We first came to know Liana when they participated in the All Girl Electronic workshops back in 2017. Since then we’ve watched Liana’s practice expand outwards and upwards as they explore sound and create surreal soundscapes as Milkffish.
We had a chat with Liana to learn more about their practice, as well as find out about the latest Milkffish release, Kiss Me Ketut
Tell us who you are and what kind of music you make
Hi I’m Liana, I’m a second generation Filipino-Australian living in Lakemba. I have a project called ‘Milkffish’ where I make exploratory dreamscapes inspired by deep listening and journeys through natural landscapes and suburbia. This project is the result of reimagining everyday environments in surreal ways in order to regain a sense of wonder towards sounds around me that I take for granted, like the sound of a magpie warbling or the screech of a gate opening and closing-which helps me feel grateful that I can hear and see! Hopefully it can enable listeners to seek and find joy in weird and mundane things even if it’s under their noses all along!
How long have you been making music?
I have sung and played the piano for as long as I can remember. But it wasn’t until I started participating in the All Girl Electronic Program sometime last year that I started believing that I don’t have to apologise nor seek permission to take up space and share the noise music that I make now.
What made you want to do the All Girl Electronic workshops?
Initially i joined hoping to try to meet people to start a rock band..and that is still on the table haha. But since joining I just kept on learning new stuff, getting access to resources and meeting an eclectic bunch of super supportive and creative people, which is rad! It has honestly changed my life.
What has been your biggest achievement in your music career?
I’m not too sure if I can call it a career, but I think my biggest achievement so far is simply standing up for myself and developing the confidence to make what I want to make.
Tell us about your most recent release with Club Moss
My most recent release includes noise walls that I hope will make listeners think about where they live and their own personal relationships with nature. The title, ‘Kiss me Ketut’, is a humorous play on being exoticised, referencing the early-2010’s Australian insurance advertisements featuring ‘Ketut’. ‘T3 ZOMIA’ is inspired by my frequent train commutes and ‘Sap of Narra’ was named after footage of Narra tree sap/ “dragon blood” from @sista.malaya who i found on Instagram. She opened my eyes to the Lumad life and struggle. ‘Urduja in Cyberspace’ is inspired by on a chapter in an ebook about the historical Filipino warrior princess ‘Urduja’ and her connection to colonial trauma-If you type the song name into Google Books you can find the article. Also if you search it into Google Images you get pictures of the typhoon ‘Urduja’, which is a pressing message about climate change.
What was the process like making ‘Kiss Me Ketut’?
It was pretty investigative and meditative, taking field recordings on my phone and selecting sound samples online, and then continuously reworking, building up, mashing and distorting the samples on Ableton to make expansive noise walls/ ambient streams of sound until it sounded how I wanted it to sound.
What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I am trying to learn how to incorporate my voice into my live sets! Also I am involved in the New Age Noise Collective and learning about creating, advocating and fighting for more inclusive, safer and ethical cultural spaces and communities. As a team a music website, two events and compilation album are in the works-all in Western Sydney!!
When can we catch you live?
On the 25th of May I will be performing at Club 4A at Dynasty Karaoke Chinatown with New Age Noise/All Girl Electronic facilitator Del Lumanta and on May 31st I’ll be at the ‘chill out room’ for AfterHour (FBi Radio) at Freda’s bar in Chippendale.
If you could work on a collab track with any two artists (living or dead) who would you pick and why?
Leah Barclay so I can learn more about her sounds and research into ecosystems. Or anyone from Sleater-Kinney because they are iconic.
Words by Liana
Photo by Diego Esquivel, FOMArt: August presented by the Youth Collective AGNSW