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.
Laura Cannell draws on the emotional influences of the landscape and the sometimes dissonant chords of early and medieval music. With deconstructed bow and double recorders, Laura performs semi-composed, semi-improvised pieces which explore the spaces between ancient and experimental music creating music that is rooted in but not tethered to the past.
She has released four critically acclaimed solo albums and is regularly broadcast on the BBC including Radio 3, 4 and 6Music and international radio. Laura regularly performs in the UK and Europe, recent festivals include Unsound Poland, Flow Helsinki, Meteo France, Norway, Holland and Denmark. As well as solo at The Barbican and Royal Festival Hall.
Recent projects include commissions for Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, The Zuckerman Museum of Contemporary Art (US),and touring with the cellist Lori Goldston (Earth, Nirvana), and a series of new music/word performances under the heading Modern Ritual which tours the UK in 2018. Laura also runs her own independent record label - Brawl Records www.brawlrecords.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 is immersed in the worlds of improvisation, musical experimentation, composition and contemporary classical performance. He plays harp, electric harp, live-electronics and builds wind, water, ice, dry ice and fire harp installations and has released six solo albums. His regular groups include: HEN OGLEDD, Cranc, Common Objects and a duo with John Butcher. He has worked with the following artists: David Sylvian, Jenny Hval, Derek Bailey, Sofia Jernberg, Lina Lapelyte, Pat Thomas, Simon H Fell and Will Gaines.
For the last ten years Davies has been closely associated with the pioneering composer Eliane Radigue performing seventeen of her pieces. She composed OCCAM I for Davies in 2011, the first in an ongoing series of solo and ensemble pieces for individual instrumentalists in which a performer’s personal performance technique and particular relationship to their instrument function as the compositional material of the piece. New pieces for solo harp have also been composed for him by: Christian Wolff, Carole Finer, Philip Corner, Phill Niblock, Ben Patterson, Alison Knowles, Mieko Shiomi and Yasunao Tone.
In 2008 he collaborated with the visual artist Gustav Metzger on ‘Self-cancellation’, a large-scale audio-visual collaboration in London and Glasgow. In 2012 he was the recipient of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Grants to Artists Award, he was a Chapter Associate Artist (2016-19) and in 2017 he received a Creative Wales Award. He is a co-organiser of the NAWR concert series in Swansea.
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.
Jennifer Lucy Allan is a writer and researcher. She is currently working on a PhD at CRiSAP (UAL) on the social and cultural history of the foghorn, and is also a freelance music journalist specialising in underground and experimental music. Previously she was online editor for The Wire, and now freelances for The Wire, The Quietus, The Guardian and others. She runs the reissues label Arc Light Editions with James Ginzburg, and is a core member of Laura Cannell’s Modern Ritual Collective. She has recently guested on BBC3’s Late Junction, and written a series on life living in a lighthouse for Caught By The River.
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.