Lichens is the moniker of artist Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, created for performance and recording solo and with collaborators.
Lowe was previously a member of 90 Day Men before beginning his solo project. In live performance, Lichens compositions are spontaneous arrangements of voice and modular synthesizer patch pieces. In the past, Lowe would utilizing acoustic and electric guitars, and on some occasions, percussion. Lichens’ first release was The Psychic Nature of Being, a three-track album recorded as a one-time improvisation without overdubbing. In 2007, Lichens released Omns, which was intended to be a continuation of The Psychic Nature of Being using slightly different techniques in recording and editing. Since 2007 Lowe has been focused on live performance and the physicality of sound as well as many releases and collaborations.
In 2008, Lichens toured extensively opening for instrumental post-rock band Explosions in the Sky and played at their curated All Tomorrow’s Parties music festival.
Lowe performed in the noise rock supergroup Singer, playing bass and providing vocals on two albums for Drag City with Todd Rittman and Adam Vida of U.S. Maple and Ben Vida of Town & Country.
He performed tambura and vocals for stoner/doom metal band Om on their albums God Is Good and Advaitic Songs, and also joined them on stage. He contributed with vocals on the album Monument to Time End by black metal band Twilight.
“Jeff Young and Paul Pinto, Patriots, Run for Public Office on a Platform of Swift and Righteous Immigration Reform, Lots of Jobs, and a Healthy Environment: An Opera by Paul Pinto and Jeffrey Young” was created in 2011 as a parody of contemporary politics and politicians. The half-hour piece focuses on issues of immigration and national identity. Jeffrey Young and Paul Pinto collaboratively created the text, music, and staging, scoring the piece for their own voices, violin, percussion, a turntable, and lots of cardboard boxes. In “…Patriots…,” instrumental music alternates with sung and spoken words, zany and humorous topical quips alternate with personal, pointed critiques of the political zeitgeist, fully notated sections merge into structured musical and textual improvisations, and tonal harmonies mix with less traditional musical effects. The piece has been performed principally on three tours of the US, including seven West Coast performances in 2011, 17 cities in 17 days in 2013, and four more West Coast performances in 2016.