ATL artist sings way into ‘Closet Studies’ [audio]
“The closet is a place where you perform, not a place where you hide,” Ditler (photo) says he realized while studying the effects of homophobia.
“Hiding draws attention, so you have to go further, and perform as heterosexual as a way of hiding your homosexuality,” the local gay artist, film buff, Emory graduate student and singer-songwriter asserts. “I realized that the absurdity of this situation opened up a lot of potential. Within the closet, you can perform as all kinds of people.”
And so he does on “Closet Studies,” a super fun downloadable two-track set you can listen to below. In “Dancehall Man” and “Miss Thing,” Ditzler plays with extended formats and unusual structures like songs within the songs all while playing different characters: a diva pop star, the diva’s road manager, a shy American music fan, and a secretly gay Jamaican dancehall star.
“These are probably the most over‐the‐top songs I’ve ever done,” he says. “I found recent mainstream responses to homophobia and the closet to be too serious, lacking in irony and humor, and I went in the opposite direction. I realized that it’s just as absurd for gay men to be asked to masquerade as heterosexual as it would be for me to perform as a Dancehall star, yet we’re asked to do this every day. I began thinking of auto‐tuning technology as a kind of ‘digital closet’ in which I could perform, in which I could pretend to be someone I’m not.”
The result: Pure digital pop magic with a sense of humor and a welcome pun-intended social commentary. Take a listen below, then for just $2, download the songs.
You may remember Ditzler from such gay Atlanta projects as his own recording label Frequent Small Meals, as the guru of the often queer-bent avant garde Film Love, and as one-third of the John Q artist collective that brought us Memory Flash and a special edition of JOSH (Journal Of Sexual Homos) magazine.
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