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Space Design Staff Blog

Space Design Staff Blog

Wednesday ,02 September 2020

Finding a groove in New normal : Interview with Sarah Farina

As a part of the night economy, accommodation industries also got a large impact by the consequence on the pandemic. Many of us are globally effective and influx by situation and daily toll numbers. Meantime, we have shifts and experimenting an innovation on new-normal. I fortunately had an opportunity to speak to Sarah Farina from Berlin, Germany who dropped by at Space Design's accommodations during her Asia DJ tour, late 2019. Great insight on the night economy and perspective through her activity. ( English followed by Japanese )

 コロナ禍の影響でナイト・エコノミー業界の一部、ホテル・宿泊業も経済的に大きく影響を受けています。また、世界中で未だに多くが日々の感染者数等の”数”に影響を受けている不安定な中で、実験的な施策が数々と講じ、「ニュー・ノーマル」を開拓しています。今回、昨年19年末にアジアDJツアーの一環として来日、スペースデザインの施設へ訪問したSarah Farina氏より、ナイトエコノミー、自身の活動を通じた話を伺いました。(日本語翻訳は英文に続く)

<Introduction >

Q1: Kindly describe your profession

A1: ( Sarah Farina )
I'm a DJ and producer based in Berlin and I describe the music that I DJ and produce as “RainbowBass”. It’s a term that I came up with to introduce the music I love, to others. For me, the vibrations of everything I listen to, everything I play, translate into colour.
Sounds visualized like a rainbow – naturally connected to each other and to me.
The message of Rainbowbass is that it’s all one. All the grooves, music styles & energy levels in beautiful harmony.”



Q2: You kindly dropped by at The Royal Park Canvas - Ginza 8 and BUREAU Shibuya late last year for the club culture event “Berlin x Tokyo “, the event aimed for the positive impact of gender equality and night economy. Please give us your opinion for the event, outcome, as well as the impression on the accommodations you stayed and Tokyo stay.

サラさんは昨年末に開催されたナイト・エコノミーとイコリティ―活性化イベント、”Berlin x Tokyo"で来日されました。また、その際にザ・ロイヤルパーク キャンバス銀座 8BUREAU渋谷にお立ちよりいただいてます。当時のイベントの手ごたえや宿泊施設、東京の印象、お聞かせください。

It was my second time being in Tokyo and I’ve always felt very welcomed. The sense of hospitality seems to be on a level that I haven’t experienced somewhere else so far. Staying at the The Royal Park Canvas - Ginza 8 was so comfy, it really helped me to rest after having played in India before and being on this long flight to Japan. I also loved the music lounge and the effort that was put into it and the wonderful music selection at breakfast. I remember one morning that a Sade song was being played - she is one of my favorite artists!

I really appreciated having the opportunity to speak about issues like gender equality on a more global scale with Asian women who also DJ & produce music. We can learn so much from each other and it’s important to have a respectful dialogue that focuses on intersectional when it comes to social justice. Topics like this are so complex and sensitive and the event really widened my horizon and understanding. I felt very positive and activated after the panel.

A2 : 日本への来日は昨年で2度目の来日でした。いつ来ても大変歓迎される「おもてなし」のような日本独自のホスピタリティは今まで渡航した世界のどこにもない貴重な体験です。

来日時もそうですがアジアツアー中、アジア人女性の同業の方とジェンダー・イコーリティーや社会的な話題をよりグローバルな規模でより深くディスカッションできたことは本当に貴重な体験でした。社会的立場やダイバーシティに着眼した中でのジェンダー・イコーリティーを語ることは勉強でした。お互いの異なる着眼点から敬意を払った思慮深い言葉を選びながら語られました。一般的にも複雑で敏感なトピックスなので、Berlin x Tokyoイベントでより理解と見方をより深く得ることが出来たことを実感しています。特にDOMMUNEでのパネルディスカッションの後はポジティブで活力が湧きました。

Sarah ( The Royal Park Canvas - Ginza 8, Image contributed by Yo van Lenz )



<社会責任~アジア訪問と女性の活躍について|Social responsibility~Asia tour and gender especially for female equality >

Q3:As a DJ and music producer, you are known for pursuing social justice especially regarding gender in the club and music industry. Have you noticed any changes in dynamics in Europe ?
I also acknowledge that you toured Asia last year and you organised a DJ workshop in Thailand lately. That is remarkable! Please give us the brief description for the workshop you arranged.
Also, do you have any impression of gender equality differences especially in Japan, Asia and Europe ? Negative and positive any aspects are welcome!

3: サラさんはDJ, プロデューサーとして社会的平等、特にジェンダーイコーリティー、女性の活躍促進を謡い活動されています。ヨーロッパで近年、何か顕著な変化はありますか?

The European club and music industry is becoming more aware and sensitive, and the environment is becoming more inclusive and diverse but there’s still so much work to do. But there is also a lot of performative action too. The structures need to change, not just the line-ups. Honestly, the work will never be done, it’s a constant process. I’m thankful that there are more spaces who give a platform to those topics so we can figure it out together to make the club & music industry a safer space. And this goes beyond the music world, in general we can see worldwide that there is a shift when it comes to those topics. We really need to stay focused and aware.
For example movements like #metoo or #BlackLivesMatter make those issues more mainstream which is great. Because the issues of equality in the music world are basically everywhere and I feel like people in general are becoming more empathetic. It’s something I noticed while traveling in Asia. It’s really powerful to see how movements really can have a global effect. For example, I saw lots of feminist street art in Mumbai and stickers on cars that encouraged people to care for women's safety. Tokyo felt quite conservative and traditional in some ways but the fact that I could take part in a talk about gender equality means that something is happening! Also many people were watching the live stream, so that means that something is happening. It’s also so interesting to see how history, cultural traditions and belief systems play major roles in how social change can happen. Something that might work in Germany, won’t necessarily work in a country like Japan, that’s why it’s so important to speak with each other and learn.
BTW: I really praise the Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi ( Rokudenashiko ) for her positive & feminist activism work!

Me and my partner, Yo van Lenz hosted a free DJ beginner Workshop in March. This was possible because we worked with Germany’s cultural institution “Goethe Institute”. They gave us the tools to host something like this for free and make it more accessible. We ended up with 17 participants, usually it’s always around 10, so we were positively surprised.
The group had a really good vibe and we had a really interesting talk with them too and learned from each other. That’s something really important to us: rather than just focusing on the technical aspect of DJing during the workshop, we also speak to the participants about the history of rave and club culture and the so-called “politics of the dance floor” and always ask them the same question in the beginning: “what does music mean to you?” and “what kind of dance floor do you want to create?”. We want to get to know them and see where they are coming from, cause "How can you know where you're going, if you don't know where you’ve been?".

One of the main goals is to cultivate joy in those workshops and to get there I think it’s really important to create a safe(r) space for the participants so they can feel free to make mistakes and learn something new.

A3 : ヨーロッパのクラブ、音楽業界は着実に人権や平等性に対してより繊細に配慮し、寛容し始めています。中には根本的な基盤や体制を変えるものもあり、始めれば終わりの見えない課題が山積みのような状態ですが、確実により良い環境創りが展開しています。多くの会場や関連施設が課題に着目し、クラブ、音楽業界がより安全な環境を提供できるよう尽力してる状況は有難いです。ヨーロッパのみならず世界全体でまた、音楽業界にかかわらずこういった動きが顕著だと実感しています。私たちは本当に集中して意識し続ける必要があります。


私と公私共のパートナー、Yo van Lenzと二人でDJ初心者対象に無料ワークショップを開催しました。ドイツ文化センターと連携で開催している定期的なイベントです。機材など提供してもらったことで色々な方に窓口を開けたと思います。今回は最高で17名。大体10名参加が平均なのですが今回の参加者には良い意味で驚きました。参加者みなさんが本当に良い雰囲気でワークショップは勿論、出会いを通じて良い話をすることができ、お互いを理解する努力が出来たと思います。こういったコミュニケーション能力は実は大切で義実的な面に集中するだけでなく、実際にクラブやレイヴカルチャーや歴史等でよく言う「ダンスフロアのポリテクス(政治)」的な話も交えて展開させています。必ずワークショップ開催時に「あなたにとって音楽とは?」「どんなダンスフロアを創りたいか?」といった質問を必ず投げかけます。参加者がどこから来たのか、どんなルーツを持つかお互いを知りることは「どこから来たのか知らなければどこへ行くのかわかりようがない」ということでしょうか。このワークショップの冥利に尽きるところが参加者により安全で良い環境、ミスや失敗は気にせず、そこから新しいことを学べるとことを提供することです。

Sarah_berlinxtokyo    ( Sarah Farina performing for NION presents Berlin x Tokyo, 2019)


<在宅・リモートワークについて | Remote work, Home Studio >


Q4 : As a freelancer, you probably have spent time at home for work. what is a merit,
what would be demerit.( If any ) arrangement in layout wise for working from home?

Q4 : フリーランスとして在宅でのリモートワークが多いかと思いますが、メリット、デメリットをお聞かせください。また、レイアウト等工夫していることがあれば教えてください。

A4 : 
I’ve lost almost all of my DJ gigs so right now I’m focusing on producing music, but that’s not really something I can make a living from. I’m trying to brainstorm what else I could do, I was thinking maybe in the future I can give more DJ Workshops for example. But to be honest, I really don’t know yet but I know I will come up with something eventually and keep going.
In the meantime I’m also focusing on a project called “Transmission” that I started with my good friend Kerstin Meißner beginning of this year, which aims to make the political relevance and history of international sound, club and rave culture audible and visible. We also just produced our first podcast episode about “Solidarity” with great guests from the club music community.

A4:コロナでDJ業のキャンセルが相次ぎ、ほぼ無職の状態です。代わりに家で制作や作曲等に時間を多く費やしています生計を立てられる作業ではないですが、ブレストをしながら他にどんなことができるか等プランニングも並行してます。DJワークショップも一例です。正直、現状何が継続していけるか等模索中です。一つの施策として「トランスミッション(Transmission)」というメディア媒体を友人のKerstin Meißnerと立ち上げました。政治要素の強い観点からみるグローバル音楽、クラブ・レイヴカルチャーを紹介しています。中でも「ソリダリティー(Solidarity)」というPodcastの初エピソードが、クラブ音楽業界のゲスト複数が出演し、充実した内容で一聴の価値ありです。


( Picture referred from Transmission )


<新型コロナウイルスの影響とナイトエコノミーへのインパクト|Consequence on Covid-19 and its impact on night economy >


Q5 : On such special consequences, many businesses especially in the night economy including restaurants, bars, night clubs, events, and hotel accommodations got big impacts. Especially in night clubs and events that are postponed and restricted by operation and online streaming seems to be the new alternative at the moment. Tokyo has similar movement in online streaming and seems to be the new default for the style of events.
What's the night economy situation like in Berlin at the moment ( including hotels and restaurant premises ) ? Any government support for the night economy business, employees, and artists under such consequence? And how does such streaming work and what's the feedback like in Berlin? Please share if any recommend streaming :)



We are extremely lucky in Berlin, most of us could get support from the government and in some ways there is this sense of community right now. People are setting up online parties, trying to get closer to the feeling that you experience when you are on the dance floor. Of course there’s nothing in the world that can replace exactly that feeling that you experience on the dance floor but people are trying to come up with alternatives and I think that’s great.
As always there are also people who are being left behind, who are not able to get support from the government for various reasons, but I’ve seen lots of fundraisers which are trying to support exactly those people. I think that’s really beautiful.
I think almost everyone from my DJ friends has been on at least one streaming platform in the last few months, people seem to enjoy it and it’s pretty cool that a platform like “United We Stream” was created in such a short time. Of course there are also some folks who are annoyed by the wave of streams or artists who are concerned because most of these streams are for free, and it’s not the most sustainable format when it comes to finances for the artists, except you are streaming to raise money for a good cause. But I think that might change soon too. Sooner or later we have to update the whole thing.

What I really like is Club Quarantine, the audience can take part in the stream and it creates a connection between the DJ and the listeners.

ベルリン拠点を主に自分のDJ仲間の殆どがここ数か月間でオンライン配信イベント、例えば「United We Stream」のようなクールな配信イベントに参加して各々楽しんでいるようです。特に「United We Stream」は短期間で迅速に立ち上げたイベントでオーガナイズとしても質が高く評判も良いですね。勿論、配信番組やイベントは殆どが無料なのでギャラといったところに懸念する輩もいなくはないです。現状、ファンドレイジング目的等以外では持続して一定の収入を保証する事が比較的難しいイベント形式ではありますがこれも、ニューノーマルな具体的な運営、収益方法が生み出せる形式が近くにもとれると見解しています。

また、配信イベントでClub Quarantaeneという番組は視聴者がより一歩踏み込んでイベントを盛り上げる面白い参加型企画です。

unitedwestream                           ( Picture referred from UnitedWeStream )


<Balance 2020:Music, Mind, and Space|バランス2020:音楽とマインドと空間>

Q6: I was listening to your Balance 2020 mix lot during the emergency alert period around late May and June. Personally it helps my day to flow more productive and also great for walking and workout at home ( and dancing of course ;))
Thanks for sharing such a funky set !
We acknowledge that Balance 2020 is a music and dance festival held in Leipzig and you also participated as DJ back then.
( I know it is a bit of a throwback and aware that you are constantly playing and being forward. ) Would you give us your impression and the outcome for the event?

Q6: バランス2020のミックスをよく聞くのですが個人的に一日をワークアウトや片づけたい作業の前等(もちろん踊りたいときもですが笑)アクティブに過ごしたいときに最適でした。ファンキーなMIXでテンションあがりますね!Balance2020は今年5月後半の週末にライプツィヒで開催されたダンス音楽の大きなフェスで、サラさんも参加されました。

Awww :) that's so nice to hear! It’s so beautiful to see the positive impact music can have!
I’m really impressed by the Balance Club Culture festival team because they managed to remix their planned offline festival into an online event in just a couple of weeks. Their content was very empowering and well curated and is now archived on their website.



Q7:Especially in such strange times, music/sound gives more impact on the mind and spaces. Even in remedy wise too. May I ask your perspective of how music impacts the environment, especially for physical spaces and human’s mind.? I think that it relates to the sound in architecture, and soundscape too. From a DJ and producer perspective, we would like to ask your opinion.

Q7 :特にこういった特殊で不思議な時期だからこそ音楽は環境や特に物理的な空間や人間の脳と思考に影響を与えると見解しますが、どう思われますか?物理的な建築や実際の空間にもサウンドスケープのように類似する反応が出ると思います。空間を創るDJ、プロデューサーとして是非ご意見お聞かせください。

Yes, I agree. Music can be a very powerful tool for change, on a personal level but also beyond that. Personally I think if you experience club culture in a positive way you can experience togetherness or unity, and that’s a feeling that people go home with after a night of dancing and it might be life changing sometimes.

For me at least, that’s what a good club night is... It can feel like a couple of hours of world peace, where people celebrate themselves, each other and no one is being judged for being who they are. Unfortunately right now, we don’t have access to those places but I think we can still try to practice it at home: put on your headphones and listen to your favorite music and dance! And there will be a moment where we will meet in a physical space again and experience the sense of unity and world peace that music can give us…and I think it will be even more powerful than ever before. And I hope that more people recognize the urgency to protect those places worldwide and all the people who made and make such places and environments possible in the first place.

But I also want to say that the dance floor or rave culture itself can’t lead to social justice alone. In order to create a more peaceful world that serves everyone, we actually have to put in work. This work starts internally and with checking yourself and being aware of which power structures you are in and how you can be part of the solution. It’s hard and uncomfortable but it’s the only way forward if we really want to create a safer world and safer dance floors where everyone can feel at home.

A7 : そうですね。音楽は変化に対して内面的なものだけでなくとても影響力が強いと思います。個人的にですが、例えば、一晩クラブで過ごし家路に着いてという流れやクラブカルチャーを体感した人には良い意味でユニティーや繋がりといった要素を強く認識できるかと思います。私にとってはすくなくともそれがよいクラブの定義と考えています。数時間の世界平和のような集まった人が楽しく音楽や集いわけ隔たりなくただ楽しむ。生憎、現状は会場へ足を運ぶことはできずそういった感覚を体験できませんが、おうち時間の中で楽しみ感覚を思い出したり楽しむことはできますよね。



            ( "Wealth" Modeselektor Remixed by Sarah Farina, Yo van Lenz )

-That is so nice to know and such an important part of the existence and mission of venues and culture to bring engagement and togetherness.



< Message : The Personal Is Political | メッセージ:個人的なことは政治的なこと

Q8: I like to ask you a wrap up question, more of your opinion.

During this pandemic, one of the most devastating news of Mr. George Floyd’s death brought anger from the sadness and brought movements globally. Late of Mr. Jacob Blake’s incident was heartbreaking. I think this equality issue has a deep layer of the racial and history. Many people globally joined actions, some study, and debated to understand the core issue to not repeat negative history. I recall you are one of the first encouraging public persons/artists in Berlin to speak out about this #BlackLivesMatter

Please give us your opinion to the reader for this current issue and movement.

Q8 : 最後になりますが、今回のパンデミック時期にアメリカで起こったジョージ・フロイド氏殺害による全世界に広がった人種差別と人権への動き「Black Lives Matter」です。Jacob Blake氏銃撃事件も先日報道され、複雑な歴史や今でも根付く社会の不平等や確執が続いている事実が改めて明るみになりました。多くの人が今回の悲しい事件から歴史と社会問題を学び発信しています。記憶に新しく印象に残っているのがサラさんがベルリンのアーティストや文化人の中でいち早く#Black Lives Matterについてメディア等から声を挙げ発信しはじめていました。


It really saddens and disappoints me that so many (music industry) people choose to stay quiet on this issue or just post a black square and then go back to normal. It makes me wonder if they ever really listened to me or anyone when those issues were talked about. Especially the club scene where many of them claim to be political, about justice and left wing. People are and have been protesting for their survival and racism and all other forms of oppression have always been here, right in front of us. It’s hard for me to imagine that people are just realizing now that things are really bad. On top, when it comes to music, lots of its history is whitewashed. Most of the music & culture that we consume was and is made by queer Black and brown people. “They Want Our Rhythm But Not Our Blues ”, sums it up pretty well.

The personal is political. 
And so is the dancefloor. 
It’s always the right time to speak up against injustices  
performative activism is not sustainable if you don’t back up with any action

→ Audre Lorde said it best: “Revolution is not a one-time event”.


A8: 残念ながら多くの業界人が意見を避け、黒の四角い画像をSNSで投稿した一過性の扱いだけで多くがそのまま平常に戻るような行動をとっています。正直、一体どれだけの人が状況の本質を認識し議論や行動におこしているのかも定かではありません。

音楽業界の歴史も白人優位です。多くの音楽や文化、ファッションが黒人またはブラウンといった有色の文化から産まれています。“They Want Our Rhythm But Not Our Blues ”「彼等はリズムは欲しがるが、ブルースは不要とする(合理的に必要な美味しい部分だけ持っていく)」というフレーズがぴったりです。




Sarah Farina :
DJ/Music Producer, based in Berlin, Germany. Her music is known as “Rainbowbass”. She actively pursues equality and social justice. Meantime, being ambassador to contribute her music skills to the community globally collaborate with German government to organised free DJ workshops. Lately her dedication towards club culture has been seen on various online events. Many remixes have been released and one with Berliner techno wizard, Modeselektor’s, “Wealth” ( 2019 ) is memorable. Among young professional creators, her solid skillful performances with empowerment down to earth style are outstanding which attracts not only punters but also earns trust from music and various industries.

ベルリン拠点のDJ/音楽プロデューサー。自身の音楽を「レインボー・ミュージック」と称する。ソーシャル・ジャスティス、性平等運動へも意欲的に活動する傍ら、ドイツ政府とコラボレーション企画として無料のDJワークショップを海外で展開。昨今のDJ活動、ナイトエコノミー業界への貢献は今回のコロナ禍で開催されたオンライン配信イベント出演で多く見られる。また、多くのリミックスを手がける。最近ではベルリン・テクノの大御所、Modeselektorの”Wealth"リミックス作品 ( 2019 ) が記憶に新しい。若手の中でもスキルも地に足着いた姿勢も群を抜いてファン、多くの異業種プロフェッショナルから人気を博す。




Article Contributor : Setsuko Fujiwara   Space Design 2020

AUTHOR:Space Design



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