Wednesday 10 February 2016, 8pm
Glasgow-based songwriter Alasdair Roberts returns to OTO following his stand-out set as part of Trembling Bells residency last June and an acclaimed self-titled album (his eighth) on Drag City. Alasdair Roberts is possibly the only musician to have starred on the covers of bothWire and fRoots magazines, reflecting the uniquely innovative nature of his work which couples interpretations of traditional material with new compositions drawing on the folkloric stock of Scotland, Britain and the wider world.
“It is a rare talent – one who is now bordering on auteur territory - who can relate folk music with such scholarly authenticity, and penetrate on such an emotional level at the same time.” – The Quietus
“Roberts retains an abiding love for dense lyricism, internal rhyme schemes, and melodies that wind their way along like wild vines gradually unspooling over stony ruins.” – Pitchfork
Alasdair Roberts is a musician (primarily a guitarist and singer) who is based in Glasgow. He has worked with Drag City Records since 1997, firstly releasing three albums of self-written material under the name Appendix Out and then several albums under his own name, the most recent being Alasdair Roberts (2015). A new album Pangs, recorded with Alex Neilson (drums) and Stevie Jones (bass) among other musicians, will be released in February 2017. Alasdair has also released music on labels such as Secretly Canadian, Galaxia and Stone Tape Recordings.
His work mainly consists of two parallel strands: self-written song material (which can be heard on albums such as Farewell Sorrow, The Amber Gatherers, Spoils, Alasdair Roberts and the forthcoming Pangs) and interpretations of traditional songs and ballads from Scotland and beyond (which can be heard on albums such as The Crook of My Arm, No Earthly Man and Too Long In This Condition).
Alasdair has collaborated widely with many different musicians throughout his musical career, including the Scottish Gaelic singer Mairi Morrison, with whom he made the 2012 album Urstan and Sheffield-based musician James Green, with whom he made the 2016 album Plaint of Lapwing (Clay Pipe Music). He has also worked with artists from other disciplines such as film makers, poets, painters and puppeteers
Elaine Mitchener is an experimental vocalist and movement artist whose work melds different vocal styles encompassing free-improvisation, contemporary new music, sound art, music theatre and dance. She has worked and performed in a wide variety of contexts with leading artists including: Apartment House, Van Huynh Co, Steve Beresford, Sonia Boyce, John Butcher, Attila Csihar, Alexander Hawkins, Tansy Davies, George Lewis, Christian Marclay, Phil Minton, The Otolith Group, Evan Parker, Alasdair Roberts, David Toop, and Jason Yarde. She is co-founder of experimental jazz quartet the Hawkins/Mitchener Quartet (with Neil Charles, Stephen Davis and Alex Hawkins).
“Mitchener is a distinctive presence and interacts with her body and the remarkable sounds she produces: speech, soulful singing, breathless percussive bursts, skittering across octaves.” (Ben Luke, Evening Standard)
“SWEET TOOTH is a vital black British addition to those seminal creative statements of resistance and defiance from the African Diaspora.” (Kevin Le Genre, Jazzwise)
Ross Whyte is a Glasgow-based composer, originally from Aberdeen. He completed a PhD at the University of Aberdeen where his field of research was concerned with impermanence in audio-visual intermedia and headphone-specific composition. His compositional output in recent years has often included collaborations with artists of disciplines different from his own, including dance, theatre, sculpture and web design. He has a particular passion for working alongside dancers and dance choreographers and has collaborated with various key practitioners.
He is one of the founding members of Orphaned Limbs Collective, an interdisciplinary group of artists that push the boundaries between disciplines, morphing dance, theatre, music, spoken word, and video projection.
Ross has received several awards including the Chris Cadwur James Award for Composition, two Derek Ogston Postgraduate Scholarships, a grant from the Aberdeen Endowments Trust for a Subsequent Degree (PhD) and the Made in Aberdeen Prize 2015 which enabled funding for his project, The Witching Hour. His debut album, Kaidan, was released on 31 October 2015 by Comprende Records and has been described as “a thing of great beauty and intrigue which gives you something new on each listen” (http://scotswhayhae.com)