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ES-tro-jen-z (2016)

all tracks written and performed by Jaye Kovach except for:

modular synth on track 1 by Ernie Dulanowsky (a.k.a. pulsewidth)
back-up vocals on track 2 by Amber Goodwyn

recorded, mixed and mastered by Jaye Kovach with editing on track 4 by Joseph Dunn.

released April 23, 2016.

New Directions?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what a sustainable art practice looks like in terms of energy spent and how I’m working but also in terms of money and having something tangible to show for it. Although I love working in music and performance, it never really feels like I’m making a thing so much as like maybe growing as a person, sometimes in front of people; there isn’t much there in terms of tangible reminders of success. I feel like often a good performance begets more performances, if anything, so what happens when there’s a lull? I think it’s easy to fall into writing hundreds of proposals in lieu of doing the actual work; asking for permission instead of just Doing a Thing. I think it’s easy to feel like you’re spinning your tires.

In the past month I’ve attended two workshops, one with Articulate Ink to learn the basics of screen printing, and one with Ernie Dulanowsky (a.k.a. pulsewidth) to learn about building custom noise-makers. It’s been a hot minute since I’ve made a physical thing that isn’t a cassette tape. I think I miss it.

Over the next year I plan to continue making prints and custom noise-makers and effects alongside my performances. Hopefully this will help balance out my practice and lead to more opportunities to show my work. There’s also the possibility of an online store!

New Album Coming Soon

On Tangible $upport, Safer Spaces, and Why I Organize the Way I Do

December 13, 2013:

April 22, 2014:

May 11, 2015:

I was going to turn these into an essay but I think they speak for themselves.

You’ve got problems, kid (2015)

Recorded at Deerbutt Studios by Jaye Kovach except tracks 7 and 8 which were recorded live at Performatorium Festival of Queer Performance with additional recordings done at Deerbutt Studios.

Mixed and Mastered by Jaye Kovach at SOIL Media Art & Technology.

released 09 May 2015

Homo Monstrous is:

Jaye Kovach (She) – Guitar/Vocals/Beats
Leo Keiser (She/They) – Bass/Vocals

Mentorship Monthly Update (2 & 3 & 4 & 5)

So my original plan was that I’d post an update about the Holophon mentorship once a month but as usual my intentions ended up getting completely waylaid by seasonal depression and the fact that doing the work often feels more important to me than documenting it. So here is a quick overview of the last few months.


How fucking loud do I have to yell (2015)

How fucking loud do I have to yell is a necessary temper tantrum provoked by years of abuse, violence, erasure, and entitlement to our bodies/voices. It is a pathetically weak invocation towards an end that is never achievable – one in which transfeminine and intersex bodies are not treated as monstrous abominations, but as facets of celebrated human reality. We explore the limitations of our voices as they are swallowed up in a wave of screeching guitars and electronic noise; a sonic background whose purpose is to outvoice us.

How fucking loud do I have to yell attempts, and ultimately fails, to encourage cisnormative, dyadic, and masculine expressions to shut the fuck up and listen for once.

How fucking loud do I have to yell to get you to even use my real name? To stop apologizing and just do fucking better? To stop killing people like us? Legitimacy is not granted to loud voices. It is granted to experiences that are the most like those in power. Your voice makes me lose mine.

A live blog of the work can be found here.

Some Preliminary Thoughts About Difficulty and Performance

Although Homo Monstrous has maybe grown into a Real Band, we started out as (and still are) performance artists. Truth be told if we had started this project with the goal of being a band and making music we would’ve given up. There just isn’t any real hand-holding and encouragement happening for transgender folks in music scenes (let alone other tangible forms of $upport) and the moment you call something music, bros will pretty much line up to tell you all of the ways it’s not because you aren’t good enough. By framing what we were doing as performance art we were able to mentally sidestep having to directly engage with a lot of unmeaningful critique. We have mostly stopped regularly incorporating performance art elements into our live sets for pragmatic reasons – the amount of set up/preparation time required isn’t really feasible when you’re opening for another band and playing what amounts to a 20 to 30 minute set – so we were excited to revisit performance in a limited capacity during our summer tour. We will also be presenting a new work at Performatorium: Festival of Queer Performance at the end of January, 2015. Performatorium will be an opportunity to perform in a controlled space where we won’t have to worry about set lengths, sound bros messing with our gear, or clean-up. We’ll be able to pretty much do whatever we want so we are taking some time to try to figure out exactly what that is.


Mentorship Monthly Update (1)

This past week I attended two improvisation workshops with composer/trombonist Scott Thompson and dancer/choreographer/vocalist Susana Hood as well as their performance The Muted Note, a series of songs based on the poetry of P.K. Page. As I neglected to read the event description or do any research prior, the performance (although beautiful) wasn’t quite what I was expecting; it’s rare that I attend a concert in the “classical” sense and I often forget that I have a fairly significant history within that milieu. I started piano lessons when I was 4 or 5 years old and spent a lot of my teens practising and performing baroque, classical, and what was called “20th century” music, and taking exams through the Royal Conservatory. Yet when asked in the first workshop if I would consider myself a musician the most I could offer was a sort of wavy hand gesture. The workshops got me thinking a lot about how I write. My process is usually one of trying to tetris words into already existing accompaniment because this is what comes easiest to me – the sound part of things. I’m interested to know what would happen if I tried to do things backwards?

I haven’t really started making anything substantial yet – just playing around with some new pedals and working some kinks out of my effects chain – but I hope to have some things ready by mid-month. I’ll be playing a set at the Creative City Centre for the first ever Killjoy Club along with Val Halla and spoken word artist Jessica Tran. Recordings to come!


firestarter is the solo project of Jaye Kovach (Homo Monstrous.)

♥shitty guitars//drum machines//weird vocals//bad covers of good pop songs♥

firestarter is stuck somewhere between a soundscape and a pop song. Using drum machines, synthesizers, and an electric guitar plugged into a small army of effects pedals, she sculpts loop-based tracks that are as pretty as they are vile.  At times overly earnest, this is the home for discarded Homo Monstrous lyrics – things that are too hard or inappropriate to say while covered in fake blood.