FFO: STARS An Afrofuturist Space Odyssey | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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STARS An Afrofuturist Space Odyssey lands at Northern Stage, Newcastle on 19th and 20th June. Written by internationally acclaimed theatremaker, artist and Alfred Fagon award-winner Mojisola Adebayo, the production is described as a ‘concept album on stage’.

This new Afrofuturist music play is about pleasure, desire and female orgasms and is a hilarious and moving mix of celebratory Black queer empowerment and arousal. It’s performed by one woman and a live DJ, with projected animations, and follows her search for her lost orgasm, spanning across outer space, with dustings of African mythology and folklore.

Debo Adebayo, music producer on STARS, gives us three songs to offer a flavour of the show…

The Lyman Woodward Organisation – Joy Road
This track actually features in STARS – one of the tracks mixed by our DJ live on stage, as part of a set that plays throughout the show. With its horns, keys, and synths this track creates a wall of sound that is so emotive; it stirs a feeling of reflection, sadness but also hope and light. I was looking for a track that would say all these things and help set up the cosmic journey taken by STARS’ central character – a woman known only as ‘Mrs’ until the show’s climax; being taken down Joy Road couldn’t be more fitting. 

 Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On
I just love everything about this song. It’s a stone cold classic and one that I return to time and again. It was a big departure from what he had done previously, a bit like the journey our ‘Mrs’ goes on in STARS. The lyrics are specific to a time but they still transcend across generations; there is so much meaning to be found in the simple words.  Some of my favourite music comes from or is heavily influenced by Detroit, and this track was amongst the birth of that. I also love that in his later album Midnight Love he embraced the 808 drum machine, an instrument that would become legendary in House and Techno. 

 Underground Resistance – Inspiration 
Underground music is what really drives me most, musically, and I usually find myself taking a counter-culture approach to most things. It’s joyous when tracks surface in underground scenes and speak to more people than just the avid followers of a subgenre and I think Inspiration does that. It’s a relatively older Techno track (UR fittingly calling it Hi-Tech Jazz) but still provides a real moment to let loose, embrace the atmosphere and euphoria in a club/party environment. We really wanted to embrace that feeling of joy and pleasure in creating STARS. 


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