A mysterious cottage named Alice
While the name might not suggest it, there is a welcome simplicity about Aspidistrafly, in the music they make and the ideas behind it. Reflective of the pair's love of synaesthesia Aspidistrafly makes music that elusively floats between the senses, conjuring fleeting moments of melancholy and magic. The band consists of vocalist and composer April Lee and producer Ricks Ang. The multi-talented Singaporean duo also run the Kitchen Label. on which their albums are released.
When did you start writing/producing music - and what or who were your early passions and influences?
When I was about thirteen I discovered I could manipulate a musical instrument (which was the guitar) plus my own voice to create sounds, verses, hymns. Then I discovered I could also actually record and dub all this with my tape deck. I did things in my own offbeat ways because I had no background in music nor were there any musicians in my family. I was young and my mind ran free - it wasn't an exclusive relationship with music because I also loved drawing, literature, sewing and plenty other things. I'd deconstruct my own clothing and piece them back in a different way. I'd take long barefoot walks and I asked myself a lot of questions about the world. These habits have perhaps shaped the person I am and the art I create today.
What do you personally consider to be the incisive moments in your artistic work and/or career?
When I was making "A Little Fable". Working on the music and artwork had my soul plunged, or lifted into a universe that existed only in my visions and I was bent on bringing it to fruition. I remember the long silent nights in my Tokyo apartment, putting on my headphones delved into this universe for hours, where as my ears listened my mind also conjured. Then I trekked up the hills and forests of Kobe in Japan with my long-time collaborator and artist Rika M. Orrery who showed me her secret place - a mysterious cottage named "Alice". I remember the mugs of hot chocolate that the owner Mrs Alice had made to warm our hands and hearts on that cold autumn day and the scent of the freshly-chopped firewood that Mr Alice had carried into the fireplace. This was where we made the "Landscape With A Fairy" music video. As we stepped out of the cottage and bade our farewells, the sky, so vast and surrounded and framed by a repeating pattern of treetops, was an incredible and unimaginable shade of deep indigo. In that instance I forgot what the outside world was like. It was a magical experience, and beautiful in a faded way. Photographer Miu Nozaka and I tried our best to document these scenes as closely as possible and they are what you see in the artbook of "A Little Fable".