KHABAT ABAS | RYOKO AKAMA | RIHAB AZAR | SÉVERINE BALLON | MIRA BENJAMIN | NADINE BENJAMIN | LAURA BOWLER | ALBA CABRAL | ELEANOR CULLY | ANGHARAD DAVIES | CATHY EASTBURN | MARLO DE LARA | SOPHIE FETOKAKI | JULIET FRASER | JENNIE GOTTSCHALK | LOUISE GRAY | RAGHAD HADDAD | WINNIE HUANG | ANGELA WAI NOK HUI | ROMINA LISCHKA | NAALA | RIE NAKAJIMA | SARAH NICOLLS | HEATHER ROCHE | MEGAN STEINBERG | LUCIE TREACHER | JENNIFER WALSHE | ANDREA YOUNG | EVA ZÖLLNER
Soprano JULIET FRASER specialises in the gnarly edges of contemporary classical music. Internationally recognised as a committed interpreter of new music, she regularly appears as a guest soloist with ensembles Musikfabrik, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Modern, Plus-Minus and Talea. She is also a core member of EXAUDI vocal ensemble, which she co-founded in 2002 with composer/conductor James Weeks. Juliet is an active commissioner of new repertoire and has worked particularly closely with composers Pascale Criton, Michael Finnissy, Bernhard Lang, Cassandra Miller and Rebecca Saunders. Her recordings have been released on labels such as Kairos, Hat Hut, NMC, HCR and Another Timbre. Juliet is the founder and artistic director of eavesdropping and is co-director with Newton Armstrong and Mark Knoop of all that dust, a little independent label for new music.
SEASON 3 (2021) | FEATURED ARTISTS
KHABAT ABAS is an experimental cellist, improviser and composer from Kurdistan Iraq. She has a master’s degree in music performance and related studies from Goldsmiths, University of London. Khabat’s works are based on sound research, beginning with the acoustic cello, prepared cello and, recently, with adapted cello; she started developing works that respond to the questions revolving around 'what is out of bounds?' and 'what is error?', which raise the possibilities of sounds that cannot be controlled. This is in contrast to traditional musical values. Besides, she uses her childhood memory of swing machine symbols as material for her graphic notations.
RIHAB AZAR is a Syrian oud player based in London. Recognised by Arts Council England as a musician with Exceptional Promise, she is a graduate of the conservatoire of Damascus, holds an MA in Music Education from UCL and was a Chevening scholar. Rihab was the first woman oudist to perform accompanied by the Syrian National Orchestra for Arabic Music. Strongly influenced by Arabic music and a frequent collaborator with musicians, ensembles and orchestras with different genre focuses, Rihab has played and written music for projects involving storytelling, visual arts, TV programmes, radio and theatre plays.
British lyric soprano NADINE BENJAMIN is a charismatic and versatile artist who is in increasing demand on both the operatic stage and the concert platform. She is also developing great renown as an exponent of song, in particular Verdi, Strauss, Berg and contemporary American song. From 2018 to 2020, Nadine was an English National Opera Harewood Artist and she made her debut with the company as Clara (Porgy and Bess), followed by Musetta (La bohème) and Laura (Luisa Miller). Nadine made her Royal Opera House debut in October 2020 as a soprano soloist in New Dark Age, with works by Anna Meredith, Missy Mazzoli and Anna Thorvaldsdottir, directed by Katie Mitchell. Nadine is a mentor, certified High Performance Coach and Mind Coach, and she founded her opera and mentorship programme ‘Everybody Can!’ in 2015 to provide a platform to encourage and support others in recognising and achieving their own visions. An Ambassador for London Music Masters, Nadine was ‘highly commended’ at the 2016 Aviva ‘Women of the Future Awards’ and invited to both Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street in recognition of her work as a mentor and singer.
LAURA BOWLER, described as “a triple threat composer-performer-provocatrice” (The Arts Desk) is a composer, vocalist and Artistic Director specialising in theatre, multi-disciplinary work and opera. She has been commissioned across the globe by ensembles and orchestras including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, ROH2, Opera Holland Park, The Opera Group, Manchester Camerata, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Quatuor Bozzini (Canada), Ensemble Phace (Austria), Ensemble Linea (France) and Omega Ensemble (Australia). Future projects include a 40-minute music theatre for Jessica Aszodi and London Sinfonietta with text by Cordelia Lynn and directed by Katie Mitchell; a 50-minute multimedia work for herself to perform with Decoder Ensemble commissioned by HCMF; a new opera for Ensemble Lydenskab to premiere in 2023 supported by Ernst Von Siemens Foundation and a multimedia work for pianist Zubin Kanga.
ANGHARAD DAVIES is a violinist with a practice rooted in improvisation, composition and performance, as a soloist and collaboratively. Her approach to sound involves attentive listening and exploring beyond the sonic confines of her instrument, her classical training and performance expectation. She has long standing duos with Tisha Mukarji, Lina Lapelyte and Dominic Lash and plays with Common Objects, Cranc and Skogen. She has been involved in projects with Apartment House, Tarek Atui, Tony Conrad, Richard Dawson, Gwenno, Roberta Jean, New Perspective theatre company, Eliane Radigue, Georgia Ruth and J.G.Thirlwell.
WINNIE HUANG is a violinist, violist and gestural performance artist currently based between Belgium and France. An active performer of new music, Winnie is a founding member and solo violinist of Paris based new music ensemble soundinitiative and co-founder and member of performative duo LookOut. She continually works with emerging and established composers and regularly performs with renown ensembles at international festivals. Career highlights have included solo performances at the Berlin Philharmonie (DE), KKL Lucerne (CH) and the Elb Philharmonie (DE), among many international ensemble tours. An engaging educator, Winnie has consistently taught in Australia, France and Belgium and has frequently guest lectured at many major institutions in Europe. Winnie’s strong interest in the performance of interdisciplinary works is explored through collaborations and solo compositions alongside her doctoral studies in musical-gestural works.
ANGELA WAI NOK HUI is a percussionist and multidisciplinary artist based in London and Hong Kong. She graduated from the Royal College of Music in 2016 (MMus) with distinction as a classically trained percussionist and timpanist, and has collaborated with many new music and contemporary classical ensembles in London. Angela loves being in the creative process and experimenting with different art forms. This predilection makes her more determined to continue forging her own narrative platform in order to support her wild imagination. She is always in search of different media, in which she can represent herself more fully. She has started to create her own work, which often engages with political references, identity-related issues all of which are placed directly within the strange and beautiful sound world that surrounds us all.
MEGAN STEINBERG is an experimental composer and abstract turntablist based in London. She works with found sound, chance procedures, graphic scores, quietness and microtonality. Originally a jazz guitarist, Megan studied Composition at Brunel University where she fell into experimental music. After discovering free improv using objects, violin and cello, in 2016 she began performing free improv and experimental music for single-deck, analogue turntable. She has composed for incredible performers including Heather Roche, Juice Vocal Ensemble, Distractfold, Apartment House and Lore Lixenberg. In 2016, she was awarded the FI Williams Prize for Composition for her piece The Dying Sakura Tree. Her music has been performed at Kings Place and IKLECTIK in London, Grachtenfestival in Amsterdam, and Arts by the Sea Festival in Bournemouth, as well as on BBC Radio 3, Resonance FM and Threads Radio. Megan is a dedicated advocate for accessibility and representation in new music.
LUCIE TREACHER is a composer and performer creating interactive sound experiences, both digital and theatrical, virtual and real. Her music is characterised by quirky and highly textural sound worlds, playfully woven together into multi-disciplinary work. For each of her projects she crafts bespoke samples and sounds from her creaky studio, using things she finds around her. Lucie has created work for Kings Place, the Saatchi gallery, Cadogan Hall, St Martin-in-the-Fields and Buckingham Palace as well as music to be performed in subterranean caves, bathrooms and beaches. As a composer Lucie has been involved in a spectrum of projects, taking her from experimental, improvisatory realms to opera and, more recently, video games. Lucie also runs the International Archive of Dreams, an archive which invites people to document their dreams and learn more about dreaming.
SEASON 2 (2020) | FEATURED ARTISTS
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, artist/activist/academic MARLO DE LARA (a.k.a. MARLO EGGPLANT) received a PhD in Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds. Her artistic practice works within the realms of sound performance, visual distraction, and film. Working under the moniker marlo eggplant, her sound art is a production of textural compositions which develop from microscopic tone landscapes into dense and expansive states of noise and drone. Her works aim to blur the definitions of (un)intentional sound and music. As curator and organizer of the Ladyz in Noyz (LIN) international compilation series/collective, an ongoing project begun in 2008, she continues to promote emerging artists and musicians who are women. She most recently completed an artist residency at the CalArts Summer Institute and the Coaxial Foundation in Los Angeles.
CATHY EASTBURN has been playing Javanese gamelan (Indonesian bronze percussion) including gongs, metallophones, drum and voice, for over 20 years. She works as a professional Javanese gamelan musician, specialising in female vocals (sindhenan): this involves both traditional gamelan music and more experimental music using gamelan and electronics. More recently, she has been studying therapeutic sound, completing a year-long Practitioner Diploma in Sound Therapy with the British Academy of Sound Therapy. Cathy is also a mother of two teenage girls and has a longstanding interest in environmental issues, in particular the psychology of climate change. Since October 2018 she has been involved in Extinction Rebellion, working with others to raise public awareness of the imminent and grave threat of the climate and ecological breakdown now underway.
SOPHIE FETOKAKI is a singer, poet and interdisciplinary artist. In her practice she explores the experience of being a contemplative and desiring body, and the delicate process of moving from what is known to what can only be intuited. She approaches song as ritual and sacrament, and singing as a practice of recollecting, realising and transmitting embodied knowledge. Besides singing, she can be found writing and performing poetry, devising performance works, and dismantling pianos very slowly. She is currently preparing the release of her debut album ‘Abundance’ (featuring her own songs, folkloric songs from a range of traditions, and reinventions of Bach and Schumann), the publication of her poetry book epigraphē with 1913 press (U.S.A), and the submission of a practice-based PhD at Huddersfield University.
Soprano JULIET FRASER is an active commissioner of new music and has worked particularly closely with composers Michael Finnissy, Cassandra Miller, Matthew Shlomowitz and Rebecca Saunders. She has performed as a guest soloist with contemporary music ensembles Musikfabrik, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Modern, Plus-Minus and Talea, and is a core member of EXAUDI vocal ensemble, which she co-founded with composer/conductor James Weeks in 2002. This season’s highlights include new works by Rebecca Saunders (Essen NOW!), Naomi Pinnock (hcmf//), Laurence Crane (Cafe OTO) and Cassandra Miller (Maerzmusik and Aldeburgh). Juliet is the founder and artistic director of eavesdropping, and co-director with Mark Knoop and Newton Armstrong of all that dust, a new label for new music.
RAGHAD HADDAD studied viola at the Higher Institute of Music in Damascus, graduating in 2005. Until 2016 she was based in Syria, performing and teaching in her native country and internationally. Raghad was a member of the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra and a founding member of the Symphonic Orchestra of the Opera House in Damascus. One of her career highlights was being part of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra conducted by Daniel Barenboim. In June 2016 Raghad travelled with the Orchestra of Syrian Musicians on a European tour; their final destination was the UK. Nine members presented themselves at the border control desk and requested asylum. All were accepted and are now resident here. Raghad now plays with the Orchestra of All Saints MAS in Brighton and the London Syrian Ensemble, a group of Syrian professional musicians which performs traditional and classical oriental music around the UK. She also supports young people on the 'I Speak Music' youth inclusion programme in Surrey.
ROMINA LISCHKA studied viola da gamba with Paolo Pandolfo at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (Basel) and Philippe Pierlot at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels. In the 2012-13 season, Romina was chosen as the early music ‘ECHO Rising Star’ by the BOZAR (Brussels) and Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), resulting in solo performances at various European concert venues. She is this season’s ‘Portrayed Artist of Bozar’. Her début CD, Pièces de viole de Sietur de Machy, was awarded 5 stars by Diapason magazine. Romina also studied North Indian classical singing (dhrupad) at the World Music department at the Rotterdam Conservatory and in India (Delhi and Pune) with Ustad Fariduddin Dagar en Uday Bhawalkar. Combining all her musical interests, Romina formed the Hathor Consort in 2012 to perform Renaissance and Baroque consort music alongside modern works and world music.
SARAH NICOLLS is an innovative pianist and composer and inventor of the Inside-Out Piano, designed to enable ‘inside piano’ playing. In 2020, Sarah’s company Future Piano will be building a new lightweight model. Sarah will also be touring her ‘12 Years’ solo recital-story about climate change and our response to it, funded by Arts Council England, and premiering new collaborative works on the same topic in Norway and at PRiSM in Manchester. Sarah is a frequent soloist on the new music scene, performing in the PRSF New Music Biennial, Matthew Herbert’s 20 Pianos project, six world premiere piano concertos with London Sinfonietta, regular broadcasts on BBC Radio 3 and on many CDs. She has had residencies at Southbank Centre’s Collision, Artangel’s Library of Water in Iceland, the Arvon writing centre, The Hurst and Snape Maltings’s Festival of New.
O YAMA O is a music project of London-based artists KEIKO YAMAMOTO and RIE NAKAJIMA. Using a combination of kinetic devices and found objects, they create soundscapes inspired by Japanese myth, ritual, anthropology and everyday, non-spectacular sound worlds. Works are often composed of Yamamoto singing while Nakajima constructs escalating micro-orchestras in direct response to unique architectural spaces. O YAMA O has enjoyed collaborations with Billy Steiger, Lau Nau and David Cunningham, and has performed at Cafe OTO, NoShowSpace, LCMF, Borealis Music Festival (Bergen), Mayhem (Copenhagen), Novas Frequencias (Brazil) and some other places. // ‘How often are we in such intimate closeness to the materials of sound, the physicality of a naked voice, without chairs, microphones, distance, so conscious of light, climate, atmosphere, the nearness of other bodies, the permeability of a structure that is outside as much as in?’ —David Toop.
‘The most original compositional voice to emerge from Ireland in the past 20 years’ (Irish Times) and ‘wild girl of Darmstadt’ (Frankfurter Rundschau), composer and performer JENNIFER WALSHE was born in Dublin. Her music has been commissioned, broadcast and performed all over the world. She has been the recipient of fellowships and prizes from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York, the DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm, the Internationales Musikinstitut, Darmstadt and Akademie Schloss Solitude among others. Walshe has written a large number of operas and theatrical works, including XXX_LIVE_NUDE_GIRLS!!!, an opera for Barbie dolls, and TIME TIME TIME, with the philosopher Timothy Morton, which the Wire described as ‘a sprawling opus that spans the history of the planet… like Robert Ashley meets Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life’. Her visual work has been exhibited in the Chelsea Art Museum, New York, Project Arts Centre, Dublin and the ICA, London.
EVA ZÖLLNER studied classical accordion in Cologne and Copenhagen and is one of the most active accordionists of her generation. As an internationally acclaimed soloist she appears in projects ranging from experimental solo performances to concerts with renowned ensembles. An important part of her work is the close cooperation with composers of her generation. She has premiered more than 200 new works for her instrument. Lately she is particularly interested in the potential of the accordion within electro-acoustic music and multimedia art. Eva is based in Germany but lives as a nomadic musician, travelling around the world to explore her instrument in different cultures and contexts.
SEASON 1 (2017/18) | FEATURED ARTISTS
RYOKO AKAMA is a sound artist/composer/performer, who approaches listening situations that magnify silence, time and space and offer quiet temporal/spatial experiences. Her sound works employ small and fragile objects such as paper balloons and glass bottles, creating tiny occurrences that embody ‘almost nothing’ aesthetics. She composes text events and performs a diversity of alternative scores in collaboration with international artists. She runs melange edition label, amespace and co-edits mumei publishing.
SÉVERINE BALLON is currently working on developing extended techniques for the cello, and their appropriate notation; in addition, her research as an improviser has helped her to extend the sonic and technical resources of her instrument. She has collaborated closely with composers Helmut Lachenmann, Chaya Czernowin and Liza Lim, and has premiered many solo works, including those by Rebecca Saunders, Mauro Lanza and Franck Bedrossian. She is a member of Elision ensemble (Australia) and has worked with ensembles such as Klangforum Wien, musikFabrik, Ensemble Intercontemporain and Ictus. Séverine was a fellow at Harvard University in 2014/15, and in 2016-2017 she was a Visiting Artist at CCRMA/Stanford University. Her solo CD, 'Solitude', was released on Aeon in 2015 to critical acclaim. She composed and performed the original score for the feature-length film 'The Ornithologist' (2016) by João Pedro Rodrigues.
MIRA BENJAMIN is a Canadian violinist, researcher, new-music instigator, and rescue dog enthusiast. She performs new and experimental music, with a special interest in microtonality and tuning practice. She actively commissions music from composers at all stages of their careers, and develops each new work through multiple performances. Current collaborations include new works by James Weeks, Gyrid Nordal Kaldestad, Scott Mc Laughlin, Cobi van Tonder and Taylor Brook. Since 2011, Mira has co-directed NU:NORD, a project-based music and performance network which instigates artistic exchanges and encourages community building between music creators from Canada, Norway & the UK. To date NU:NORD has engaged 79 artists and commissioned 62 new works. Originally from Vancouver, Mira lived for ten years in Montréal, where she was a member of Quatuor Bozzini. Since 2014 she has resided in London, where she regularly performs with ensembles such as Apartment House and Decibel. Mira was the recipient of the 2016 Virginia Parker Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts.
ALBA CABRAL is a Brazilian musician based in London since 2009. She composes, performs and collaborates in several projects including her own Let Drum Beat, an all-female Afro-Brazilian-influenced percussion & vocals band, and Tonzee, a quartet that fuses Brazilian rhythms with pop and rock. She took a Masters Degree in Music Leadership at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and leads workshops on Body-Music, Collective Music Making and Percussion Ensembles in various settings - Institutions, Schools, Community Centres, Universities, Festivals around the UK and abroad. Alba recently won an award for a research trip in Palestine/Israel by Help Musicians UK.
ELEANOR CULLY is an artist based in Huddersfield, UK from Norwich, UK. She composes pieces for instrumentalists and vocalists, makes installation work, and performs her own work and the work of others. Her recent interests lie in the spaces between tiny ideas and experiences and the moments when they join together as forms.
JENNIE GOTTSCHALK writes, composes, talks, listens and transcribes. Experimental music is the most consistent focus of these actions. Some of the results can be found on soundexpanse.com, jenniegottschalk.com and in Experimental Music since 1970 (Bloomsbury, 2016). She got her doctorate in composition from Northwestern University in 2008 and is based in Boston, Massachusetts.
LOUISE GRAY (MARSHALL) writes for The Wire, Musicworks and other publications, covering, since the late 1980s, experimental and contemporary classical music. For the last three years, she has been an AHRC-funded doctoral student at CRiSAP, London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, where she has focused on the work of a select group of female experimental musicians as a way of considering their strategic compositional practices as a way of redressing what the composer Annea Lockwood has identified as “the black hole of no info” (Tara Rodgers 2010:2) in respect of the musicological neglect of so much female-originated work. With an academic background that includes psychoanalytic studies, Louise is interested in developing a theory of listening that will extend Pauline Oliveros’s practice of Deep Listening into new sonic articulations.
The name NAALA means 'First Daughter'. It comes from a Ghanaian naming ritual, which is intended as a blessing; it means to be a leader, an educator, a guardian and a pioneer. Naala’s sound is an embodiment of these powerful words: layered and multi-sensory, an electronic contemporary landscape built from sounds that have been self recorded, processed and produced. Naala’s songs overflow with the delicate complexities of modern British and African storytelling. A hybrid between electronica and elemental RnB, it's music for sharpening the mind and blurring the senses. London-based, Naala is a multi-instrumentalist, and she likes to incorporate ‘found sounds’ to create dynamic layers forming a fresh new sound. She takes influence from artists such as Joni Mitchell, Bjork, Nina Simone and Grace Jones.
Born in Canada, clarinetist HEATHER ROCHE lives in London. As a soloist and chamber musician she appears regularly at European festivals. She is a founding member of hand werk, and has also played with Musikfabrik (Cologne), mimitabu (Gothenburg), Alisios Camerata (Zagreb), Apartment House (London) and ensemble Proton (Bern). She wrote her doctoral thesis at the University of Huddersfield, where she focused on collaboration between composers and performers. Her blog on writing for the clarinet attracts 90,000 viewers each year. Her debut solo CD, 'Ptelea', is out on HCR/NMC, and her CD featuring the clarinet works of Christopher Fox, 'Headlong', appears on Metier.
ANDREA YOUNG is a Canadian performer and composer specializing in experimental voice and live-electronics. She performs an acoustic, amplified, processed and resynthesized voice, as well as a re-purposed sound-controlling voice enabled through feature extraction and data-driven live electronics. While her work relies on digital innovation, her musical output relies on the integration of her digital interface with analogue and re-purposed electronic media. Andrea is co-director of EXO//ENDO, an international ensemble that pulls from classical, avant-garde, noise, industrial, krautrock and new music, who has premiered works in Canada for Vancouver New Music, Calgary New Works and Open Space New Music, as well as REDCAT in Los Angeles. Andrea studied vocal performance and composition at The University of Victoria (2001), electronic music at The Institute of Sonology, The Hague (2007), and completed a DMA from The California Institute of the Arts, Valencia (2014).