Tuesday 3 October 2023, 7.30pm
'Propulsive genre-scrambling compositions full of bristling energy and edgy restraint' – The Wire on 'Strange Waves' by Kate Ellis and Ed Bennett
Atonal Kat is a series of sonic soirees curated by Xenia Pestova and Ed Bennett. Join us for intense listening as we walk with our ears. Tonights programme focuses on all things strings with cellist Kate Ellis launching her new record with Ed Bennett 'Strange Waves' on Irish label Ergodos. 'Strange Waves' blends music for eight cellos with field recordings made on the County Down coast and on Ireland’s northernmost island, Rathlin, in the North Atlantic. The music unfolds with an extraordinary sense of inevitability: Dense constellations of rapid figures evolve into rich, swirling synth-like textures. Ravishing microtonal sonorities overlap hypnotically with the steady pulse of lapping waves. Surreal chorales are revealed slowly, deliberately – at once mysterious and reassuringly, uncommonly elegant.
Violinist Angharad Davies presents a work-in-progress live version of her stunning recent recording on London label All That Dust. In ‘gwneud a gwneud eto / do and do again’, Angharad allows us to hear the violin almost from within, revealing the granular detail of what she describes as the instrument’s ‘endless wealth of possibilities’. Newton Armstrong joins Angharad on sound diffusion, projecting live and pre-recorded violins into shifting spatial images.
Cellist Kate Ellis is dedicated to the performance and exploration of all things new in music with collaboration at the heart. Kate is Artistic Director of Crash Ensemble, cellist with Martin Hayes’ Common Ground Ensemble and toured with Bono as part of his Stories of Surrender show 2022-2023.
Kate has collaborated with, commissioned, premiered and recorded works by numerous Irish and International composers including Steve Reich, David Lang, Michael Gordon, Nico Muhly and Donnacha Dennehy and continues to push musical boundaries performing and recording with a diverse range of musicians including Bono and the Edge, Bobby McFerrin, Rhiannon Giddens, Martin Hayes, Ye Vagabonds, Laura Cannell, Iarla O Lionaird, Yurodny, Gavin Friday, Lisa O'Neill, Glenn Hansard and Karan Casey.
Kate has toured and broadcast in Australia, the USA, Europe and China, performing at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Centre, Shanghai EXPO, Istanbul Akbank Jazz Festival and Edinburgh International Festival with releases on Nonesuch, Cantaloupe, Rough Trade, Brawl Records, Bada Bing, Crash Records, Claddagh Records and Vertical Records and is published by Mute Song.
Projects for 2023 include the release of a major new work for solo cello by Northern Irish composer Ed Bennett on the Ergodos label, a duo collaboration with Martin Hayes, curation of a contemporary music series ‘Europe: Here and Now’ at the National Concert Hall, Dublin, a project with Cormac Begley, Romain Bly and Caimin Gilmore premiering at Sounds From A Safe Harbour festival 2023 and the creation of new music for the Multi-Traction Orchestra’s album ‘Reactor One’ and ‘Echolocation: Resonate from Here’ a collaborative album with UK and US based musicians.
Angharad Davies is a Welsh violinist based in London working with free-improvisation, compositions and performance.Her approach to sound involves attentive listening and exploring beyond the sonic confines of her instrument, her classical training and performance expectation.
Much of her work involves collaboration. She has long standing duos with Tisha Mukarji, Dominic Lash and Lina Lapelyte and plays with Common Objects, Cranc and Skogen. She has been involved in projects with Tarek Atui, Tony Conrad, Richard Dawson, Gwenno, Roberta Jean, Jack McNamara, Rie Nakajima, Tim Parkinson, Eliane Radigue, Georgia Ruth and J.G.Thirlwell.
Most of her records are released on Another Timbre but she also has releases on Absinth Records, Confrontrecords, Emanem, Potlatch and winds measure recordings.Her first orchestral piece was commissioned by LCMF in 2019.
Irish composer Ed Bennett’s music is regularly performed and broadcast in over 30 countries in venues including New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, London’s Barbican and South Bank Centres and the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels. Recent projects include ‘Psychedelia’ for the RTE NSO, ’Ausland’ for the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Reinbert de Leeuw, ‘Song of the Books’ for the Crash Ensemble and four critically-acclaimed portrait discs of his work. He performs with his 10-piece ensemble Decibel who were described in the Quietus as ‘blending the coiled concentration of the best post-minimalism with the ferocity and dynamic range of thrash metal’ and plays live electronics both solo and in a duo with pianist Xenia Pestova. In 2019 Ed Bennett was awarded the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Major Individual Artist Award, the highest honour awarded to an artist from the region, his work has been twice shortlisted for the Ivor Novello awards. His latest portrait CD ‘Psychedelia’ (2020) was described in the Sunday Times as ‘Ebullient, deeply compelling music’ and featured in the New York Times as one of their recommended releases of 2020.