Esperi - Origami
Dundee is famous for three things, they say; Jute, jam and journalism. But is it about to get a fourth? Juxtaposing acoustic guitar and a whole host of odd instruments and percussion, Esperi mainman Chris Lee-Marr seems to be making all the right waves. We had a quick chinwag with the Dundee-based musician to find out more.
Can you please describe the sound of Esperi?
Esperi is Scottish folkish music, blending both acoustic and electronic instruments with organic sound. A lot of Esperi songs are based around fingerstyle guitar playing and plaintive vocal melodies, often with layers of other instruments and sound.
Why should the people out there listen to you?
Good reasons to listen to Esperi is that it’s optimistic, uplifting and honest music.
Is it fair to say you're a one-man band?
It is essentially a solo project much of the time, although there are times when there is accompaniment or a full band performance. The musicians that play with me are close friends and are really talented. They play on some of the recordings and are busy with their own projects Starling and Vasquez.
What on earth does 'Esperi' mean?
The name Esperi is taken from a sci-fi novel in which Esperi was the name of a star. I'm a fan of sci-fi and astronomy.
You're based in Dundee. Is its music scene just not as buzzing as the scene in Glasgow or Edinburgh, or is that a complete lie?
I stay on the east coast, just north of Dundee, and although it’s the nearest city, I spend an equal amount of time in Glasgow and Edinburgh. It is a smaller place, so there is less going on, but it’s still got regular live events and there are some great bands and artists in Dundee. I'm putting on the n_ilk festival with my wife and friends at the Botanical Gardens to showcase some local music, art and performers.
Judging by your recent promo photos you seem like a bit of a dog person. What's wrong with cats?
I love dogs, cats and all animals, I don't have any cats though. My dogs are with me a lot and I wanted the promo pictures to reflect a real part of my life. Spending time outdoors with my dogs Fallon and Luke and playing music kind of sums me up. A walk on the beach with the dogs and kalimba is a good way to play music.
Dexters, Dundee, Sun 25 Apr; Drummonds, Aberdeen, Wed 28 Apr; Tunnels, Aberdeen, Thu 20 May