Thursday 20 July 2017, 7.30pm
[Modern Ritual] II – The second in a series of new performance events exploring ideas of ritual through music and words. [MRII] Features solo sets from Rhodri Davies – harp, percussionist Pete Flood and automatist/live performer Sarah Angliss. And duo collaborations between Laura Cannell & Rhodri Davies, Sarah Angliss & Caroline Radcliffe, and a brand new spoken word piece between Luke Turner & Jennifer Lucy Allan.
[Modern Ritual] is ancient, modern, experimental, real, fictional, personal, folkloric. It explores human and mechanical rituals, failure of ritual, through live improvisation and provides a platform to premier new works.
THE RITUAL OF NAMING
For the past five years Pete Flood's habit as a touring musician has been to take samples and photos of the weird nature he meets on his travels, and spend his spare time attempting to identify his finds. Here he presents new pieces for percussion and projections based on some of the sights that have captivated him along the way, from the pictogram-like lamellae of lichens of the Graphis family growing in hazel coppice, to fleshy purple buds of Sea Kale unfurling on coastal shingle, with a few things thrown in whose origin remains mysterious.
Best known as drummer and writer with Bellowhead, Pete's pedigree is long and tangential, taking in jazz, Algerian rai, post-rock, electronic, Japanese folk music and classical music. Educated at Musician's Institute, Los Angeles, and Goldsmith's College, London, his musicianship is informed by a wide-ranging and eclectic set of interests, a love of learning, and an irrepressible experimental streak.
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
Rhodri Davies was born in 1971 in Aberystwyth, Wales and now lives in Gateshead in the northeast of England. He plays harp, electric harp, live-electronics and builds wind, water and fire harp installations. His regular groups include: a duo with John Butcher, The Sealed Knot, a trio with David Toop and Lee Patterson, Common Objects, Cranc, a trio with John Tilbury and Michael Duch, SLW and Apartment House. In 2008 he collaborated with the visual artist Gustav Metzger on ‘Self-cancellation’, a large-scale audio-visual collaboration in London and Glasgow. He also performs and researches contemporary music. New pieces for harp have been composed for him by: Eliane Radigue, Christian Wolff, Ben Patterson, Alison Knowles, Michael Pisaro, Carole Finer, Mieko Shiomi, Radu Malfatti and Yasunao Tone.
Luke Turner is a writer and editor based in London. In 2008 he co-founded The Quietus, an online magazine devoted to music, arts and popular culture within the context of contemporary society. Turner is currently curating a series of live events as part of Hull City Of Culture 2017's commemoration of the radical art collective COUM and as a journalist, he has contributed to The Guardian, Dazed & Confused, Vice, the BBC, NME, Q, Mojo, Monocle, Nowness and the SomeSuch journal, among other publications in the UK and beyond. Aside from his cultural writing, Turner writes regularly on landscape, place, memory and self for the Caught By The River online magazine, including a regular column on Epping Forest. This writing is also forming the basis for a forthcoming book on urban forests, family, ritual, death and sexuality against the context of Western decline and environmental destruction.
Since the earliest, nomadic days of humanity the process of walking has had a ritualistic aspect. In our modern times the idea of 'going into nature' has become sanctified as the ultimate means for the stressed, digitally-saturated soul to become cleansed - nirvana through a stout pair of shoes and a hunk of cheese in the knapsack. Here though, Luke Turner asks what happens when the ritual of walking is subverted by the id, leading the body into the dark and naughty landscapes of England.
Jennifer Lucy Allan is a writer and researcher interested in the links between weather, sound and our sense of place. She is currently working on a PhD at CRiSAP on the social and cultural history of the foghorn. She runs the reissues label Arc Light Editions with James Ginzburg, and is a writer for The Wire, The Guardian and others.
Sarah Angliss is a composer, automatist and live performer whose music explores resonances between English folklore and early notions of sound and machines. Sarah’s particularly known for her skills on theremin and recorder and for the robotic instruments she designs and builds to work with her on stage. Sarah’s an eclectic musician - an electroacoustic composer and robotic artist, formally trained in Baroque and Renaissance Music, who cut her teeth as a performer in English folkclubs. Sarah also composes for live film scores and theatre, most recently for Eugene O’Neill’s expressionist play ‘The Hairy Ape’ (at The Old Vic, London, and Park Avenue Armory, New York, directed by Richard Jones). She’s currently composing an electroacoustic chamber opera on the life and death of Charles Byrne (with librettist Ross Sutherland, for Aldeburgh Music and the Jerwood Charitable Trust). With percussionist Stephen Hiscock, Sarah will be performing highlights from her new solo album Ealing Feeder. “A highly atmospheric and compelling listen…drawing on a dense skien of real pasts and imagined futures to talk lucidly and provocatively about the present...the record feels like a whole universe until itself, brimming with fresh propositions and new directions…Ealing Feeder is a subtle gem”, Robert Barry, The Wire Magazine (July 2017)
A workplace dance and endurance ritual, fascinating to anyone interested in the history of industrial music. Devised by women working in the Lancashire mills, the steps of this nineteenth-century ‘heel and toe’ clog dance directly mimic the repetitive sounds and movements of cotton mill machines. In the twentieth century, The Machinery survived as it was passed on by Pat Tracey and other dancers who had family associations with the mill. Here, Caroline Radcliffe and Sarah Angliss take it back to its industrial context, as they juxtapose it with found sounds and video fragments from a working cotton mill and a telephone call centre. With thanks to staff at Quarry Bank Mill, Styal, Cheshire.
Caroline Radcliffe is a theatre maker and musician. While researching Dan Leno, the famous nineteenth century comedian, she discovered he had also been Champion Clog Dancer of Wigan. This inspired Caroline to learn how to clog dance herself. Learning with Pat Tracey and Camden Clog, she discovered clog's rich industrial history - and this led her to approach Sarah Angliss to explore the connection between dance and repetitive labour in the Lancashire cotton mills. Seeking to create a theatre piece that connected with a contemporary audience, Caroline and Sarah mixed clog steps with found sound and images from Quarry Bank Mill in Lancashire to create the piece they’re performing at Modern Ritual. This dance is of personal significance to Caroline and Sarah - both had ancestors who worked in the cotton mills and coal mines of the industrial revolution.