Viewing entries tagged
2017

Bella Hardy

Bella Hardy

Bella grew up in Edale in the Peak District, and now lives in Glasgow. Although the Hardy family sang in the local choir, it was a combination of her childhood love for ballad books and visits to local folk festivals that decided her future. At 13 she began performing at Cambridge and Sidmouth festivals and in 2004 reached the final of the BBC Young Folk Award, having taught herself to fiddle sing.

“...the 6Music market surely beckons for Bella. As well as reaffirming her status as a shining star in the folk scene’s firmament, With The Dawn feels like a game-changer” - fRoots

Bella released her debut album Night Visiting in 2007. One of its songs, Three Black Feathers was nominated for a BBC Folk Award. It was her first original composition, and a sign of things to come. Since then, she has been a prolific solo artist - releasing her 6th album 'With The Dawn' in 2015, collaborating on different projects with Martin Simpson, John Smith, Blue Rose Code, and Cara Luft, and winning BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2012 (Best original song for Herring Girl) and 2014 (Folk singer of the year).

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Liam Byrne

Liam Byrne

Liam Byrne divides his time between playing very old and very new music on the viol. He has been praised in The Times for his “nuanced and expressive, stylish virtuosity” and by The Guardian for his “glittering performance”. With the firm belief that baroque music can be vibrant and expressive on its own terms, Liam’s solo work regularly explores lesser-known corners of 16th and 17th century repertoire. He has recently had new works written for him by Donnacha Dennehy, David Lang, Edmund Finnis, Nico Muhly, Valgeir Sigurðsson and others.

As a chamber musician, Liam has performed and recorded with many leading Early Music ensembles. For several years he was a member of the renowned viol consort Fretwork, with whom he toured internationally and played an active role in commissioning new works.

Beyond the realm of early music, Liam has worked with a wide variety of artists including Damon Albarn, Nils Frahm, Matthew Herbert, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Bryce Dessner (The National), Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire), Martin Parker, and Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond). He has contributed to the creation of several large-scale operatic works: Damon Albarn’s Dr Dee (2011-12), Shara Worden’s You Us We All (2013), and Valgeir Sigurðsson’s Wide Slumber (2014).

In April 2015, Liam became the first musician to be awarded a 6-month Artist Residency at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, in connection with the opening of their new Europe 1600-1815 galleries. Currently, Liam is professor of viola da gamba at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he also teaches Medieval and Renaissance Performance Practice and leads a viol consort.

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Anna & Elizabeth

Anna & Elizabeth

Inspired by the richness and tradition of mountain music, Anna & Elizabeth gather songs and stories from archives and visits with elders. They bring these songs to life in performance with sparse, atmospheric arrangements using guitar, banjo, fiddle, and the uncanny blend of their voices in close harmony. Anna & Elizabeth accompany their songs with stories — of the lyrics, of the singer, of the quest to learn the song—and they illustrate them in mesmerizing fashion. The two revive the old scrolling picture show, dubbed “crankies”—intricate picture-scrolls illustrating the old songs they sing, which they create in tandem with papercuts, shadow puppets, prints, and embroidered fabric.

“If you've never thought your tastes would lean to mountain music, take a deep breath and soak it all in." - NPR Music

Anna & Elizabeth met in 2011, and their work has brought them to stages across the world, including the Atlanta Museum of Modern Art; folk festivals in Brooklyn, the Yukon, Chicago, Maine, and Uzbekistan; residencies at universities; summer traditional music schools; and small theaters and folk clubs across the U.S. and U.K. Their second album, which features Grammy nominee and legendary folk singer Alice Gerrard, was released March 2015 on Free Dirt Records. It has been featured on Vice’s Noisey, the Huffington Post, No Depression, and NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concert series.

This winter, Anna & Elizabeth are beginning a new cycle of work, inspired by ballad singers of the 1930s and 1940s in Vermont and Virginia—the states where they grew up. Spending time in archives, with the families of these singers, and with a director, Anna & Elizabeth will explore connections between place and tradition to develop a new show, a new set of crankies, and a new album inspired by these ballads.

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Aidan O'Rourke

Aidan O'Rourke

Both a “dazzling fiddler” (Scotland on Sunday), and an “unfailingly strong and imaginative” composer (The List), Aidan O'Rourke stands at the centre of the modern Scottish folk music revival. Loved for his warm lyrical fiddle style and admired for his adventurous compositions, O'Rourke has emerged as one of Scotland's leading artists, defining a modern attitude to traditional music. In February 2014 he was named Musician of the Year at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

Uniting all of O'Rourke's musical activity is his deep fascination with Scottish culture, landscape and territory. With an Irish ancestry, O'Rourke grew up in the highland port of Oban, his family settling later to the Island of Seil. His earliest years were coloured by the sound of Irish traditional music played in the home by his father, and he began formal training on the fiddle at the age of eight. Studying locally at first, he went on to absorb a range of different playing styles from various distinguished Highland teachers. Winning multiple prizes on the Scottish competition circuit, by the age of 14 he was touring the UK, Europe and North America.

O'Rourke is best known for his groundbreaking trio Lau, formed in 2005 with accordionist Martin Green and singer/guitarist Kris Drever. Releasing their debut album, Lightweights and Gentlemen, in 2007, Lau immediately captured the attention of a many thousands of music fans across a wide spectrum of genres, receiving a wide variety of media coverage. In the six years following, Lau have released two more highly acclaimed studio albums, two live albums and a series of collaborative EPs, with each new release gaining a wider audience for the band. Frequently garlanded with awards, Lau have been named as 'Best Group' in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards no fewer than four times since 2008, leading one journalist to stress that 'other groups were available!'

As a natural development of his life as a fiddler, O'Rourke has been writing tunes for many years. Embarking on more formal compositions, in 2011 he was named Composer of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards. Among a number of prestigious commissions have been pieces for Celtic Connections festival and the Sage Gateshead, as well as works for the Tolbooth in Stirling, Mull’s An Tobar arts centre, and acclaimed visual artists Dalziel and Scullion. He has recorded and released three solo albums, all widely hailed as records that stretch far beyond traditional melodies and tunes, into contemporary jazz, minimalism and the avant-garde.

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Nessi Gomes

Nessi Gomes

Born on the tiny Island of Guernsey to a Portuguese family, British singer- songwriter Nessi Gomes channels influences from both sides of her ethnicity, blending the essence of the traditional, emotional and ‘larger than life’ Fado folk music with British contemporary inspiration.
 
Though spending most of her life in the Channel Islands, the turning point in Nessi’s musical expression took place six years ago when she lived in Central America. The years she spent away from her home shook her world and reshaped her writing. She shifted from the more obvious themes of love, loss and broken hearts to ruthlessly exploring her inner geography, insecurities, beauty and light that she found there. Her quirky and emotive voice began to reflect a brutally honest portrait of an inner world where shadows and hope, sanity and insanity dance magically together; where mysteries are unveiled.
 
In October 2013, Nessi returned to the west with her deeply personal raw material and with a vision to record her songs onto an album. The task to slow cook the project was given to the Grammy nominee producer and film maker Duncan Bridgeman (1 Giant Leap, Hecho En Mexico).  
Since then, over the last one and a half years, inside a rusty little blue boat on London’s Regents Canal, Nessi and Duncan recorded her debut album – Diamonds & Demons.  
Both of them locked themselves in the boat while giving the songs the time to ripen. Duncan worked with great patience; Slowly opening a creative tunnel into Nessi’s inner world and peeling back layers of doubts and resistance. He took her sweat, tears and raw talent and transformed them into a complete album.
  
The album reveals an authentic and heartfelt search for light, depth, hope and truth. It is a quest of art, love and trust.  A series of intricately detailed, hauntingly atmospheric and lushly textured avant-ballads.  It fulfils Nessi’s wish to deeply touch and shake the audience, to stir and shift something within them, to speak of the uncomfortable so that it may pass, and to expose and sing the human experience to its fullest expression.

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Helen Chadwick

Helen Chadwick

A singer, songwriter, composer, performance creator and voice coach, with a background in theatre, Helen writes unaccompanied songs for voices and creates solo and group performances with Helen Chadwick Song Theatre.

Helen Chadwick has been commissioned to create song theatre performances for the Royal Opera House, English Touring Opera, Greenwich and Salisbury festivals, and has composed for the BBC, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre, where she is composing the songs for Light Shining In Buckinghamshire which opens in April.

She has recorded ten albums, including her latest House of Light. Helen is the founder with Thames Festival of the mass choir charity project Sing for Water. Helen Chadwick Song Theatre’s productions include:

War Correspondents - based on interviews with journalists working in conflict zones

White Suit - an outdoor show based on the testimony of a Colombian land mine survivor.

Helen also creates concerts and site-specific work and is touring a trio version of Dalston Songs, which was commissioned by the Royal Opera House. She has collaborated extensively with storytellers, including a performance on Aphrodite and the Gods of Love commissioned by the Getty Villa in Los Angeles. Her solo song theatre performances have toured in Europe and South America.

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Abraham Brody

Abraham Brody

‘..a fine musician […] vibrant colours with plenty of virtuosity [..]An unexpected and arresting experience.’- Michael Church, Review, the Independent, February 2015

Abraham Brody is an artist using music, performance, and video.

He is interested in pushing boundaries between performer and public, as well as the limits of our everyday awareness and consciousness into what he calls ‘spiritual consciousness.’
In order to bring this ‘spiritual consciousness’ into his works he often researches cultures which are still connected to their ancient roots such as Buryat Mongol Shamanism and the pagan traditions of Eastern Europe.

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Rituals and their potential to raise consciousness and deepen self identity are themes of great importance in his works. He often uses long in his performances to create a deeper connection between himself and his audience, allowing them to achieve a new level of focus and consciousness.

He also performs internationally as a violinist and singer, creating compositions based on folk music of his Lithuanian and Ukrainian roots. As a musician he has performed recently at Joe’s Pub at the public theatre in New York with Czech artist Iva Bittová, at Sziget Festival Budapest, Barbican Hall London, Ronnie Scotts Jazz club London, Royal Festival Hall London, Underdogs Gallery Lisbon, Kristupo Festival Vilnius, Boston Symphony Hall, and Prague Smetana Hall, among others.

Oli Langford

Oli Langford

Whether sharing the stage with Arthur Jeffes in Penguin Café Orchestra and the other half of Sundog, or backing artists as diverse as Depeche Mode and Diana Krall, Oli is a virtuosic violinist with a wealth of studio and live experience.

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Preetha Narayanan

Preetha Narayanan

Preetha Narayanan is an accomplished violinist who has performed and led projects extensively around the world as a soloist, collaborator, and in bands such as Oi Va Voi and Shammi Pithia. Merging Western and Indian Classical training with a wide range of influences from her collaborations and research, Preetha is sought after for her distinctive voice and unique sound. She completed a Masters in Leadership at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London in 2010, where she is currently doing doctoral research.

Preetha has co-founded two ensembles: FLUX, a four-member band developing a reputation for multi-instrumental talent and energizing sound and Quest Ensemble, a contemporary classical trio whose original works seamlessly blend improvisation with devised composition. 

In addition to performance, members of Quest work together in London, the UK and abroad to lead projects in education and collaborate with artists of all mediums.

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Misha Mullov-Abbado

Misha Mullov-Abbado

Winner of the 2014 Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize, Misha Mullov-Abbado is an in-demand bass player, composer and arranger based in London. He is a 2014 City of Music Foundation Artist and recently released his debut album New Ansonia consisting of all his own compositions performed by his quintet on Edition Records, which has been included in “Best Jazz Albums of 2015” by The Telegraph and BBC Radio 3 and been extremely well-received in newspapers and magazines across Europe. As an experienced band-leader but also a versatile sideman Misha has performed at many of London’s top venues such as Ronnie Scott’s, the Vortex, 606 Club, Pizza Express and Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room (as part of the BBC Proms Late series), as well as venues in the rest of the UK and Europe. Having won the 2014 Dankworth Prize for jazz composition Misha is an experienced composer and writes for various jazz groups as well as classical soloists and ensembles, and is influenced by a variety of jazz, classical and pop music.

After graduating from Gonville and Caius College Cambridge, where he studied music and composition with Robin Holloway and Jeremy Thurlow, Misha received a scholarship to study double bass at the Royal Academy of Music on the prestigious Masters jazz course with Jasper Høiby, Tom Herbert, Michael Janisch and Jeremy Brown. During his final year at the Academy Misha started his group and has been performing with it regularly since, with all concerts being very well received, and winning the Kenny Wheeler Prize in his final term has led him to record his debut album. Misha is currently in the process of recording the music for a second album to be released with Edition Records in 2017. As well as writing for his band Misha has been commissioned by a variety of musicians and ensembles such as Viktoria Mullova, Thomas Larcher, the London Schools’ Symphony Orchestra, the Pelleas Ensemble, the Hermes Experiment, and the North Sea Ensemble.

Since leaving the Academy Misha has been performing with a variety of musicians such as Stan Sulzmann, Paul Clarvis and Enzo Zirilli – the latter he plays with regularly in his quartet Zirobop, a band that Misha also plays horn in. He co-directs the Patchwork Jazz Orchestra, an exciting new big band in London that plays original compositions written by members of the band, that has recently won the 2015 Peter Whittingham Award. Misha also plays as a sideman in various projects such as Orquestra Mahatma, the Tom Green Septet, Ralph Wyld’s Mosaic, the Tom Millar Quartet, Ben Brown’s Waaju and the Liam Dunachie Quartet.

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Juliet Fraser

Juliet Fraser

Juliet was educated at the Purcell School as a first-study oboist and then at Cambridge University where she read Music and History of Art. It was whilst a student there that she started singing, in the chapel choir of Clare College; subsequently she sang with professional choirs such as Polyphony, Tenebrae, the Monteverdi Choir, The King's Consort, The Tallis Scholars and BBC Singers. In early music, she has worked with European consorts Ensemble Polyharmonique and Gli Angeli Genève. She was a regular member of the soloists of Collegium Vocale Gent, directed by Philippe Herreweghe, for six years, performing and recording Renaissance polyphony by Lassus, Vitoria, Gesualdo and Byrd.

In new music, Juliet has performed as a soloist with Klangforum Wien, ICTUS, Plus-Minus, We Spoke: New Music Company, London Sinfonietta and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in festivals such as hcmf//, Tectonics Glasgow, Transit 20/21, Donaueschinger Musiktage, MaerzMusik and Wien Modern. Recently, she has created duo projects with pianist Mark Knoop and percussionist Maxime Echardour. She has premièred well over 100 works, many of which have been written for her, working particularly closely with composers Michael Finnissy, Bernhard Lang, Rebecca Saunders, Stefano Gervasoni, Frank Denyer, Christopher Fox, Matthew Shlomowitz, Cassandra Miller and Andrew Hamilton.

Juliet is principal soprano of EXAUDI, the acclaimed contemporary music vocal ensemble, which she founded in 2002 with composer/conductor James Weeks and with whom she makes regular appearances at major European festivals such as Aldeburgh, Spitalfields, hcmf//, ManiFeste, Festival d'Automne, Ars Musica, Wittener Tage and Darmstadt Ferienkurse.

Opera roles include Neige in Catherine Kontz's NEIGE at Grand Théatre de Luxembourg (2013), Tina in Limbus Limbo by Stefano Gervasoni at Musica Strasbourg, Automne en Normandie, Opera de Reims and Opera Comique, Paris (2012), and Grace Hartigan in Larry Goves's I do this I do that (2011).

Juliet has been nominated twice for an RPS Award in the Singer category and is currently supported by Aldeburgh Music's Open Space scheme. Her first dedicated solo disc, a recording of Morton Feldman's Three Voices, was released on the HatHut label in November 2016.

As a new music soloist, Juliet is represented by Graham Hayter of CMPromotions.

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Gwyneth Herbert

Gwyneth Herbert

Gwyneth Herbert is an award-winning composer and lyricist, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and strikingly original performer. She has released 6 critically-acclaimed albums (including on Universal, Naim Edge and the first UK Blue Note release in 30 years), toured across the world and shared stages with Boy George, Amy Winehouse and John Cooper Clarke.

Drawing on influences from the worlds of folk, jazz, art pop, contemporary classical, avant-garde music and storytelling, she performs with a variety of instruments and a “casually commanding voice – whether softly nuanced as confiding speech or at full soaring-contralto stretch” (The Guardian).

She has also made numerous appearances on BBC Radio 2, 3 and 4; co-created three musicals and a feature-length art film; performed her own film score at the British Film Institute; and had her arrangement of a Swahili folk-song performed by 100,000 children at once.

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Gabby Young

Gabby Young

“Gabby is a special talent with an enchanting voice.” - BBC Radio 2

Gabby was on track to become an opera singer until Jeff Buckley and the jazz greats inspired her to switch teams. Gabby’s unique perspective of the world around her is inspired as much by imagination as real events, but when thyroid cancer threatened to take her classically trained voice at the age of 22, she got serious about recording her stories. Using her recovery time to pen her melodies, Gabby took in global influences to fuel her heartfelt emotion, which shines through her beautifully haunting songs. ‘I feel blessed rather than afflicted,’ she says simply.

Clearly not a case of style over substance, but, like many a performer before her, Gabby loves to play dress up – and since her double page spread in edgy style bible Artrocker magazine, titled “How to dress like Gabby Young” will attest, there are plenty of women out there who find her charismatic looks as inspiring as her music.

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Clara Sanabras

Clara Sanabras

Clara Sanabras is vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and composer based in London. Born in France, raised in Barcelona, her musical explorations are as varied as her background. With her unmistakable sound, striking stage presence and songwriting talent, she’s gained formidable repute worldwide in the fields of folk, classical, and contemporary music. Her enigmatic voice and multi-instrumentalism feature in top Hollywood soundtracks
such as The Hobbit, The Hunger Games, and Snow White and The Huntsman.

In an impressive back catalogue of recordings, theatre and screen credits, Clara has appeared at many international festivals & venues, from Glastonbury to Sydney Opera House, National and Globe Theatres, and collaborated with artists from all disciplines Natacha Atlas, Jarvis CockerRoyal Philharmonic Orchestra, and John Rutter amongst many.

With five albums of original songs under her belt, her latest project, a folk opera based on Shakespeare’s the Tempest, was released in 2016 and premièred at The Barbican, to mark the 400th Anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

Clara is also a researcher in neuro-plasticity of the brain, a subject that will be central in her forthcoming musical project “Fugue to the Floating World”.

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Eugenia Georgieva

Eugenia Georgieva

With a voice to unlock the soul, Eugenia Georgieva is a singer of a deep, abounding grace. With a love of music past and present, she’s woven a vocal tapestry through folk music all the way to rock and electronica. Born in Bulgaria and now living in London, her talent has brought rapturous comments for the purity and range of her music.

Eugenia's many projects include the a capella exploration of her homeland in trio Perunika, a groundbreaking mix of Bulgarian, Indian and English Renaissance vocal music in YANTRA, and leading the Veda Slovena Bulgarian Choir in performing secular and sacred music from Bulgaria and beyond at University College London.

In demand in her own right, Eugenia's collaborations include Transglobal Underground, Jim Moray, Martin Furey, and legendary Bulgarian singer Yanka Rupkina.

Eugenia is a veteran of many sessions, including The Virgin Queen, which won an Ivor Novello Award for the Best TV Soundtrack, the soundtrack to Skeletons as well as numerous ads and studio work.

In May – June 2016 Eugenia toured the UK with Melanie Wilson’s Opera for the Unknown Woman, a bold re-imagining of the operatic form (co-composed with Polish composer Katarina Glowicka and produced by Fuel Theatre) in a brilliant cast featuring, among others, Patricia Rozario OBE and Adey Grummet.

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Bird Radio

Bird Radio

‘…folk-horror of the darkest hue…his voice soaring like Scott Walker… Bird Radio fulfils his early promise as a musical storyteller of rare power.’ - Steve Hunt, fRoots

Bird Radio is the moniker of multi-instrumentalist and composer Mikey Kirkpatrick. A vibrant solo performer, he uses voice, flutes, suitcase bass drum and loop pedals to create his dense, experimental brand of alt-folk.

‘…a flute-toting, bass drum-beating sensation…’ – Rick Pearson, Evening Standard

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