There seem to be more and more debates floating through the aethers on the subject of “Steampunk Music,” so I wrote this piece from the viewpoint that I have as an artiste. Although I have performed at numerous Steampunk events, and shall continue to do so as long as the invitations keep coming my way, I don’t call myself a “Steampunk” artiste, per say.
I prefer the word “artiste” without any descriptors, because I create to please myself, and I appear at non-Steampunk events (Cabarets/Music Halls/Gay Venues/Burlesque Rooms) as well. I do feel very privileged and honoured that many fine folk in the community appreciate my special brand of ODDitory MADemoiselle-ness.
However, I know that people new to the Steampunk community, as well as long-time adherents, yearn for more musical choices, so that they might have a soundtrack, as it were, to complement the aesthetics and spirit that drew them to the community initially.
In the spirit of inclusiveness, I’d like to share a couple of invaluable resources for Steampunk-ish music. Incidentally, there is no universal agreement about what constitutes “Steampunk” music, since it commenced as a literary and aesthetic movement. However, it does seem to follow that numerous music artistes enjoyed by many Steampunks (and in whose ranks I am honoured to be included) are congregated in the following two websites:
Gilded Age Records
The world’s only artist collective, founded by Joshua A. Pfeiffer of Vernian Process & Evelyn Kriete, focused on musician’s combining old world aesthetics and sounds with current genres of music. Steampunk/Cabaret/Swing/Ragtime/Gypsy-Punk/Darkwave/etc.
Founded by Jordan Bodewell, “Sepiachord is the “genre that doesn’t exist”. It is to music what “Steampunk” is to literature and cinema: something that looks back to the past to comment on the present while looking sideways at the future. A cubist aural experience. As goth & glam are the bastards of David Bowie, Sepiachord is the made from the genetic material sown by Tom Waits.
Sepiachord is assembled like a clockwork orchestra, from such elements of music Sinister Circus, Cabaret Macabre, Chamber Pop, Organic Goth, Celtic/Gypsy Punk, Mutant Americana, Ghost Town Country It is the music our grandparents or great-grandparents would have listened to, if they were as off-set as we are.”
“A Sepiachord Passport” released under the Projekt Records imprint, is a compilation with a generous selection of 20 tracks by as many artistes, and is an excellent way to dip one’s toe into the Steampunk Music pool. It may be ordered from the Projekt website: