Anthony Lefferts Q&A

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Space Four Zero is
a new exhibition and live music space in Phnom Penh opening on the
18th September. Cambodian Space Project (CSP)
play a show at the venue on Friday the 19th
September. Leng Pleng
got
the low-down from Anthony Lefferts, the founder of Space Four Zero.
Q: The grand opening
of Space Four Zero happens this Thursday at 6pm. Has it been a long
road of preparation leading up to this moment?
A: We open on Thursday, are you sure? No, seriously, it’s been a wild
and fun ride that was kinda hatched when travelling with Julien and
CSP around Australia, highlighted by CSP playing The Byron Bay Blues
Festival. We wanted to create a hub for our various arts, music and film
projects in conjunction with our music management and events company The Space
Agency. Space Four Zero has a little more flexibility than a formal
gallery. We will host art exhibitions, live bands, spoken-word
performances, forums and other funky, cool events. We will only be
open occasionally but you can always call if you wanna come by and
check out Space Four Zero.
Q: Whats happening
with the Cambodian Space Project gig on Friday? What can we expect?
A: The CSP gig on Friday
is gonna be a big ole shindig. Expect the unexpected and hopefully
some new songs from CSP’s new album – which is absolutely cracking.
Q: You are
the man behind http://www.thewanderingtraveler.com/
. What makes Phnom Penh the right place to situate
Space Four-Zero?
A: Phnom Penh is like a
blank canvas where you can pretty much create whatever you want – be
it art, music, film. There’s a revival happening here and I’ve fallen
in love with Cambodia like so many of us. It’s a truly special
place.
Q: Can you tell us a
little more about Dara Puspita, the ‘greatest girl group that never
was’? Is there an undiscovered ‘Golden Era’ of Indonesian music
running parallel to Cambodian rock’n’roll of the 1960’s and 1970’s ?
A:
There is definitely a parallel. I mean, the 60’s were a
very special time in lots of places, not just in Cambodia. While Cambodia was experiencing a
vibrant music and film scene, it was the
complete opposite for Dara Puspita in Indonesia. They were detained and interrogated
by the authorities for performing the ‘outlawed rock’n’roll’
music and were even placed under house arrest for a spell. They split
town and headed to Thailand were they would further master their
craft and start writing their own songs, some even in Thai.
Dara
Puspita’s rock’n’roll tale has a modern day parallel with Russian
President Putin and the band ‘Pussy Riot’. Dara Puspita were
never really politically outspoken but their revolutionary image and
sound was unprecedented and caused serious outrage at the time.
The
exhibition will head to Bali for The UBUD Writers and Readers
Festival between the 1st and 6th October, then
Australia and the United States. We want to expose Dara Puspita to
the world. We are planning to record a tribute album of their songs
and produce a documentary about the band as well.
Q: It might be
a heavy weekend of celebration for you with the exhibition and the
CSP gig at Space Four Zero… whats your favourite
Phnom Penh hangover breakfast?
A: Phnom Penh has so many
great options when it comes to chow – we are pretty lucky. I live
on the riverside so that is where I usually eat breakfast – I love the egg florentine at The Quay, also Metro is yummy and there is this great little Cambodian restaurant on 110 – I’m not sure it has a name but you can
get a huge bowl of noodles with all the fixins for $1.50.
Hope to see you all on
Thursday and/or Friday
– ANTHONY LEFFERTS
Dara Puspita: The
Greatest Girl Group That N[ever] Was will open on Thursday at 6pm at
Space Four Zero, #40 Street 118. 069 571 100

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