2020 is off to a tremendous start with the news of a new album from thought-provoking and unpredictable musician and poet Alabaster DePlume. Entitled To Cy & Lee: Instrumentals Vol. 1, the album features instrumental pieces recorded over the past eight years, both new compositions and older ones collected from his albums Copernicus, The Jester and Peach. For the new compositions, the London based bandleader, composer, saxophonist, activist and orator, enlisted the help of a stellar cast of London musicians including Dan ‘Danalogue’ Leavers and Sarathy Korwar.
On the origin of To Cy & Lee: Instrumentals Vol. 1 is DePlume´s work for Ordinary Lifestyles, a Manchester based charity that helps adults with disabilities to live independently in their own homes, where he worked with the titular Cy and Lee. DePlume helped them socialize by making music together in different situations, which he recorded in his phone and then then used as a foundation to create songs in his studio. Additionaly, DePlume also ran music sessions for Cy, Lee and their friends, and he said this about it:
“People would focus on a central point, tuning in to one another. There are things we can’t put into words, which can be expressed with sound and music. These guys have fewer words than us, some of them have none. When we put some feelings into a music expression – that’s liberation.”
Much like in his live shows, DePlume mixes and connects people up and as the press release describes, “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.” This, in his own words, led them to have “a very magical time playing the tunes”.
We´ll have to wait until February 28th for the album to arrive through International Anthem, but we can already delight our ears and hearts with the first single ‘Whisky Story Time’. Here it is.