Based in London, Auto Portrait is a couple/duo consisting of poet Suki Vita and classical composer/visual artist Luca Bailey. Through poetry, visual art, and sonic trial-and-error, Auto Portrait is the outcome of the union between their multicultural backgrounds. Suki Vita grew up in Tokyo; Luca Bailey in Birmingham, UK.
Their debut single “I, Pre Defined” and it’s B-Side “By You Infinitely” are completely different in execution but serve as mirrors to the experience of the inevitable destiny one gets assigned to in life. “I, Pre-Defined” is illustrated by a vast array of sounds, from industrial percussion, dissonant guitars, string sections, and traditional Japanese instrumentation. There are screams, haunting vocals from Vita, spoken words from both Vita and Bailey, and a general feeling of discomfort and paranoia. It’s a fascinating interplay between two artists who come from cultures still very much ensnared in traditional expectations, classism, racism, sexism, and xenophobia. This song – as well as Basil Kräher‘s amazing cover photo for the album – perfectly encapsulates that feeling of alienation from and discontent with these suffocating societal constraints. Surely there are other options out there on the road less traveled, they assert.
“Some have no choice than to be stripped from their dreams and desired paths,” Vita explains. “This song represents the idea of stepping out of our known destiny to escape the stagnant structure and be conscious of the consequences in staying silent under these conditions.”
The B-side ‘By You Infinitely’ explores the fear of losing the embrace of the ones we love the most, and the inevitability of growing further away from their memory as time passes. This is illustrated by a syncopated modular synth ballad centred around the duality of loss and preservation. The sound is reminiscent of composer Richard Harvey, mixed with the vocal elements of Nick Drake.
“It celebrates the life-affirming nature of those embraces, and gives hope to the present moment,” says Bailey.
The album was recorded by Mark Gittins at Megatone Studios, and mastered by Mark Gittins for Dolby Atmos at Sensound Audio. Auto Portrait are looking forward to recording new material and preparing for their debut live shows later this year.
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