As promised, we present to you thoughts of the collaborative artists behind Dimensions & Demons, to be performed at the Esplanade Recital Studio on 5th November.
“Daren Shiau and Riot !n Magenta explore the surreal terrain in Lucid Dreams, where memory, regret and release intersect through a collision of beats, words, loops and phrases.”
What does the idea of Dream World mean to you?
Ken Hayashida (R!M): Dreams are a series of thoughts, imagination and sensations occurring in someone’s mind when they are asleep. Whenever I dream at night, I go to a place where there is no nuclear and if I am lucky, everything is in magenta.
Daren: It is when the subconscious moves from the background to the foreground in our minds. Greek philosopher Aristotle observed: “often when one is asleep, there is something in consciousness which declares that what then presents itself is but a dream”.
What is your final work concept about?
Daren: Lucid dreams. Both R!M and I are interested in the phenomenon where one is unsure whether one is awake or asleep – when you are unsure as to whether you are in control. All of us have encountered this at one time or another.
Ken: Lucid Dreams. Would not like to reveal too much but it is going to be loud!
What form will the performance take?
Daren: You will see contributions from both artists on stage. It was a collaborative work, and we spent quite a bit of time together in discussions and at rehearsals.
What should the audience takeaway from the performance? What was the process of collaboration like? Were there any compromises in the artistic vision for the sake of collaboration?
Ken: I felt that the collaboration was a great fit! R!M respects Daren for his literature works and contribution to the arts and we felt fortunate to be given this opportunity to collaborate with him.
Initially. We sat down and came up with a 3 stage framework. This is the masterplan for the production. We tweaked as we go along and when the emotion and narrative of the stages have been finalised, we set about emoting the narrative thru music.
In terms of making compromises, I believe there was none because of the great mutual respect we have for each other.
Daren: Agree with Ken – I had great admiration for the band even before we set about collaborating. I enjoy indie music and local acts, and R!M is right up there among my favourites.
Daren Shiau’s works include a novel, Heartland (1999); a poetry collection, Peninsular: Archipelagos and Other Islands (2000); and a micro-fiction collection, Velouria (2007). Heartland received a Singapore Literature Prize commendation award in 1998. In 2015, it was commissioned by MediaCorp to be made into a telemovie directed by K Rajagopal. Daren has also co-edited an experimental mono-titular anthology titled Coast (2010). He has been invited to read at the Melbourne Writers Festival, the Hong Kong International Literary Festival, and at universities in New York, Boston and London.
Riot !n Magenta’s journey could be said to be one of sonic alchemy. Known for their distinctive soulful melodies lined with edgy, rhythmic beats, the quintet crystallizes the diverse musical elements of electronic, trip-hop and soul into smooth, synth tracks. Their music, a prism that distills colors into white light.