Smack That: domestic violence survivors celebrate resilience in dance

Published in The Guardian on June 8, 2018

“I have been fighting for vaginas for a very long time now.” Rhiannon Faith is smiling, but she’s also completely serious. The choreographer’s work, too, exists on this tightrope: her latest show is an immersive dance party about domestic violence. Continue reading “Smack That: domestic violence survivors celebrate resilience in dance”

Are you listening mindfully? How meditation is changing music

Published in The i on April 19, 2018

I am sitting on the floor of a church in Shoreditch, a shaker in my hand, attempting to respond musically to a series of abstract, contradictory statements: making a hard sound that is soft, a private sound that is public, and so on. Initially self-conscious, as others join in, I soon find myself fully focused and absorbed. Continue reading “Are you listening mindfully? How meditation is changing music”

Welsh singer Gwenno’s new album is in Cornish. It’s one of many ‘lost’ languages being reborn

Published in BBC Culture on April 12, 2018

“A eus le rag hwedhlow dyffrans?” So goes the first track on Le Kov, the second album by Welsh singer Gwenno Saunders. But it isn’t Welsh: it’s Cornish, a minority language spoken by fewer than a thousand people. The line translates as “is there room for different stories?” – and this is the question at the heart of her record, which celebrates variance in language, culture and identity. Continue reading “Welsh singer Gwenno’s new album is in Cornish. It’s one of many ‘lost’ languages being reborn”

Opera star Danielle de Niese: ‘It’s good to put a modern face on opera’

Published in The Independent on March 22, 2018

When Soprano Danielle de Niese was asked to present a televised singing competition, The Glyndebourne Opera Cup for young performers, the decision was a no-brainer. “Of course I was going to say yes. I am literally married to this place: in my heart, artistically, and also because of Gus.” Continue reading “Opera star Danielle de Niese: ‘It’s good to put a modern face on opera’”

Review: Remnants, The Print Room

Published in The Telegraph on June 20, 2017

Dubbed an “electro-folk drama” by theatre-maker Patrick Eakin Young, director of the company Erratica, Remnants is a work that resists categorisation – a potent tapestry of song, electronic music, dance and recorded interviews. Continue reading “Review: Remnants, The Print Room”

Jane Weaver on Spiritualist art, slut-dropping onstage, and music industry sexism

Published in The Independent on July 10, 2017

“Some songs arrive like little vignettes, little scenes. Or I get a full orchestra of a song in my head. How do things come to us: are they just in the air?” Jane Weaver – writer, musician, singer and producer of gloriously spacey psych-rock – is musing about the muse with just the sort of ethereal wonder you might expect from someone whose new album is called Modern Kosmology, and was inspired by Spiritualist avant-garde painter Hilma af Klint.   Continue reading “Jane Weaver on Spiritualist art, slut-dropping onstage, and music industry sexism”

The woman who could ‘draw’ music

Published in BBC Culture on May 30, 2017

Few people know Daphne Oram, but she helped shape the sounds, and songs, we listen to today. A pioneer of electronic music, she wrote Still Point – thought to be the world’s first composition which manipulates electronic sounds in real time – in 1949. In 1957, she set up the famous BBC Radiophonic Workshop. The same year, she began working on her Oramics machine, which turned graphical gestures into music: the user could ‘draw’ the sounds they wished to hear.

Continue reading “The woman who could ‘draw’ music”