Concert: Silence Teaches You How To Sing

Concert: Silence Teaches You How To Sing

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Thu 14 Nov 2013, 8 pm
Hanoi Rock City

From The Onion Cellar:
Silence Teaches You How To Sing featuring:

ASPIDISTRAFLY : ambient folk duo from Singapore
JRG_ONE : cassette-tape-based live set
SEBASTIEN GESELL : quiet minimalism DJ set

YOU: talkless, shoeless, floor-sitting, mind-cleansing, being

In which The Onion Cellar challenges you to not utter a single word. To be at peace with your silence.

Definitely not an ordinary event, as proved by the first edition back in August, SILENCE has more in common with the teachings and practices of meditation. A silent retreat for the iPad generation, accompanied by beautiful, abstract and non-intrusive visuals and sounds.

One strict rule applies throughout the evening, at all times and not only while the artists are performing: once you have entered the Red Room (which, for the occasion, would be transformed to resemble more its namesake


That means, no ‘hello’ and ‘how’s it going’, no making acquaintances, no exchanging phone numbers, no finding out you two live on the same street, no flirting, no discussing arts and English football and Murakami and the war on terrorism. That means having a decent (and potentially transcendental) ‘night out’ without all the things you take for granted.

It might seem ironic to provide sound and visual accompaniment at an event partly inspired by John Cage’s (masterpiece) 4’33 – but we believe the warm texture, voice and acoustic guitar sounds from the excellent ambient folk duo ASPIDISTRAFLY, the hauntingly delicate sounds and abstract analogue visuals from JRG_ONE, and the super-rare minimalism DJ set from SEBASTIEN GESELL, will be the perfect vehicles for your ascent to galaxies afar.



From Singapore, ASPIDISTRAFLY consists of composer and vocalist April Lee (b.1984) and producer Ricks Ang (b.1980) – both also being founders of Kitchen. Label.

The duo play a flickeringly filmic mixture of ambient folk with gossamer-like vocal harmonies and guitar-based drone wrapped in a delicate lo-fi haziness. April’s beguiling visions and lyrics form the backbone of ASPIDISTRAFLY‘s storytelling.

ASPIDISTRAFLY released their debut EP The Ghost of Things in 2004, followed by first full-length album I Hold a Wish for You in 2008 which gained much recognition and attention around Japan and Asia. In December 2011, they released their second album A Little Fable, recorded in autumn/winter 2010 in Japan in collaboration with several kindred spirits (Haruka Nakamura, Junya Yanagidaira (ironomi), Akira Kosemura, Janis Crunch and more).

Fascinated by the patina of time and themes of folklore, A Little Fable narrates a surrealist procession of tales, twelve compositions simmering one into the other lyrically and picturesquely. This album sees the duo returning to a warm, organic palette of closely-whispered vocals (which see April’s distinctly smoky and melancholic tone compared to Vashti Bunyan and Linda Perhacs), fingerpicked guitar, string arrangements and their trademark texture-focused arrangements.

In Landscape with a Fairy, a tale of loss and longing during the earliest dawn mist – the world in its daily transition – is daubed in the hues of intensified sunlight, foliage or shadows, only to be diffused and faded by time, not unlike Andrei Tarkovsky’s polaroids of the Russian countryside. April Lee’s intimate vocals and acoustic guitar gently break the silence of a cold morning, backed by graceful string flourishes arranged by Kyo Ichinose. Kitchen. Label’s very own Haruka Nakamura and Junya Yanagidaira (ironomi) add harmonizing colors of the guitar and piano respectively.

JRG_ONE's cassette tapes

JRG_ONE’s previous live appearances in Hanoi saw his woven sonic textures crafting a delicate (yet equally haunting) take on experimental music.

For the second installment of SILENCE TEACHES YOU HOW TO SING, he has crafted a set which ditches the standard laptop setup and instead makes use of prepared audio cassette tapes and numerous tape players fed through a mixer and live sampler. What better complement to rare silence in the digital age than subtle strains of pure analog tape hiss, punctuated by the sound of tape heads engaging with the push of clunky PLAY and STOP buttons?

What’s on the tapes? A whole host of fuzzed-out synthesizer sequences, mellow drones, sound effects, ambient field recordings, voices from the ether, and likely some sounds that will surprise even the artist himself, all of them awash in warm, beautiful “tape tone.” The resulting blanket of sound will rise and fall in waves that are looped, layered, pitch shifted and fed through various effects, all while being complemented by live ethereal vocal sampling and snippets of short-wave radio static. There will be no pre-determined play order to the massive pile of tapes laid out for the set, so close your eyes and ride the hissssssss…

Listen to his music on Soundcloud.


Sebastien Gesell's moon musick DJ set - Set DJ 'nguyệt ca' của Sebastien Gesell

Back on the Silence stage due to popular demand and the wonderful feedback he received for the set in August

SEBASTIEN GESELL has always been one helluva versatile DJ, and while this very special set of quiet minimalism music he will showcase on the night could not be more different from the tunes he usually throws at Hanoian ravers, it will be just as trance-inducing.

Listen to his music on Soundcloud.


VND 50,000 ((Vietnamese/ international) student concessions – available at doors)
VND 100,000 (doors)

Join the facebook event page for more updates about the show.

Hanoi Rock City
27/52 To Ngoc Van, Tay Ho

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