One of Singapore’s most critically acclaimed and enigmatic artists, The Analog Girl is collaborating with Japanese experimental artist Atsuhiro Ito and fellow Singaporean sound artist Zai Kuning in an intense performance at the Singapore Arts Festival on Saturday.
The Analog Girl, real name Mei Wong, has performed in London, Paris, Amsterdam, Tokyo, New York, Taiwan and many other places. Making music from her laptop, she embraces digital technology and creates music with lots of invention and adventure. No wonder it has taken her to places beyond her wildest dreams.
This Saturday, The Analog Girl will be performing in Singapore in a gig described as ‘an intense, electrifying conversation’. It is a meeting of three musical minds with a stunning visual twist. Singaporean artist Zai Kuning has been a major force in the Singapore arts scene for years wearing different hats and exploring various musical horizons. Atsuhiro Ito started out as a visual artist in the late 1980s before incorporating sound performances years later. His musical device, the Optron, is his invention made from fluorescent tubes.
I caught up with The Analog Girl to talk about the upcoming gig at the Supperclub.
How did you hook up with Atsuhiro Ito and Zai Kuning?
Props to Sylvia and Kee Hong from the National Arts Council for hooking the three of us up for this first-ever one-night-only live collaboration at the Supperclub. You'll kick yourself for missing the show.
How are the rehearsals and preparations for the show coming along?
It's been day-in day-out for myself as I am adding new elements and new material to the show. What you'll get to see is the synchronization of many cutting-edge machines like the Tenori-On, which is a step sequencer with LED buttons that light up both ways; the Monome, which is a minimalist grid-like controller that can become whatever you can program it to be with a computer - a drum machine, a visualizer or even a piano; as well as, audio cubes from Percussa that trigger MIDI events and light up in many pretty colours.
We'll start rehearsals as a group when Atsuhiro flies in, probably two days before the show. It will be fun, largely improvisational and a real creative adventure for all of us.
You usually perform solo. How do you approach a collaboration - in this case, with two other artists?
It will definitely be a whole new experience for me, and probably for all three of us as we are from different musical disciplines. It will be interesting to see what will come out of our sonic explorations, even I will be surprised on show night!
Who else would you love to collaborate with?
I would love to collaborate with Beck because I think that he is a highly versatile musical genius; Kraftwerk as they are pioneers in my scene; and Wicked Aura Batucada because I love their beats! It will be a riot.
What has been your favourite gig so far?
One of my most favourite gigs to date has to be my performance at Worldtronics 2009 held at the Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt in Berlin, Germany. It was a dream come true for me to perform for the enthusiastic crowd in Berlin and I love the city! It is very creative, easy-going and inspirational.
Any upcoming projects in the near future?
A new album is in the making and I will be traveling to Beijing to perform at the opening party for designer toymakers threeA and star artist Ashley Wood's upcoming collection on June 25, 2010 held at Sanlitun Village. It will be massive.
About Patrick Chng
Forever young at heart, Patrick Chng loves going to gigs and checking out Singapore bands. He has also been playing in bands since the late 1980s, writing about music and being an important mover and shaker in the Singapore indie music scene. When he's not checking out or playing gigs, he's at home playing with his guitars and updating his Facebook.