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Marcel Zaes: What I’m Listening to in Quarantine

While in quarantine, we were curious to know what music and sounds others were listening to. Pro Helvetia New Delhi approached artist Marcel Zaes, who was an artist-in-residence in India from June to August 2018. Here is what we discovered on Marcel’s playlist:

A quite coincidental list that is by no means complete. Some of what I list here is music that I bought on Bandcamp quite some time ago and that I’ve been listening to before the lockdown, so it’s music that helped me transition to the new lifestyle that we’re facing. Other songs listed here reflect what the radio stations that I’m listening to played, and that coincidentally caught my attention for some reason or the other. Yet other tracks here were live performed remotely out of the quarantine; and I admire artists who have the strength to get their things together and present a solid piece of work under the circumstances! So thanks for listening, and thanks for supporting these artists.

313 Acid Queen – Neighborhood (Michigan Avenue Acid) (click to listen)
Detroit-based EDM artist
I love how she blends the initial site-specific field recordings in to a quite beautiful acid house track! Her relentless four-to-the floor beats definitely carry me through these times.

Bells Atlas – We’ve Been Here Before
California-based band
I find their sound amazing, and their progressive bland playing, to me, is a light at the horizon.

Chris (Christine and the Queens) – Doesn’t Matter
French singer/songwriter who touches me deeply in times of uncertainty with her intense sadness, and the beautiful simplicity of the synthesizer-driven sonic world.

Asha Tamirisa – to ocean [live 10/19/2019]
Works with sound, video, film, and computational media, and researches media histories; currently based in Maine (US)
This is a very intense work that manages to so beautifully craft a rich sonic world that keeps flowing, all of this with a quite reduced material economy. I definitely often go back to this track and listen to it on good headphones.

Analog Tara – Fundamentals (album)
Multi-instrumentalist composer and historian of electronic music and sound based in the Washington DC area
A beautiful album that develops its very idiosyncratic perspective on electronic dance music and which, to me, is a strong statement about how music could also be, and who is allowed to make it.

Jordan Dykstra – Found Clouds
New York City-based artist, composer
This is a very intense piece of music that builds an imaginary sonic world that I just love to dive into, let my thoughts wander around and forget about what the instruments or the sounds are.

Alexander Dupuis – Voices by James Tenney [live 4/4/2020]
Providence (US) based artist and performer
A quite surprising new take an a classic of American Experimental Music. During this pandemic, Alex played this set live via streaming and I thought it was one of the most touching concerts I watched since the lockdown started.

CMD – osc.jamz
A Montreal-based electronic music artist
She crafts such beautiful sonic worlds out of analog hardware and small circuits! I love how she oscillates between beats and ambient spaces that invite me to focus on my own thinking.


Marcel Zaes is an artist and artistic researcher, holding degrees from University of the Arts in Bern and Zurich University of the Arts, and has studied composition with Alvin Curran in Rome and with Peter Ablinger in Berlin. Currently, he is pursuing his Ph.D. in Music & Multimedia Composition at Brown University.



Cover Photo credit: Alphacolor on Unsplash.
Marcel Zaes photo credit: Karin Schmid, 2018, Schmiderei.com

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