College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Centers & Institutes > DePaul Humanities Center > Events > Sickness and Solitude > Sickness and Solitude 1
The DePaul Humanities Center is excited to kick off our new series, “Sickness and Solitude,” by offering you a free copy of the DHC’s first album, featuring new music and interview tracks with an array of talented musical and visual artists, including:
More information about the artists below!
The music and interview tracks will not be available elsewhere for several months, with the resulting musical experience being a DHC exclusive. However, unlike our in-person events, this "event" unfolds according to the audience member’s engagement with the material. Once audience members receive their special envelope or box, the rest is completely up to them.
“(Punk’s biggest legacy to the world is) the idea of ‘do it yourself.’ Don’t wait to be an expert. Give it a try, make a mistake, it’s ok. You know, if you feel like doing something, you don’t have to sit in your room practicing the guitar for 5 years, just go out with three chords. That’s all you need. Do it. Because that’s why we did it. I didn’t know how to do photography.”
Roberta Bayley is one of the principal photographers who chronicled the punk rock music movement during the 70’s and 80’s in New York. She was born in California, grew up in San Francisco, and briefly spent time living in London before settling in New York city in the spring of 1974. Roberta started working the door at the legendary punk club CBGB and soon began photographing and befriending key punk music celebrities. She found herself witnessing the punk movement grow from a small music scene to a massive cultural movement and chronicled it all through her photography.
After becoming the chief photographer of Punk magazine, Bayley photographed pivotal punk music artists, including Iggy Pop, Blondie, Richard Hell, Elvis Costello, The Sex Pistols, Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers, Brian Eno, Joe Strummer, Nick Lowe, X-Ray Spex, Squeeze, The Damned, The Clash, The Dead Boys, and more. She captured an image of the Ramones which became the band’s debut album cover and remains one of the definitive images of the New York punk scene.
Roberta Bayley is the author of Blondie: Unseen, 1976-1980 (Plexus, 2007) and co-author with Victor Bockris of Patti Smith: An Unauthorized Biography (Simon & Schuster, 1996). Her photographs are also featured in many other books and magazines on punk including, Blank Generation Revisited: The Early Days of Punk (Simon & Schuster, 1997), and Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk (Grove Press, 20th Anniversary edition, 2016)
“When you start doing a lot of shows and realizing that people know you from music and go to your shows, it kind of became evidence that it was probably a good idea to start talking about disability in a more public way. It is something that I’m passionate about and music is a medium to bring up a bigger topic to me. My music isn’t really about disability per se, it’s just about what I think about, and I suppose everything in my life has been somewhat shaped by my disability, but the music itself is just what’s coming out of me at this time in my life.”
Gaelynn Lea’s musical style has been described as “Velvet Underground meets Little House on the Prairie,” an evocative characterization of her experimental take on traditional fiddle music. Lea is a Duluth Minnesota native who was born with a rare congenital condition, osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease. She has been playing violin since elementary school, and since then has become an accomplished musician who specializes in American fiddle and improvisational violin.
Lea gained national recognition after she won NPR’s 2016 Tiny Desk Contest for her haunting original song, "Someday We'll Linger in the Sun." After her winning performance she went from being a part-time performer to a full-time touring musician and since then has toured in 45 states and 9 countries. Lea has released three full-length solo albums: All the Roads that Lead Us Home (2015), Deepest Darkness, Brightest Dawn (2016), and Learning How To Stay (2018). She has also performed at major festivals, played alongside musicians such as Alan Sparhawk, Charlie Parr, and Billy McLaughlin, and opened for well-known musical groups including Wilco, The Decemeberists, Pigface, and LOW.
Lea has also become an outspoken advocate for disability rights. She uses her public platform to speak about obstacles for people with disabilities, the use of art to overcome physical limitations, and accessibility issues in the music industry. She has shared her perspective through various outlets such as the PBS NewsHour, NowThis, and TEDx Talks, and is planning to release a memoir about her advocacy work and experience as a touring musician. Recently, due to COVID-19, Lea has been unable to tour, but has continued to hold virtual concerts on YouTube every Sunday afternoon. Her latest album, The Living Room Sessions–Gaelynn Lea LIVE was recorded in her apartment during the pandemic, and each track is based on an improvisational prompt she received from her YouTube audience.
“There's a lot of effort trying to give this feeling of like the waters of oblivion rising and consuming everything. You have chaos, you have some sort of noise, and then the tide goes out again and you see these little formations. The first time you listen to the record, it's like, imagine all of these are flooded artifacts, but every once in a while the tide goes out and you get to see them again.”
Kyle Morton grew up in Salem, Oregon, where he helped form the influential indie rock band Typhoon. Often playing with over a dozen members, Typhoon incorporates traditional rock instrumentation and vocals with orchestral elements to achieve a lush and emotionally moving sound. In 2016 Morton released his solo debut album, What Will Destroy You, offering personal ruminations on the interplay of love, existence and suffering. Health challenges have heightened his awareness of mortality, and he expresses this understanding by creating songs of sickness that “can become the songs of healing.”
Since releasing their debut self-titled album in 2005, Typhoon has released four additional studio albums. Their 2013 album, White Lighter, reached #105 on the US Billboard top 200 chart, was voted #28 on NPR’s Best Album of the Year, and #37 on PASTE Album of the Year. Typhoon has played at major music festivals, has opened for notable music groups such as Explosions in the Sky, The Decemberists, Belle and Sebastian, and The Shins, and has toured with Portugal the Man and Lady Lamb the Beekeeper.
In January 2021 Typhoon released their most recent full-length album, Sympathetic Magic, completed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Morton states, "I wrote all these songs while puttering around the house these past several months because what else was I going to do? The songs are about people, the space between them and the ordinary, miraculous things that happen there as we come into contact, imitate each other, leave our marks, lose touch—being self and other somehow amounting to the same thing."
“I feel like there's no reason to put a restriction on your art unless you're going for a specific sound to maintain throughout the years. For me, it's kind of just the freedom of expression, and there's no need to put a ceiling on that. I think I've just been influenced by so many different things and I've hung around so many different types of artists. It's not really an active thought when I'm writing music; it's really just like a feeling.”
Nnamdi Ogbonnaya is a multi-instrumentalist composer and producer who performs under the name NNAMDÏ. His music is at home in many genres, including hip-hop, reggae, jazz, and pop, and his lyricism often contains a sense of satire as well as criticism. Nnamdi was born in California to Nigerian immigrants and moved around the US in his youth before settling in Chicago to earn an electrical engineering degree. His surging success as a musician led him to pursue music as a full-time job.
Nnamdi’s musical endeavors have been constituted by his participation in groups from all over the Chicago DIY scene, and through these expansive collaborations he has earned widespread respect and admiration. He has collaborated with acts such as Monobody, Vagabon, and Itto, and is considered a staple of Chicago’s indie scene. His status as a unique musical force in the city was confirmed by the Chicago Tribune, which named him a “Chicagoan of the Year” in December 2020.
Nnamdi is the founder of the label Sooper Records and has released five studio albums, including: Bootie Noir (2013), Feckin Weirdo (2014), Drool (2017), and Brat (2020). He released his fifth album, Krazy Karl, in July of 2020, describing its sound as “untethered,” “deranged modern compositions,” and “when your brain tries to leave your skull, but you keep mashing it back into your nose.”