Main aesthetic: Black and White
Medium: Synth, violin
First of all… Where are you & what are you working on these days?
I'm in Calgary making preparations to go on tour - I leave in two days! During my creative time, I research Asian modes of sexuality for my next album and compose an improvised dance piece.
Palimpsest is a brilliant album. Can you tell us about the story of this record?
Thank you! The songs emerged from my confrontation of the shame I felt growing up in a traditional Chinese-Catholic household and the competitive classical music world. They reconcile my fractious relationship with my heritage and musical upbringing.
I love the title track and I read that it is your favorite song on the album. Can you share about the meaning of this song and the sounds you chose to use?
A 'palimpsest' is a manuscript in which traces of the original can be found. This song is about needing to acknowledge my past so I can write my own script. The tremolo on the violin unfold an awareness of pain. I reversed a recording of keys jangling to evoke stinging tears.
Who did you work with to record? What was the creative process like for you?
I co-produced the album with my partner, Mike Gratton. We recorded over a year and a half, arguing over every note, every sound... to create a precise and sacred spaciousness. The process was emotional; I had to relive painful childhood feelings and learn how to let self-hatred go.
What do you enjoy most about performing & live music in general?
I spend a lot of my life reflecting on my past and anticipating the future. But as soon as I get on stage, nothing else matters.
Are there any ideas, philosophies about music you’d like to share that are meaningful to you right now?
After the success of Palimpsest, I felt anxious about what to do next. I'm learning how to be a beginner again and let go of any expectations.
Who are some artists you’re excited about? Is there anyone playing at Lux Magna you're keen to see?
I'm excited to check out the sultry and intellectual rhymes of Hua Li and I'll also be at the collaborations of the Fillesharmoniques; their program fascinates me and I can't wait to be inspired!
Lux Magna Schedule: Kee Avil • FOONYAP • Jeanne d'Arc • Tamara Filyavich, Jan. 27 at La Vitrola. [Billets/Tickets]