Words by Teesha Kooraram
Rachel Nam, also known as Desert Bloom, is a musician and producer based in Montréal. Classical piano and electronic music propelled her towards making intricate and ethereal synth-based music. Rachel Nam also plays bass in Montreal plushcore synth-pop band Magic Perm.
She was born in British Columbia and moved to Montreal to pursue her degree in biology , following her passion for the natural world. The pseudonym Desert Bloom originates from her interest in wildflowers that flourish in the desert and the same vibrant energy is present in her solo debut EPI cassette released in 2016.
Desert Bloom participated in various editions of MUTEK Montreal (2019,2020), Barcelona (2021) and Buenos Aires (2021) along with drummer Austin Tufts. Her style lies in ambient, electronic, minimal and techno under the label of Moon Boy Records. Desert Bloom was featured in the listening room of MUTEK 2021. The listening room is a sound experience consisting of a selection of immersive sessions. The selected recordings reflect the evolving dialogue between the past, present and future editions of the festival, showcasing the mutations of electronic music within the MUTEK festival’s International network.
Untethered’ during the MUTEK 2021, kicked in with a suspense sonority gradually morphing into a soothing sound of tranquility. We are led on humble steps on a selfless walk via delicate piano tones. The track gradually shifts to overwhelming otherworldly resonances guided by a soft voice narrating visceral experiences. It triggered the comfort and raw experience of a best friend of yours narrating her experiences and good moments.
We went down a memory lane to unveil raw sensations, sights, feelings in a wrap of nostalgia. The strong notes that followed bring a melancholy of moments that already passed. Brought back to reality, we acknowledged that those moments are now engraved in memory but never coming back. Immersed in a wave of blues, we feel that those moments are missed and the burning desire of wanting to live them again. We slowly transition into a moment of realisation and feel grateful that the past lived moments evolved in growth through good and bad experiences.
We lived a story through ‘untethered’ where we are dipped into flashes of the past filled with joy and melancholy. Our meditative walk through retrospection merges a sense of nostalgic sadness with joy. ‘Untethered’ brings forth the notion of duality through positive and sinking feelings. The end of the track shove us to some existential questions about the mechanisms of life and we are left in the interrogations and realisations that growth could only exist with a combination of the opposite poles of our emotional spectrum.
Desert Bloom performed as part of Amplify D.A.I.
AMPLIFY D.A.I is an initiative of the British Council in partnership with MUTEK Montréal, MUTEK Buenos Aires and Somerset House Studios in the UK. The programme is supported by Canada Council for the Arts and Fundación Williams.