Thursday, January 7, 2021

Bumping into... Aerin Fogel

Bumping Into... is a series of mini-chats with a variety of peeps that you might run into in some of our local music communities. (There's a bit of an intro and my thoughts behind the series here.)

How are you? Where are you?

I am riding this wild rollercoaster. Still in my home in Toronto, this year has offered me extremes of both loss and love and everything in between.

What have you been up to since March or so?

The beginning of the pandemic was a catalyst for me to recover from some pretty extensive burnout that's been building over the last five years. I was pushing through and not sure how to make the changes I knew I needed to make. So I've let a lot of things crumble and that's been hard but also deeply relieving. I'm learning how to create better structure for myself as a freelancer, how to love myself more and let go of expectations.

Meanwhile I am still running Venus Fest, and a full time practice with clients through astrology, tarot, and karmic readings. Venus Fest hosted a virtual festival in September which was profoundly strange but also really joyful and I am proud of what everyone contributed.

My client practice has been wonderful and deep over the last year, sharing in really important decisions and transitions with my clients, and also teaching a lot of online PWYC workshops through the different significant astrology events that have come up.

In May I adopted a new cat who is a perfect special angel baby, and in the fall I ended a long term relationship that has opened up space for new parts of myself in ways I couldn't have anticipated.

Have you found any new ways to do old things? How are you feeling about the shifts in how music is being made/shared/listened to?

Venus Fest created some videos that I can only really describe as extended music videos, where the visual component was done by video and animation artists. That's a new way for us to share art with people and I was blown away by what the artists and musicians created together.

As an artist myself I've done three livestream shows and I struggled with all of them! I am not a gear person, so creating a home setup with limited knowledge and tech isn't ideal for me. However, I like the experience of creating a visual environment and setup, which is much harder to do at a show. As a highly kinesthetic person, I need to be in a space with people to really feel the experience of music. So I miss that and am still pondering ways it can be shared differently before we can return to shows.

Any works of art that have been a light for you in these times? Anything that's just been a good diversion?

So many! New albums from Lido Pimienta, US Girls, Austra, Basia Bulat, Anjimile, Backxwash, No Joy, Emel Mathlouthi, Gia Margaret, Julianna Barwick, I guess those were some of my favourites in the year.

But I actually have been spending a lot of my time deepening my astrology study, which is a lifelong learning when you work in the field. There is no end to the complexity and nuance of astrology's many systems. I've been listening to astro podcasts from Chris Brennan, Kirah Tabourn, and others, and currently reading a Hellenistic astrology tome (there's no other word for it) from Demetra George. Reading has been one of my favourite things about 2020 because when I'm not working 70 hour weeks I actually have time for it!

How are you feeling about 2021?

With my astrologer hat on we've made it through the profoundly difficult territory of 2020. But there are still some tough planetary configurations in 2021. I think they are more about rebuilding broken systems (whether those are political, economic, social, personal, or related to our wellbeing).

But for me personally I am feeling strong moving into 2021. I am in a good place to share my energy and resources with the people and things I care about, and I am ready to be adaptive to the unexpected. Plus I have my cat Luther now, so we're all good.

Anything else we'd chat about if we bumped into each other?

How are you? How would you answer these questions for yourself?

Editor's note: Aerin's Queen Of Swords project will be playing a Venus Fest/The New Colossus Festival livestream tomorrow (Friday, January 7th) along with Dorothea Paas and Poolblood.

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