Diversity in electronic music is an often heralded trait, with a DJs’ “diverse style” a badge of honor showcasing their ability to discover unique tracks and tell unheard stories. And while for some DJs it may just be a simplified description of their sound, for Catori “diversity” truly runs deep. Growing up in a multi-cultural neighborhood, Meagan Farrell aka Catori was immersed in influences of reggae, salsa, classic rock and classical violin at a young age. An introduction to trance music coming from an underground NYC radio station when she was only 10 years old further captured her imagination, inspiring her to combine a variety of musical passions and pursue them with her own perspective on what music can be.
Mixing electronic and acoustic instruments, her music ranges from organic tribal house to ambient meditation soundscapes, that latter of which she has taken further through her personal work with harmonic overtone emitting instruments. Her performances in locations that range from the desert of Burning Man to the summit at Minus Zero Festival showcase Catori’s ability to adapt to her environment, while always remaining focused on the one aspect which she feels that her music must contain: “The music has to move me. I refuse to play anything that does not ignite something internally.”
Catori’s diversity in music is a representation of her variety of life experiences and global travels which have molded her into the artist she is today, not only as a musician but as a multi-talented actress and stuntwoman. With a desire to create music that will “feel so good that you absolutely HAVE to move”, her X-Chrome guest mix on FRISKY is a set that is guaranteed to take you deep, and keep you grooving as you journey into the distinctive perspective of Catori.
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What first started you on your electronic music journey?
I was raised in an environment immersed in music. My father sang to me in the womb and later played guitar for me as a child. I have memories of riffs from Led Zepplin and Pink Floyd painting much of my childhood. I began to sing soon after learned to speak. I was fortunate to grow up in an environment that was rich in culture and was exposed to music of all styles. I learned to dance salsa and groove to reggae when I was a teen. I was eight years old when I started taking violin lessons and studied voice through college. I discovered trance music one weekend night (at the age of ten) when the little antenna from my portable radio found an underground NYC station. The feeling of euphoria coursed through my entire body and I knew I needed more. I would soon intensely peruse the CD isles at my local shop to find the sounds I had discovered on the radio. This music obsession stuck with me through most of my life. I started volunteering for festivals after graduating conservatory since I was not able to afford tickets. I also worked in nightlife as a cocktail server in NYC (I was always trying to be close to the music) at various blues clubs, nightclubs, and upscale lounges. I was consistently asked why I hadn’t pursued DJing. Later, I ended up mentoring with one of the resident DJs where I worked (The Boom Boom Room, NYC). His name is OBaH.
What has been one of your most exciting moments as a DJ?
It’s difficult to choose! A favorite moment is playing on the summit of Mount Snow for Minus Zero Festival with Holmar and Orijins. Another is playing Bubbles and Bass sunrise at Burning Man (the sunrises are stunning on playa).
What is important for you to express through your music?
I want the music to feel so good that you absolutely HAVE to move. I have found so many cathartic moments through dancing and hope to elicit that in others. Seeing the freedom and happiness people express while dancing brings me so much joy.
With a diverse blend of cultural sounds included in your sets, is there something, in particular, you look for in your selections? What would you say ties everything together?
The music has to move me. I refuse to play anything that does not ignite something internally. From a young age, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to immerse myself in a variety of cultures. It continued as an adult, and I’ve even utilized sounds I’ve experienced in Ayahuasca ceremonies in the Peruvian Amazon Jungle. Each unique sound can be traced to different parts of my life.
Is there anything you’d like to be doing more of as an artist?
We are in a very unique time, given the fact we are currently in the middle of a pandemic. Festival season should be starting soon, and I am really going to miss traveling and playing for them this year. For now I will focus on making music in the studio and finally releasing some of my music.
What would be your dream gig location / scenario / lineup?
I’d love to play for Cercle. They showcase some incredible artists in stunning natural environments around the world.
Can you share more about your work with Sound Meditation? How does that integrate with your role as a DJ / musician?
I have struggled with an anxiety disorder most of my life as a side effect of C-PTSD. I was at a smaller festival thrown by my dear friends and chosen family, the PYNK community. I was having a really rough time and needed to be away from everyone. We have a teepee on the property and inside, there were a collection of singing bowls. Out of desperation and unsure of what to do, I started to play them. I was stunned by the calming effect they had and how my heart rate started to slow. Later, when studying them further, I found there was scientific research behind why these instruments work. Working with sound has always had the same intention – I want to share the cathartic capabilities of sound in the hopes it can help those around me to experience release in the way that I have. There have even been events I’ve played where my set will taper down to a sound meditation right after sunrise. Those are some of the most beautiful moments.
Working as an actor and stunt person seems like an exciting career – what is your favorite thing about it? What is the most difficult part?
I love visual works of art, and film is a beautiful medium. I really believe that art can influence perspective, and subsequently change. There are many instances where someone watches a film and their viewpoint can shift. I love an opportunity to influence positive shifts. Working on my motorcycle is just pure fun though. No existential purpose there. =)
Between the different things that you do for a living and are passionate about, is there something which they all have in common?
I’ve experienced a lot of difficulty in life and hope that by sharing what has helped me, I can help those around me.
What can you tell us about the set you have made for your FRISKY guest mix?
I have included a never before released track. And I ended with a recording I took while in the Amazon Jungle during my last dieta. I hope you enjoy =)
Listen to Catori’s X-Chrome Guest Mix: