Plains is about hybridizing Alistair Sung’s nonclassical interests with his classical ones. He uses a palette of cello and electronics with influences of dance music and Punk Rock. Punk Rock is found in the straightforward quality of his composition. His effects are direct and reductive. Dance music manifests in the way Sung uses two or three rhythmic sound vectors and explores the relationship between. Additionally, Alistair Sung’s music embraces the interaction between synthetic and acoustic sounds. By curating the software-driven components of his compositions, looping, repetition, and layering he augments the sound of the cello’s acoustic character.
I’m fascinated by your use of an electronic sound palette. Why are you interested in mixing the electronic with the acoustic?
Plains is the product of Alistair Sung’s decade long career as a classically trained cellist and freelance musician. He’s contributed to a variety of exceptional solo and collaborative projects across a spectrum of genres. For example, he contributed to the stunning Always by Phillip Daniel and Handles by Drexler. He is a member of the Amsterdam Cello Octet and s t a r g a z e. He’s toured with Chad Lawson, Mumford and Sons and Poliça. Until recently, Alistair Sung did not consider himself a Composer. To develop the skills and confidence to craft original music of his own, he embarked on a year-long collaboration with four different composers, Aart Strootman, Molly Joyce, Morris Kliphuis and Qasim Naqvi.
Tell me about your collaboration with Aart Strootman, Molly Joyce, Morris Kliphuis, and Qasim Naqvi. What did you take away from that experience?
In your interview with Gaudeamus you said that you didn’t consider yourself a composer. After releasing an album of original music has that changed?
Alistair’s Sung’s debut of original compositions was planned as a live performance in the museum quarter of Utrecht, Netherlands. The performance was canceled due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Live performances have been postponed until January and February 2021. Fortunately, Alistair Sung’s album Plains is now available on all the major streaming platforms.