I saw Sophie for the first time in the summer of 2018 in Vancouver, a city that was covered in soft waveforms of mist that folded back on themselves and the surrounding mountains. Late to the venue, I quite literally ran head-on into Sophie’s thunderous, singular world of sound. From the first stabs of bass, the show was transcendent, dynamiting open a queer futurity exponentially more expansive and bold than I had ever dared imagine for myself. The sheer grandiosity of even just the music itself was sexy, silly, and fearlessly sincere. In the heart of the show, as the crescendo of “Is It Cold In The Water” was building, I started to cry and felt what I could only describe as bearing witness suddenly to myself. In the roiling crowd, my body became a proxy for Sophie’s expansive sound and I saw a flash of a future for myself that stretched beyond survival, submission, and simplicity. Glancing up into the surrounding maelstrom of sound, I found its nucleus, Sophie, smirking at me knowingly between plumes of vape smoke.
Sophie dared us to consider: what if we could build the rollercoaster as we ride it? In the trans canon of self-creation, this is perhaps a familiar challenge. Consider the body not as a predictive track, but instead a medium itself to express and react to a journey. How can we alchemize given forms to synthesize the sonic and emotional properties of possibility? What is the brightest thing that we can make and what would it sound like in the darkest place? Setting aside the past to coagulate, Sophie compellingly demonstrated that in fact, it’s the future that is sexy.
Sophie knew that anticipation must be crafted and constructed so enticingly as to render rumination obsolete. I think back on crying at the show in Vancouver and I believe that the smirk Sophie issued me was one of recognition. Sophie watched me recognize my self as a necessary and exciting raw material to polymorph into myriad forms; I can be anything I want. Thank you, Sophie, for deliverance into automatic reaction, for dancing liberated from analysis, and for your utterly fearless imagination. As I look ahead into all the wonder and horror of creating my life, I can so easily hear you asking, “now, with what materials, shapes, and patterns will you contour it?”