"Currently" with C. Diab
For our new "Currently" series, we send an artist five open-ended questions to answer, and when responding, they can elaborate as much or as little as desired. The questions are intended to capture a snapshot moment - what an artist is grappling with, appreciates, and dreams about for the future. Responses are posted verbatim, as soon as they are submitted, so as to provide a platform free of editorial skew.
Our third "Currently" entry is from C. Diab, a multi-instrumentalist based out of Vancouver, BC who composes what he calls "Cascadian guitar music." I first fell in love with C. Diab's music when a friend turned me on to Exit Rumination back in 2018, which features both beautiful melodies and unique bowed guitar performance. It's a perfect album to soundtrack a winding drive to the Pacific Coast, through the fog. White Whale, released earlier this summer, expands C. Diab's sound in scope, sonically reaching towards mountainous peaks. The Dark Years is among the best album openers of 2020, and Blasted by an Ill Planet is among the most beautiful. And now, he has graciously shared what his life looks like, currently.
- What creative project(s) are you working on?
i'm recording a reading tape, music to read to, and it's taking a long time owing to a recently fractured finger, but it's coming along. it's difficult to find music to read with, so i'm making an attempt. i'm also trying to collage the major arcana of the tarot de marseille with hiroshige paintings, but it requires so many little delicate cuts, it's a forever project now.
- What topics, ideas, or movements interest you?
love, death, sex, sadness, "contentment", deep dark places, flat bright places, whales, fog, glass marbles, rooms built with yellow cedar, autoficiton, attempts at understanding people in the moment beyond language, mezcal, when people arrange driftwood into monoliths, tarot, time, petrichor, aging, there are 10 dimensions maybe more?, a good pub, puffins, walking.
- What music, art, or words do you feel drawn to?
there is so much of it. music: i think the perfect music would sound like huun huur tu, fever ray and a humpback whale experienced a transporter accident and emerged afterward as one sonic entity. words: recently i've read 2666 by roberto bolano which i liked, warlight by michael ondatjee which i loved, weather by jenny offhill which i liked, and right now i'm reading ru by kim thuy. the desert island book, probably, would be madame bovary by flaubert, or maybe a man in love by knausgaard as a back up. art: these days i find ukiyo-e prints are often the most beautiful images. growing up, my parents had two large prints on the wall of our house. one was the gold box by ivan eyre, and the other was galacidalacidesoxiribunucleicacid by salvador dali.
- What self-care practices are you finding helpful?
i am very bad at self care, and only now am i coming to grips with the fact that i am in my thirties and no longer an elastic band, and a body needs to be taken care of. mentally, i keep sane by reminding myself that we are surrounded completely by infinite space and nobody knows how we got here. physically, i like to travel alone if i can, stay quiet for a while, and a few times a year i go to northern vancouver island to breathe.
- What do you dream about, for days ahead?
i dreamt once of being in a kind of antique shop with a woman in europe somewhere, and she picked up a glass globe to show me, and inside of it was a small wooden ship. i expect that to happen.
You can find links to much of C. Diab's work through the Injazero website, and a sample of White Whale is embedded below. Cover photo taken from the aforementioned website.