A ≠ A

by Eli Namay

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A ≠ A is a set of recordings and critical theory that serve as an attempt to soberly position myself in the world both culturally and politically. The writing portion of A ≠ A is an examination of the nature of symbols in relation to the human brain, how symbols constitute large scale class based societies, and what that might mean for struggles both culturally and politically. I make the case for understanding political struggle and cultural struggle as representing two distinct yet interrelated activities, each affecting the other but ultimately having distinct scopes. While the writing represents an offering in the realm of political struggle the recording is an offering in the realm of cultural struggle. Through the strategic deconstruction and reconstitution of familiar cultural symbols the recording will hopefully allow folks who are not necessarily immersed in experimental music traditions to viscerally experience the possibility for creative activity outside of the aesthetic logics of both the commercial market and the ivory tower. As well as illustrating how dominant value systems (ideology) function in a society dominated by monetary exchange value, the writing in turn critiques this kind of cultural activity as, although necessary, inadequate on its own for the liberation of humanity from both direct and abstract domination. For this project the decision to present the recording and writing side by side, but at a formal distance, is not an arbitrary one. It is based on my analysis of the distinct scopes of cultural and political struggle, and hopefully illustrates a hew type of dialectical communication that does not settle into static images for the sake of ontological comfort, or organizational or careerist expedience.


released May 17, 2018

Eli Namay - Upright and Electric Bass, Design, Engineering & Production
Alexa Rixon - Design and Printing

All music by Eli Namay except "Ducks on the Pond" (traditional) and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" (Harold Arlen & Y.E. Harburg)

"Two Europeans" was recorded at High Concept Labs


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Eli Namay Chicago, Illinois

Eli has developed a musical practice that is informed by political theory and struggle. They are particularly interested in how manufactured symbols mediate social relations.

Eli lives in Chicago where he performs on both the electric and double bass, regularly collaborating with folks from Chicago’s improvised music and new music communities.

Eli is a party member of Socialist Alternative.
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