What’s Up With That?

What’s Up With That? is a new multimedia collaboration between The Shanghai Restoration Project and Chinese indie animator Lei Lei. The project contemplates the seemingly inexhaustible curiosity that we all had when we were children and explores what happens to it when we all grow older. It features ten new original electronic music compositions by The Shanghai Restoration Project, which also incorporate samples taken from cassette tape recordings made by Lei Lei during his childhood. The sounds were then juxtaposed against the soundscape of adult life in today’s modern society.


《怎么搞的?》是上海复兴方案和中国独立动画人雷磊的一个新的多媒体合作。作品对我们童年时期那看似源源不断的好奇心进行了思考,并对我们长大后好奇心方面究竟发生了什么进行了一番探索。作品含有十首由上海复兴方案创作的电子音乐新作,其中收录了雷磊童年时期的磁带录音中提取的小样。这些声音继而与时下现代社会中成人生活的音景相映并置。

 

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The synchronized visuals from the collaborative project is comprised of animated cutouts from the book A Collection of Western Book Covers, which was introduced to Lei Lei at a very early age by his father who worked as a graphic designer in the 1980s. This multimedia collaboration, according to Lei Lei, is an exciting departure for him. Being able to perform along with Dave during live musical performances is quite different from his usual workflow as an animator, which typically involves spending many hours drawing illustrations and animating on the computer.


这次合作项目中的同步视觉是由利用《国外书籍装桢设计选》一书剪贴画制成的动画节选组成。在80年代雷磊尚为年幼时,他的平面设计师父亲就将这本书介绍给了他。此次这个多媒体合作,是个令他非常兴奋的新方向。作为一个动画人,他在日常工作中需要长时间地画画和电脑动画制作,与Dave一起在音乐现场表演这种事与之相比算是个相当不同的体验。

Photo Credit: TW.STUDIO
图片来源: TW.STUDIO

The album is available for purchase on iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon.

Take a listen to a selection of our favorite tracks taken from the record here:

The Shanghai Restoration Project + Lei Lei – Ayo Way

The Shanghai Restoration Project + Lei Lei – Out the Door

The Shanghai Restoration Project + Lei Lei – Dreams in a Glass Jar

Read more about the collaboration below in our exclusive interview with Lei Lei and Dave Liang from The Shanghai Restoration Project.


该专辑现已在iTunesSpotify,和 Amazon发布。

以下是我们最爱的专辑曲目节选,欢迎试听:

 上海复兴方案 + 雷磊 – Ayo Way

上海复兴方案 + 雷磊 – Out the Door

 上海复兴方案 + 雷磊 – Dreams in a Glass Jar

了解更多关于这个项目的内容,请阅读以下我们对雷磊和上海复兴方案Dave Liang的独家专访。

Neocha: How did this collaboration come about? How did you both meet?

Dave: I first heard about Lei Lei through Neocha founder Sean Leow and found his work fascinating. Growing up in America, most of the animation I was exposed to was very corporatized (for example, Disney, Pixar, etc.), so the individualism of Lei Lei’s work really resonated with me. A few years later, I was introduced to him in person by the visual artist Sun Yunfan. He was in New York City for a few days and even stayed over at my place, where he would show me his latest animations and we would also jam together over tracks that I was putting together – he’s a really clever freestyle rapper!


Neocha: 你们的合作是如何展开的?你们是如何相识的?

Dave我第一次听说雷磊是通过Neocha的创始人Sean Leow, 当时觉得他的作品特别迷人。我在美国长大,接触到的多数动画都是非常大公司集体制作的(例如: 迪士尼,皮克斯等),所以雷磊作品的个人特质激起了我很大的共鸣。几年后,视觉艺术家孙云帆当面介绍我们认识。他当时在纽约呆了几天,甚至在我家借宿。在我家,他给我看了他最新的动画作品,我们也一起听了我做的一些曲子,他真的是个非常聪明的freestyle rapper!

Lei Lei: I actually met Dave before in New York City, and had already heard a lot of his music. At that time, we had some ideas to collaborate on a music project. I was a special guest rapper at some of his Beijing and New York shows – slowly after that, we got to know each other.

Last year, when I went back to my hometown, Jiangxi, I discovered a bunch of old cassette tape recordings from when I was three years old. I listened to them and found them really interesting! So then I shared what was on the cassette tapes with Dave, and he became as excited as a kid in a candy shop. He later sampled and edited the sounds from the tapes and used his own music to spin everything together into a completely new story.

And just like that, we started to prepare and put together some fun stuff to do for our live performances. I actually did a lot of research on one of my dad’s old books called A Collection of Western Book Covers – it was published back in 1988 and it compiled a lot of international book cover designs. At the time, the book was put out to show Chinese designers some of the better new design concepts from the West. So then I used all the graphics and stuff that they made in 1988 and turned them into an animation. I used some clips from it in this collaboration with Dave and matched the clips with the mood of his music. Some of the parts are more abstract and some are more obvious. So that is pretty much how What’s Up With That? came about – the visuals and sounds from the live performances are from 1988. We just created a completely brand new story through editing and remixing all of those different elements.


雷磊: 其实我之前在纽约就见过Dave, 也听了很多他的音乐,当时我们就有一些音乐上合作的想法,我作为嘉宾出现在他北京和纽约的演出上。所以我们慢慢开始熟悉和了解对方。

在去年,我在江西老家找到了几盘我在1988年的录音和唱歌的磁带~那时候我三岁,我听了以后觉得内容非常有趣!我把磁带的内容分享给Dave,Dave也被我小时侯的录音乐翻了,像吃了一包跳跳糖,于是他在纽约重新编辑采样这些磁带的素材,从中找到新的线索,用音乐编写成新的故事。

就这样,我们开始准备一些有趣的现场演出,其实我一直在研究我父亲的一本旧书《国外书籍装桢设计选》,它出版于1988年。书中展示了大量国外的书籍封面,试图教导当时的中国设计师学习西方优秀的设计概念。我利用这些1988年的视觉素材做动画,我会从中选择一些片段和Dave合作,配合音乐的情绪,有的抽象,有的具体一些……《怎么搞的?》专辑就是这么来的~现场演出的视觉和听觉都取材于1988年。我们通过重新的编辑和剪辑工作,虚构一个新的故事。

Neocha: What was it like collaborating on this project? Tell us about the process, and how was this different from your usual projects?

Dave: Lei Lei and I would hang out a lot in New York City during his residency. We liked each other’s artistic style and wanted to find a way to collaborate. One time he was telling me about his childhood in Nanchang, and it sounded very different from his current life in Beijing. We thought that it might be interesting to explore his childhood and see if that led us anywhere. On the visual side, Lei Lei started playing around with some animated cutouts from the above mentioned book. On the audio side, he dug up these three cassette tapes. When he was three years old, Lei Lei’s parents had recorded him making funny sounds, telling stories, reciting random poems, and singing songs. The tapes also contained theme songs from television and radio programs at the time, as well as sounds from everyday life, like phone calls, and so on. After we converted the tapes to digital, I went through and extracted the sounds that jumped out at me and created some basic tracks from them. I would then send them to Lei Lei in Beijing and he would send over new animated clips he was working on to me in New York.


Neocha: 合作是怎样的?可以和我们说说过程吗?这和你通常做的插画项目有何不同?

Dave雷磊在纽约的这段时间里,我们经常呆在一起。我们都喜欢对方的艺术风格,也想找到一个合作的方式。有一次,他和我说起他在南昌的童年,在我听来,那和他现在北京的生活大不一样。我们认为探索探索他的童年生活应该会挺有意思,也看看这么做下文会怎么样。视觉方面,他开始试着利用上面提到那本书剪下的画面。音乐方面,他找出了这么三张卡带。他父母在他三岁的时候录过他自己编的故事、发出的搞怪声音、背诵的诗句和唱的歌。那些卡带上也录了些当时的电视主题曲和广播节目,还有一些日常生活里的声音,比如电话铃声等。我们把这些磁带进行数码转码之后,我捕捉了一些能刺激到我的声音,编成了基本音轨。我会把它们发给在北京的雷磊,他也会把正在做的新动画片段发给在纽约的我。

Lei LeiI think the main reason this collaboration between Dave and I happened was because we were both really open to do different things. Both of us enjoy the process of working with different artists. Dave has collaborated with Jazz singer Zhang Le and various Indian musicians for different projects that ended up being amazing. I have also worked with Ou Ning, an art curator; Thomas Sauvin, a collector of French art; as well as numerous artists from different fields. That’s how we knew a collaboration between us would work out.

Even though Dave primarily handled the music while I handled the visual aspects for this collaboration, our way of thinking is quite similar, so we were on the same page the whole time. Dave is an incredible musician. The origins of material is very important to both of us; we like to deconstruct older works and reconstruct it into something completely new. Even though the two of us grew up in very different environments, we still share the same issues of being overly self-aware and trying to figure out our identity in society. So through this project we try to find answers to these questions.

Of course, this project is really different from my past work. Sometimes just doing animation work can feel boring and mechanical, because I’m just sitting in front of the computer making drawings over and over again. Being a part of a live musical performance with Dave is something really exciting for me. Performing live you can get an immediate reaction from an audience, which is very different from doing animations or illustrations.


雷磊: 我觉得我和Dave的合作的前提是我们都有非常开放的心态,我们非常乐于和不同的艺术家合作。Dave和爵士歌手张乐和印度的音乐人都有不同的项目,非常精彩。我之前也和策展人欧宁,法国收藏家苏文以及很多不同领域的艺术家合作过。所以我们知道这样的合作会带来有趣的化学效应!

这次合作中,虽然Dave主要负责音乐而我主要负责视觉的部分,但关键的是我们的工作背后的逻辑和思考是类似的。Dave是非常优秀的音乐家,我们同样关注素材的来源,我们喜欢对旧物进行解构和再创造,我们虽然成长于不同的环境,但是我们同样有在社会生活中自我认同和自我认知的问题,所以在这个项目中我们都试图去寻找答案。

当然,这个项目和我其他的动画工作不同,动画有的时候是机械的工作,坐在电脑前反复的绘画,而和Dave的音乐演出是让人兴奋和激动的!我们即兴的表演观众会立刻有反馈。这和动画或是插画很不一样。

Neocha: What did you enjoy about the collaboration process?

Dave: Lei Lei is a really quirky guy and this makes for a fun partnership. Once we were at a gallery watching an animated short and he started making sound effects out loud as if he was providing the soundtrack. Another time we were at a Knicks game and he was commenting on the shapes of the players’ bodies as if they were cartoon characters in a future animation of his. I’m sure these quirks and carefree attitude towards life influenced some of my production choices for this project. Also, when we perform live, Lei Lei often whips out a signature combination of up-down, side-side moves that audiences really like.

Lei LeiTwo things. The first thing being what I mentioned earlier: being able to incorporate my art into a live performance is really exciting for me. The second is the aspect of being able to share my experiences. Having the chance to share my memories and cassette tapes from my childhood with other artists is wonderful.


Neocha: 在这个合作过程中,你觉得最棒的是哪个部分?

Dave雷磊是个很古怪的人,这一点让我们的合作关系变得很有趣。有一次我们进画廊观看动画短片,他就开始搞出各种声效,就跟他在给动画配音轨似的。还有一次我们在尼克斯队的篮球比赛上,他现场评价各个球员的体型,好像他们都是他将来某部动画片的角色。他这些生活上的古怪和无所谓的态度对我在这个项目上的制作肯定是有影响的。还有,当我们现场表演的时候,雷磊常来个上下、左右结合起来的标志性身体动作,让观众特别喜欢。

雷磊: 最棒的:1,是上个问题中我回答的演出,这让我很兴奋。2,是关于分享,我觉得把我儿时的记忆,我小时候的录音磁带分享给其他的艺术家,这个让我觉得非常的奇妙!

Websites:
shanghairestorationproject.com
raydesign.cn

The album is available for purchase on iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon.

 

Contributor: Leon Yan
Video & Music Courtesy of The Shanghai Restoration Project & Lei Lei
Artist Photos by TW.STUDIO

Additional Photography by Jia Li


网站:
shanghairestorationproject.com
raydesign.cn

The album is available for purchase on iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon.

 

供稿人: Leon Yan
视频和音乐由上海复兴方案雷磊提供
艺术家图片: TW.STUDIO

附加摄影: Jia Li