Alabaster DePlume shares a contemplative playlist for “entering sadness with excitement”
Welcome back to Selections, a series of artist-curated playlists from those in the know.
Alabaster DePlume is an artist unafraid of baring his soul, often encouraging others, his listeners, to tread the same path towards emotional enlightenment.
Born Gus Fairbairn, the London-based Mancunian jazz musician, poet and spoken word artist has done just this across multiple music-based endeavours, ranging from releases such as this year’s stunning GOLD LP for International Anthem through to his shows and festival gigs – which, for the uninitiated, see him take to the stage alongside his band for energy-shifting excursions through word, sound and collaboration, all tempered by Fairbairn’s unrelenting musicality and affinity for improvisation.
Collaboration remains a key theme across his Selections playlist, which he’s sharing with us ahead of a show at next month’s EFG London Jazz Festival. Curated by Fairbairn alongside writer Marwa Belghazi and set designer Kettivy Hor on their way to the seaside, his playlist – dubbed “entering sadness with excitement – features warm, gentle and uplifting music from the likes of Moondog to John Cooper Clarke via Beatrice Dillion, Kuljit Bhamra, Novos Baianos and more.
Discussing the mood and inspiration behind the offering in further detail, Fairbairn said it was the product of “a car trip of three cronies from different cultures to visit one ocean on the coast, where divisive political victories have met societal neglect and these meet refugee boats and these meet arthouse coffee shops. But we travel with the stories of our own hearts and laugh at a phrase ‘entering sadness with excitement’… It’s the only way.”
Alabaster DePlume plays EFG London Jazz Festival on 12 November at the Barbican Centre