Wednesday 27 October 2021, 7.30pm
"Cotton has tapped into a rich vein of music that seems urgent and essential. Only Darkness Now pays the same microcosmic attention to place that many have found themselves exploring, often involuntarily, during lockdown. Cotton shows us how we can pull the curtain aside and step beyond time to confront ourselves in new forms." – The Quietus
Alison Cotton is a viola player based in London working in composition and improvisation. As well as her recent solo work, she is one half of the Walthamstow based songwriting partnership, The Left Outsides. She spent almost the last 2 decades performing in bands and collaborating with other musicians.
Her debut album ’All Is Quiet at the Ancient Theatre’ was released in 2018 firstly on cassette on Bloxham Tapes, followed by a vinyl release on Cardinal Fuzz (UK) and Feeding Tube (USA).
In July 2019 her longform piece, ‘Behind the Spiderweb Gates’ was released on the Australian label, Longform Editions.
As well as the viola, she uses an array of other instruments (her voice, harmonium, percussion, recorder, omnichord, shruti box and piano) to create long, haunting folk drones. Many of her pieces are created for, and named after spaces, whether real or fictional, and often of another time. As she plays, she focusses on the image of these places (‘A Tragedy In the Tithe Barn’, ‘All Is Quiet at The Ancient Theatre’, ‘The Bells of St Agnes’ and her recent release, ‘Behind the Spiderweb Gates’).
In 2017, she composed and performed the soundtrack to artist Jessye Curtis’ film, ’36 Dramatic Situations’. In 2018, she was commissioned by the BBC to compose and record a soundtrack to accompany the Muriel Spark ghost story, ‘The Girl I Left Behind Me’ which was broadcast on Gideon Coe’s BBC6 Music show at Christmas. This composition is planned for release on Halloween 2019 on Clay Pipe Music.
‘All Is Quiet At The Ancient Theatre’ was selected by Luke Turner as one of The Guardian Writers Albums of the Year, by Jude Rogers as one of the Guardian Folk Albums of the Month and placed at number 49 in The Quietus Albums of The Year in 2018. ‘Behind The Spiderweb Gates’ was selected by Marc Masters for his Best Experimental Music column for `Bandcamp in July 2019.
“Alison Cotton’s album is a highly memorable suite evoking other times and places with a deftness and a lightness of touch. She is an excellent and restrained songwriter, confidently combining instrumental and vocal music to create a recording that delivers much and promises more to come”. - Tom Bolton, The Quietus
"Alison Cotton creates a psychedelic pagan folk ritual with her viola, recorder, percussion and ghostly voice on 'All Is Quiet At The Ancient Theatre'. Slowing things down to a droning pace, Cotton seems to summon up mystical powers through her eerie Clannad-ish chants on 'The Bells of St Agnes’” - Claire Sawers - The Wire
anrimeal is the recording project of Ana Rita de Melo Alves; singer, songwriter, producer, poet, conjuror, clodhopper and cherub. Hailing from Porto, Ana creates and manipulates digital folk song from her current base in south London, drawing on the post-minimalist principles of texture, limitation and repetition. Lately, she can be found composing around the sound of creaking doors, percolating coffee and whispering toothbrushes, seeking and finding the magic in the domestic and humanity in the inanimate. Ana’s debut album Could Divine was released in November 2020, to widespread perked ears from the likes of BBC 6music, BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction, The Wire, Electronic Sound and Mojo, and can be found in limited yellow vinyl form on her Bandcamp. Her latest project (Could Divine, Remembered) is a reimagined, deconstructed companion piece to Could Divine, featuring remixes and reflections spun together with previously unreleased material.