Alabaster DePlume is a Manchester UK-born, London-based bandleader, composer, saxophonist, activist and orator. He’s a resident at the legendary London creative hub Total Refreshment Centre, a recording artist for the off-grid Scottish Hebridean island label Lost Map, and now the latest arrival into Chicago-based International Anthem’s growing family of progressive musical explorationists.
Whilst much of his music contains vocals – often whispered imperatives – this is a collection of instrumentals. The music of To Cy & Lee… contains naturally elegant orchestration wrapped around something visceral and primordial. The music is filled with space, inspired, he says, by computer games and Japanese animation, particularly Joe Hisaishi’s soundtrack for Castle In The Sky. The record combines new compositions alongside bygone instrumentals and under-stated lullabies that feel like they’ve been picked from between the cracks of civilization. DePlume purposefully brings together players of different skill levels and different backgrounds so they have to interact differently, placing them in unusual situations in which to record. “I wanted to destroy the idea of correct so we were playing it different ways for fun. We had a very magical time playing the tunes.” This is activism expressed through gorgeous music that breaks down barriers by encouraging that most powerful emotion: connectedness.