Phoebe Collings-James – Can You Move Towards Yourself Without Flinching?

For this rare solo audio release, multi-disciplinary artist Phoebe Collings-James lays out, overlaps and tangles a curious and often contradictory selection of material over a bed of slowly tumbling electronics. Like picking up someone's phone and briefly eavesdropping on their photos, diary notes, recordings & what they've been watching or listening to ‘Can You Move Towards Yourself Without Flinching?' renders an aural tapestry with a bracing question .

Like her compelling collaborative work 'Sound as Weapon, Sounds 4 Survival' with SERAFINE1369, Phoebe's placement and arrangement of audio is masterful in its sleight of hand, inviting numerous interpretations, without losing its ability to beguile.


In a diary entry for 2019 I found this question which I struggle to answer. I creep toward it, in a wish to catch a glimpse of myself - without hesitation. If I do catch it, to find an unbearable balm, a suckling connection of love without dread - what would I hear?

I invited friends to answer the question with their own sounds. They did so in myriad ways, all of which were woven into the piece. For my production i work in a collaging style, using sound libraries, adhoc recordings from my daily journeys, alongside live recording with musicians and poets.

When sharing the track this week, I encouraged it to be listened to while laying down, comfortable. Ideally on good speakers or headphones. Allowing the scene to unfold into the space like an elaborate, sonic pop-up book.


Phoebe Collings-James - music, arrangement & cover artwork
Contributors (& Cameos): Ain Bailey, percussion. Rox Devlin Horton, drums. Sandeep Salter, song. Serefina 1369, lyrics. Zezi Ifore, lyrics. Secrets & Lies. Beau. Lancaut echo. Naeem Dxvis. Mario. Lynette Nylander. Adam Bainbridge.


Can You Move Towards Yourself Without Flinching [19:28]

Phoebe Collings-James

Phoebe Collings James’ work often eludes linear retellings of stories. Instead, her works function as what she calls “emotional detritus”: they speak of knowledges of feelings, the debris of violence, language and desire which are inherent to living and surviving within hostile environments. Recent works have been dealing with the object as subject, giving life and tension to ceramic forms. As young nettle, a musical alias, she loves sound that totally envelopes her. Drawn to high octane sensual emotional sound, with heavy bass and wild lyrical flows. She has played in clubs, museums, house parties and has developed original productions for live performance. Including Sounds 4 Survival, an undulating performance work created with SERAFINE1369, which asks the question of what an anti-assimilationist practice might look and sound like.