I was listening to this music by singer/composer Ana Roxanne, a Southeast Asian Intersex artist working in Los Angeles…
… and I started to imagine that ‘Buddhism’ was this vast yet fragile eggshell container that was completely empty, empty of dharma, empty of form, empty of everything…and that I was floating around inside the space of this eggshell container and that I could dream up and imagine and create anything I wanted inside there.
How does a sense of in-betweenness, between opposing genders, enable one to experience a sense of boundless space? The Tibetan word for transgender people in Tibetan medicine is ma ning meaning “having no opposite.”
Ana Roxanne is an intersex Southeast Asian musician based in Los Angeles. Born & raised in the Bay Area to immigrant parents, Ana’s love for singing began through her mother’s CD collection of 80’s/90’s R&B divas. Raised in the Catholic church, she became a devoted choral singer, which led her to a brief stint at a small jazz & classical program in the cornfields of the midwest. During these years she toured to beautiful old cathedrals in nearby cities and became enamored with the sacredness of choral music and the enveloping sound of harmony. A near death experience, too, served as a connection between music & spirituality, and music as a healing art after facing tragedy.
In 2013, Ana was fortunate enough to spend time in Uttarkhand, India where she met an incredible voice teacher who introduced her to classical Hindustani singing. Living and studying with this teacher deeply impacted her outlook on the voice as art, as well as seeing the Diva as a symbol of divinity. This brief study was the catalyst that led her to finish her music study at the experimental Mills College in Oakland, CA, where she began to combine all of these influences into her current self-titled project.
In addition to the worship of R&B and pop divas, Ana’s practice explores themes of gender & identity. In October of 2018, she decided to come out publicly as intersex, and is dedicated to being a voice for her community & speaking out about social justice for intersex youth.
released March 15, 2019
photography: Tammy Nguyen
cassette art & design: Jen Shear