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  • Writer's pictureStar Matriarch

"Anonymous Tom" Out Today

You won't be able to tell from listening, but this song for me is HEAVY. By that, I mean I have lots of feelings around how I wrote it, who it was for, the infighting my brain experiences when I hear it - at the intersection of sex work, my neurodivergence (what does it REALLY mean to be a 'whore'? what if I offer without pay? what if boundaries were permeable?), how I relate to other women and femmes, and how I'm impacted by Orientalism. How I've had to weaponize Orientalism for survival as an Asian American, what that means if I'm using the masmoudi sogheyer rhythm explicitly in this song while singing about this sexy stuff. for a moment, I questioned my use of the masmoudi sogheyer/'little masmoudi' rhythm for fear of appropriation and Orientalist harm, after all, I'm singing about sexy stuff, having written it when I was still very much a sex worker.

Ultimately, I decided that shame was misplaced. Why SHOULD I feel shame for writing about desire, because I'm a woman? Especially since the world constantly tells me I don't own my sexuality, others get to decide how and who gets to consume my sexuality. So I kept it, even doubled down by having my friend George Sadak play tabla and doholla to it. N Scott Robinson's riqq is still there, too. It was originally called "baladi", because I was too lazy to think of a better name and baladi is what a lot of Westerners call this rhythm. I at least changed it to be more about the subject.

My friend George Sadak (, a wonderful musician based here in the Seattle area, whose music I danced to quite often when I was active as a 'belly dancer', played tabla and doholla on this track, giving it this heavy earthiness that I love about live Arabic music. I'm so fortunate to have connected with him, and so proud of how this turned out. I recommend headphones, very loudly.

This is the last composition from the original Red Ship full length.

Here it is on Bandcamp!



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