Premiere: infinitikiss – “or the minty jade of ginkos”

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  • Premiere: infinitikiss – “or the minty jade of ginkos”
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    Premiere: infinitikiss – “or the minty jade of ginkos”
    Published: February 1, 2023

    Former Charleston-based, current New Mexico-based musician Nic Jenkins, also known as infinitikiss, has a new album coming out on March 3rd called ambient music.

    The aptly-named ambient music has roots in improvised live recordings that Nic recorded between 2015 and 2020, while hopping between Charleston and Columbia, SC. Many of them saw use as backing tracks for his live solo performances during that time.

    At first, Nic hadn’t considered the tracks as material for their own standalone album. However, over time, he developed a deeper interest in the concept of music as therapy, and through this exploration he found that his improvised tape recordings contained moods and colors of their own, as they were created through free association.

    This sound was naturally filtered by his own mood and state of being at the time, and thus the recordings contained distinct moods and colors that Nic could discern while listening to the tapes.

    ambient music essentially maps these moods, colors, and feelings into a sonic depiction of a rainbow, as Jenkins explains in the liner notes for the album.

    The result is a soothing 75-minute listen that lends itself to meditation and creative thought, exploring different soundscapes and textures without the boundaries of song structure or rules of any kind. At times ambient music is lightweight and airy, without a care in the world, and at others it dives deeper into the depths of the psyche and finds some more intense feelings.

    Today we’re happy to share the world premiere of track 6 off ambient music by infinitikiss, titled “or the minty shade of ginkos”. With layers of synth decorated with meandering electric guitar, the track finds itself in one of the album’s calmer palettes.

    We also have some words from Nic himself about his life since moving to New Mexico, his thoughts on the therapeutic nature of improvised music, and a message for the people back home in South Carolina.

    Listen to “or the minty shade of ginkos” below, and continue onward to hear from Nic Jenkins.

    ambient music by infinitikiss

    Photo by M. Elger.

    Q&A with Nic Jenkins a.k.a. infinitikiss:

    How has it been moving cross-country? It has been a couple years now.

    Hello! It has been a wild journey, full of surprises & magic. This month, my partner & I will be celebrating our kiddo’s second lap around the sun (birthday), which is 2 months after our 2 year anniversary of moving to NM. The climate, culture, and geography have been an obvious flavor shift in our vibrational experience / awareness (in so many ways / words). It really is a different world!*

    It feels more and more like “home” everyday, and we love it. We look forward to more beautiful manifestations of love & light with our newly blossoming community here.

    I’m sure you’ve found your way into the scene in NM. What do you think of it? How does it compare to Charleston?

    We have not so much tapped into any real “scene” as much as we have been just investing in organic and intentional relationships with people here. There definitely IS a music scene, and an art scene, and a food scene. I think that whatever scene’s we’re converging with will reveal themselves a bit further into our residency here, but: we have very much found a network of friends and neighbors who are talented creators of various arts practices. We’ve met more people at pop-ups, vending screen printed wares and vintage clothing [ @ u.r.magical @ kiberandkobb ] and walking around our neighborhood, frequenting coffee shops and apothecaries, than we have going out to shows or anything hyper social. This is mostly intentional; also just a byproduct of becoming parents!

    Some fun concerts we’ve been to over the past year have been Palm, Broken Social Scene, and Bush. These are obviously no real indication of what the local or regional music scene is like. We have enjoyed music at the downtown grower’s markets, and sometimes randomly during art walks that happen once a month.

    I’m happy to say I am musically involved with a few good people here. I recently played my first official “infinitikiss” show (solo, dark wave set) at a record shop here called Longhair Records with a rad band called Big Girls (curated by Steve Jansen). I have done some dj-ing. We have dj pals.I played a handful of very pleasant shows with my new musical buddy, Sabine Colleen, as well as another new sonic pal named Josh Martin. They are both very brilliant songwriters. I also made a blip of a cameo playing bass guitar in a punk band called Simple Hands. Mostly, I’m working from the home studio: recording, experimenting, composing, and collaborating via satellites.

    I don’t think we’ve been here long enough to fairly compare the ABQ music scene to that of CHS or COLA, but it is apparent that the DIY ethos is very much alive and thriving here. People here seem to be in touch with the land in a remarkable way. We love the maker-space mentality. There is still much to learn about!

    Your music has always been very exploratory and free-form. It seems based on your notes about the album that you have thought very deeply about the power and beauty of music. I don’t have a specific question here, but I would love to know more about how music has been therapeutic for you, and specifically improvised music. I can see that performing improvisational music would be especially therapeutic, in the hierarchy of music as therapy. Certainly improvised music is the most therapeutic for me, personally, to listen to (as a non-musician).

    NO – YOUR MUSIC HAS ALWAYS BEEN EXPLORATORY AND FREE-FORM! Just kidding. Thanks for humoring me.  

    Thanks for allowing me this space to share stuff about my life. Also: thanks for listening to my music! The license to I.L.L. (improvise like life) was granted to me by the Universe when I said yes to the journey of improvised music. I didn’t really know it at the time, but when I was a young person jamming alone in my bedroom, I received much joy from getting lost in just air drumming or trying to figure out songs/chord shapes on the guitar. By the time I got to college (to study Jazz at CofC), I sort of had an idea of what elements of music were written and which elements were interpretive and relied on feeling (as opposed to technical prowess alone). Thanks to my parents, elders, and teachers over the years for making music as accessible as possible to me.

    Within the context of sharing / making / performing music, improvisation can offer validation for vulnerability, or rewards for taking certain kinds of chances. Just by being honest, musicians can both co-create & nurture safe space for different kinds of exploration. Within the context of life ––– humans do it every day! I suppose that the therapeutic dimension of music & sound comes from the awareness & intention to create more of those safe spaces, which also have the great potential to be the opposite of those things. [ Insert contemplative emoji here? ]

    The albums I’ve put out are simply collections of thoughts & emotions from specific times & spaces. Each has its own story and palette. Sometimes I have more to say than others. For ‘ambient music’ I had very little to say other than, “Here you go. Just be present. Listen. Heal.”

    I’m very grateful for the opportunity to do so presently. I hope it serves many purposes, but mostly to assist others in their own healing practices, transformations, and spirit quests of all kinds.

    Finally, is there anything else you want to mention? Perhaps a message for the people back home?

    Shout out to: Yuhas & Dancers and the collaborative project of “Healing Zones” for helping me begin a process of using sound & meditation as a vehicle for energy work.

    shout out to: Tiny Grocer ABQ, Old Town Herbal, Luna & Luz, and Java Joes. [ peace sign emojis ]

    I’m reading a book right now by Pema Chodron called Start Where You Are that has been helping me to practice mindfulness in each new, present moment. Another good one is The Places That Scare You.

    *The tv show ‘A Different World’ is worth a viewing.

    I have a new appreciation for the creators of Sesame Street, the Frog & Toad book series, and the raw, natural beauty of what simply IS. And for my dearies back home:

    Hello! We still love you. Yes, we miss you. Duh! Thanks for the gifts. Thanks for the love and for the long-time support through real relationship(s). I would love to make an album with you, sure! And of course, I would totally still play in a band with you too, boo. Super, mondo, falsetto and fortissimo SHOUT OUT TO: FORT LOWELL for really making the release of ‘ambient music’ happen in a very awesome way!

    Listen to more Sade.

    • highly recommend the documentary ‘Sisters With Transistors’.
    • always open for commissions (art, music, or otherwise): @dojonowhere

    would love to end with a lyric from the band Geggy Tah:

    “If I’m still alive / in the year 2000 and 25 / I’ll be singing / Ah…”
    – from “Century Plant 2000” (Sacred Cow)

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