Alter Festival

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Gus Fairbairn, aka Alabaster dePlume is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and charismatic presence unfolds deeper meanings of frivolous joy as a means against the profuse presence of the world of work and senseless consumption. Fairbairn’s willingness to use his own tendencies as a point of departure, brings his expressions of an indefinable optimism just beyond reach, yet close enough to keep you grasping for it. This is an invitation to recover reflection from outside forces that seek to dominate the formation of the self and reassure ourselves of worth beyond measurability. Alabaster dePlume’s dedication to levity and mayhem as tools of beauty is mirrored in his work method. His double album Gold (2022) was recorded at London’s Total Refreshment Centre (TRC) over two weeks. He invited a different set of musicians each day, playing the tunes to click so that dePlume, who also produced it, could cut the 17 hours of sessions together like a collage. As with all his sessions, he ensured that the musicians didn’t have enough time to rehearse the tunes, instead requiring them to tune into each other and to rely on each other to reach the end of a song. There was another rule: no listening back to sessions after recording. This work method is mirrored in his concerts, which often seem like a spontaneous cult gathering. The musicians again have no time to rehearse so the music seems spontaneously co-composed by dePlume and the band.