By Claire Oxford ’18
Kenyon students may mention the name “Oedipus” more often in a classics seminar than on a rowdy weekend-night concert at the Horn Gallery.
On Saturday, however, DJ and musician Oedipus, also known as Henny Rose, will take the stage at the Horn as the opener for DJ Taye and DJ Paypal. Oedipus’s performance will start at 10 p.m.
Rose is a third-year art history major at The Ohio State University in Columbus and an aspiring musician who DJs on the side. According to Rose, who prefers nonbinary pronouns, the meaning behind their mythological stage name is up for interpretation.
Rose has played saxophone for the past 12 years, learning the instrument both through their schools’ music programs and later on with an instructor. They decided to focus on producing music as a DJ at the age of 17, after an incident in which they badly injured their hand when they slipped and fell into a shower pane, shattering the glass, and nearly needed to have their hand amputated. Since then, Rose’s hand has not had the same dexterity.
Now, as a DJ, Rose relishes discovering new ways of listening to their favorite music. “It’s kind of fun to go through all the stuff that I listen to, and just find ways to flip the track,” they said, saying that this “adds another dimension to listening to music.”
With their training in jazz, Rose often incorporates jazz and soul samples into their vibrant techno compilations. Footwork, a style of dance accompanying the genre of energetic techno music, with rap and hip hop influences, originating in recent decades on the South Side of Chicago, also plays into Rose’s mixes. They draw personal motivation from fellow musicians such as Taye and Paypal, who are both performing after Oedipus at the Horn on Saturday.
“[Taye and Paypal] are really influential, not in the sense that I make stuff that sounds like what they make,” they said, “but influential in the sense that they have a lot of community support and make really good music.” Rose also appreciates that Taye follows them on Instagram. (Rose’s username is @clararockmoreeyes.)
Not only a musician and student, Rose also helps manage the MINT Collective in Columbus, housed in a meat-packing building converted into a studio space, through which artists can have a location to collaborate, curate exhibitions and host parties or concerts on weekends.
Despite having performing as Oedpius at the Horn before, Rose has also attended several shows at Kenyon for fun. While OSU and the city of Columbus attract a multitude of well-known and popular performers, Rose likes that the Horn gives upstart artists the opportunity to share their music with a larger, more receptive audience.
“It’s a little bit more niche, which is why it’s cool,” they said. “People who might not otherwise be hip to that kind of music are coming out and getting exposed to it.”