As a duo, Amy and Sylvia perform improvisatory settings of pieces inspired by the harrowing language of natural history texts, such as “you, the stingbearers”, based on Jean-Henri Fabre’s C19th chronicle of human desolation, The Life of the Fly. Amy and Sylvia's live compositions use instruments including viola, musical saw, and Russian vines from Sylvia's garden, while the lyrics draw on the dark sides of nature: from sea parasites to forensic botany to elegies based on Arctic bird migrations and Icelandic ballads. Their performances often invoke the figure of the unloved, and explore how narratives of exile, grief, or regret become attached to disquieting animals or places.
Sylvia Hallett is a multi-instrumentalist and composer whose ritualistic improvisations include “White Fog” and “The Onyx Rook”. Amy Cutler is an artist, filmmaker and poet who works on unsettling ideas of nature through live music and live cinema; she also makes films with Delphine Dora, with whom she is currently on tour, and is a doctor of GeoHumanities at Royal Holloway, University of London. www.sylviahallett.co.uk / www.amycutler.net