INSTRUMENT by Dao Strom
157 x 215mm, 176 pages, full colour printing, perfect bound, 2020
Dao Strom’s Instrument continues the author’s virtuosic exploration of identity, selfhood and refusal–of stasis, of forgetting, of falsity. The book furthers creative and historical material Strom first explored in her books You Will Always Be Someone From Somewhere Else and We Were Meant To Be a Gentle People while simultaneously exploring new directions, modes and fragments.
Dao Strom's INSTRUMENT is an experiment in multimodal poetics—inhabiting a synergistic blend of poetry, music, and visual art: the artist's three forms of "voice." Born in Vietnam and leaving the country at the age of two for Northern California, Strom's life and work speaks to fragmentation—of/within selves, histories, cultures, groups of people, and places—yet within this configuring lies her art's fluid mastery. Combining color photography, personal biography and gripping, restless poetry, INSTRUMENT represents a unique melding of literature and art. The poems are augmented by an album, Traveler's Ode, of ambient and folk-tinged songs featuring ethereal assemblages of sung-poetry, vocal layering, spare guitar and piano, and field sounds from sources such as rivers, sea, jungle, birds. Traveler's Ode is a collaborative release between Fonograf Ed. and Antiquated Future and can be purchased separately via Antiquated Future or streamed via Spotify or Bandcamp.