Sunday 13 September 2015, 8pm
Laura Cannell celebrates the release of new album Beneath Swooping Talons, heading up a great string-laden triple bill alongside violinist – and OTO Associate Artist – Angharad Davies and cellist Oliver Coates. Exploring the space between ancient, improvised, traditional & experimental music, Laura Cannell's music is transcendent and otherworldly – balancing a rigorous understanding of (and fascination with) the past with a bracingly modern approach.
“Laura Cannell has a sonic aesthetic that seems to come from the depths of ancient English time. She improvises pieces using, mostly, recorder and fiddle, and several of these pieces are presented on Beneath Swooping Talons. Deep and powerful work here, all the more so for being recorded in single takes.” – Norman Records, review of Beneath Swooping Talons
Based in rural East Anglia, Laura Cannell’s work draws on the emotional influences of the landscape and the sometimes dissonant chords of early and medieval music. With deconstructed bow and the extraordinary sound of double recorder, Laura performs a collection of semi-composed, semi-improvised pieces from the edge of England which seek to dissolve borders, move away from formal structure and to re- imagine a sonic landscape unrestricted by time or origin. With a background in medieval, baroque, traditional and experimental music, Laura explores the spaces between ancient and experimental through improvisation to create new music that is rooted in but not tethered to the past.
With the seldom used rich and evocative polyphonic overbow technique and double recorders styled on early stone carvings, Laura creates a minimalist chamber music, where one player makes all the harmonies, encouraging harmonics and difference tones to emerge. She draws inspiration from the emotional influence of the landscape including wild animal calls or fragments of liturgical music in order to build music that avoids historicism and instead inhabits an imagined territory, combining contemporary and archaic elements.
In October 2016 Laura released her third critically acclaimed solo album, ‘Simultaneous Flight Movement’ which was one of BBC Radio 3’s Top Twelve Albums of 2016. Over the last year she has been a regular guest and contributor to BBC 6Music’s Freak Zone with Stuart Maconie as well as recording a Maida Vale session for Late Junction and recording a ‘live in concert’ broadcast on the new music programme Hear and Now. Laura was also recently featured in The Guardian and has appeared in numerous End of Year lists, including The Wire Magazine’s Top 50, MOJO Magazine’s Top Ten Underground Albums and The Quietus Top Albums of the Year. 2016 saw Laura’s debut solo performance at The Barbican and the premiere of a composition for a short film, premiered at The British Museum and BFI, together with intensive touring around the UK and Europe. Including: Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Germany, Brussels and Holland. More information please visit: www.lauracannell.co.uk
“One of the most exciting instrumentalists around” – The Guardian
“Laura Cannell coaxes fresh magic from age-old techniques… She conjures a sonic portal between the past and present… The raw beauty of her melodies glimmer through prickly thickets of stark and dissonant chordal drones” – The Wire
Angharad Davies is a violinist, one at ease in both improvising and composition, with a wide discography as part of varied range of ensembles and groups. She’s a specialist in the art of ‘preparing’ her violin, adding objects or materials to it to extend its sound making properties. Her sensitivity to the sonic possibilities of musical situations and attentiveness to their shape and direction make her one of contemporary music’s most fascinating figures. 2015 has seen her being commissioned for a new work for “ solo violin and 4 bass amps” at the Counterflows Festival, Glasgow which was subsequently performed at the El Nicho Festival, Mexico and Supersonics, Birmingham. She also premiered Eliane Radigue’s new solo for violin, Occam XXII in Mexico.
Oliver Coates is a cellist, composer and producer based in London. He has performed solo shows in China, Russia, Brazil, Egypt and Australia, and made his New York debut at Le Poisson Rouge. He was the winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artist Award 2011 and is an Artist in Residence at the Southbank Centre. Two major commissions premiered in 2017: HELIOTONES, for girls' choir, flutes, cello and electronics, for Borealis Festival, and Shorelines, for string quartet and electronics, for Cryptic at Operadagen Rotterdam.
In 2016 Coates released a solo record, Upstepping, on PRAH, and a collaborative record, Remain Calm, with Mica Levi on Slip. He works closely with Levi, London Contemporary Orchestra, Elysia Crampton, Jonny Greenwood and the visual artist Lawrence Lek, for whom he has scored the award-winning video pieces Unreal Estate and QE3. He has conceived and programmed the Southbank Centre’s long-running Harmonic Series and its first DEEP∞MINIMALISM festival in 2016, which featured Pauline Oliveros’ last public Tuning Meditation.