by her’.
Helmut Lachenmann, Guero
‘Lately I have been listening to this. I was recently in residency at EMPAC in Troy, NY and discovered this album there. I knew of his work from an early Boris Charmatz work.’
Listen to the playlist in full on our Spotify profile
Trajal Harrell: Hoochie Koochie takes place from 20 July–13 August