The idea of music as a continuous dialogue lives on in Alabaster DePlume. Born in Manchester to a left-wing family, Angus Fairbairn grew up with the idea of community, empathy and sharing all around him. He spent years creating a path, a growing buzz for those living the life of Manchester and then London, where he began performing regularly at the Total Refreshment Centre. The name Alabaster DePlume has two needs, to create a persona with an artist’s name, to come out of his shell, feel more at ease and be more attractive to those on the other side; and to make fun of the very idea of it, DePlume is the touch that gives that guarantee. You can see from this that it reveals humour, a captive presence in DePlume’s work, by the lightness of the fit that goes beyond an idea of spirituality.
This combination of humour and spirituality suited him perfectly when he made the leap to International Anthem with “To Cy & Lee: Instrumentals Vol. 1” in 2020, a record that came out weeks before the Western world closed down. “To Cy & Lee: Instrumentals Vol. 1” grew over the following months and gained an audience. Those who listened to it discovered an album that dialogued with them, that soothed them and that, of course, offered calm through the purest form of “spiritual jazz” with the certainty of humour as something that provokes smiles.
It was the starting point for Alabaster DePlume to reach a wide audience, who got to know him – over the following years – and what it was like to see him live, in constant direct and indirect dialogue with the audience. This is part of the show, the celebration, as something that consolidates the ideas of community and harmony that coexist in what they compose, which sounds as much like jazz as ambient or folk, depending on the day or how you interpret what Alabaster says. “To Cy & Lee” closed a cycle of sorts, another was inaugurated with “Gold – Go Forward In The Courage Of Your Love” (2022) and continued this year with “Come With Fierce Love”. The idea of community extends to collaborative ideas and the integration of how musicians should enter and participate in this commune. There is a free attitude and, above all, what was said at the beginning: continuous dialogue. It’s music that musicians talk about, with them, within them, between them and with us. And we, because we are here on this side, also participate in this sound of eloquent peace, freed from the present, concerned only with existing, sharing and whispering what no one else is comfortable telling us. AS