Maryanne Casasanta is a student, worker, and artist educator living in Toronto. Her research interests include process-based learning and art making, co-creation, and movement, which she explores by working alongside artists across a number of fields. Having collaborated with Maryanne previously on a BODYWORKBODYWORK “Listening Party” book and cassette project, we continue our international dialogue of sharing inspiration and listening as I invite Maryanne back to share a collection of warm embodied percussive sounds that guide us as gently as the sun’s decline through this summer solstice mix.
CST: Where are you from and where do you live now?
MC: I'm from a small town in Ontario called, Brantford and am currently in Toronto, where I've lived for 20 years.
CST: Introvert or extrovert?
CST: Whats your sign?
MC: Scorpio with Virgo rising
CST: What moves you?
MC: Warm wind. The smell of lilac, especially right now in Toronto, it's peak season. Exchanging a smile with a stranger. People who make space for you in public settings. Unexpected notes or texts from a friend. Memories of falling in love.
CST: What parties/underground spaces did you go to when you first started partying?
MC: So many!! When I first moved to Toronto and into the early 2000's I spent my weekends at: Club 56 in Kensington Market which hosted a number of dance, electro, indie type parties. Vazaleen, a big monthly queer party where I remember seeing Tracy and the Plastics and Peaches. Super Heavy Reggae, a dancehall night which was at a fantastic bar called, Thymeless. Two friends started a party called, Lost Cats where they played cheesy 90's house and techno and another night of their's that I hold really fond memories of called, Lisp which was at what is now, an important queer institution in Toronto called, The Beaver.
I would go to the occasional after party and as I got older would frequent friends' house, techno and disco parties. One I loved was called, Pacific High.
CST: What was the first album you ever bought?
MC: I think it might have been Dance Mix 92' produced by Much Music which was Canada's music television station that streamed videos and had top 10 video countdown type shows. They also had other cool programming like, R U Receiving and the Wedge featuring more obscure underground stuff that people my age grew up on. Anyway, I had this mix on cassette and listened to it in my walkman all the time. I would have been 11. It has Frankie Knuckles' Whistle Song and P.M. Dawn Set Adrift on Memory Bliss. I think I bought it at a Radio Shack. We had some vinyl like Madonna's Who's that Girl and Whitney Houston I Wanna Dance with Somebody on 7" at home but my mom would have bought those.
CST: What are you reading right now?
MC: Two books: Sweet Days of Discipline by Fleur Jaeggy and Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett.
CST: Any new interests you're exploring at the moment?
MC: Many, many areas of education that I am learning about in grad school such as critical pedagogy, disabilities studies, queer studies, educational policy and race, Indigeneity, and colonial politics (also in education). As a side project, I am reading more about the 60's and 70's history of worker and student struggles in Italy. Probably the most politics heavy my interests have ever been. It's a learning curve for sure but one I am enjoying.
CST: Happiest moment?
MC: Playing frisbee in the park with my dad, which was the last time I spent time with him before he passed.
CST: Where is your favorite place to dance?
MC: I don't have any one place as the city is constantly losing or shifting venues due to gentrification and a massively growing population. The last time I really lost myself while dancing was at a two day workshop on the Toronto Island that focused on a style of movement called, Open Source Forms.
CST: Is there a concept or theme for this mix and if so, can you tell us about it a little bit more about it?
MC: Not explicitly. In the past I've made mixes with a particular idea, tone or mood in mind using poetry or field recordings. This time around, I just wanted to organize some tracks I'd been listening to lately that are for the most part, relatively new recordings. I knew that I wanted to finish it by the summer solstice with the intention of guiding listeners further into summer while holding out for a hope that it be a very loving one. Actually, I'm fairly certain that to some extent that all my mixes are about sunsets.