HALF/ASIAN with Amy the CODA
HALF/ASIAN with Amy the CODA is a mixed race (Cantonese/British) musician making synth pop on an 80’s synth and a Child Of Deaf Adult singing the lyrics in her mother tongue: sign language.
HALF/ASIAN with Amy the CODA are an audio-visual performing duo creating art that is rooted in identity exploration and embodiment. HALF/ASIAN (Ian Griffiths) plays synthesizers from the 80’s purchased at thrift stores and sings in English. Amy the CODA (Amy Braun) performs in her first language – Pidgin Signed English (A combination of ASL signs and English grammar and syntax).
For Ian, it started with the purchase of a Yamaha PSR 36 from Value Village – and has grown into a distinct sound that pushes the boundaries of synthesizer programming – going beyond the parameters it was designed for. The lyricism ranges from fractured poetry to poignant storytelling and narratives. Their sound has been likened to Chromeo and early Gorillaz, mixed with George Harrison.
For Amy, it started with signing along to one of Ian’s songs recreationally and realizing that she had lost the majority of her sign language fluency through having a profession that is not centered around the deaf community and interpreting. Her performance is a creative expression of the stories told within the lyrics and music. It is a reclamation of language and involves not only interpreting the words but adding emphasis through visual storytelling with movement and dance.
“As a band, we work to create art that is meaningful to us. We both have bi-cultural identities, and don’t always feel like we can fully be exactly who we are in every time and place. When we are creating or performing, we are in this place where we embrace everything that has made us who we are. And by sharing it we allow these versions of ourselves to be seen.”
Change starts with positive representation. We believe that art has the power to shift perspectives.