Review: Cuckooland Revisited at Sounds New 2014

May 13, 2014

Spotted on Like A Hammer in the Sink, a review of last week’s Cuckooland: Revisited performance at the Colyer-Fergusson Hall as part of this year’s Sounds New Festival. Some dynamic sketches of the performers too…

Image: Like A Hammer in the Sink

Read it here.

Image Gallery: Day Six

May 8, 2014

The Brodsky Quartet and singer Elaine Mitchener in rehearsal for the Robert Wyatt Project at the University of Kent’s Colyer-Fergusson Hall, and saxophonist John Harle with pianist Steve Lodder in performance at St Gregory’s Centre, on Day Six of the festival.


Images © Sounds New / Peter Cook

Festival feature in the news

April 12, 2014

Delightmemt and excitement coursing through the corridors of Sounds New HQ at this feature in the local press on Thursday.


Find out about all the events at Sounds New next month online here.

Three Questions: Brodsky Quartet

April 2, 2014

Ahead of their appearance at Sounds New next month, I put Three Questions to cellist with the Brodsky Quartet, Jacqueline Thomas.

Tell us about your ensemble

JT: The Brodsky Quartet has been in existence for over 40 years – we started when we were children – and we’ve travelled the world performing and recording some of the most beautiful music ever written: the incredibly rich string quartet repertoire. However, we grew up in the 70s, 80s, 90s, and grew to appreciate all genres of music through the decades since we began. We’ve always had an open mind to all types of music and we started at a young age making arrangements of pop and jazz songs so we could play those too. This stood us in good stead much later when we worked with the likes of Elvis Costello, Björk, Sting and Paul McCartney. We did ground-breaking work with these fantastic musicians and others, paving the way for what is now a universally accepted merging of styles and genres between classical musicians and artists from all disciplines.

Image: Eric Richmond

Image: Eric Richmond

What excites you about contemporary music ?

JT: In our world, the term Contemporary Music tends to frighten audiences who may be more comfortable with classical and romantic works. But let’s remember that Contemporary simply means current, now… so Mozart wrote contemporary music too! For me, the exciting thing about music of the 21st century is that literally anything goes. There are no rules or creative movements that simply must be adhered to in order to avoid commercial suicide – these days writers and performers mix it up shamelessly and joyfully and audiences seem open to everything. Especially young people, which is something to be celebrated – in my experience they will listen to anything with an open mind, thanks to the influence of people like John Tavener, Florence Welch, Rufus Wainwright, Plan B, Errollyn Wallen, and many others.

What can we expect from your performance at Sounds New in May ?

JT: It’s a work in progress at time of writing, so I’m still discovering it for myself. It’s a really fascinating re-working of some of the music of Robert Wyatt, merging styles across string quartet and electro-acoustic ambient textures. It should be a very beautiful, exciting and moving experience for us all. I’m very much looking forward to it myself!

Find out more about the Brodsky Quartet’s concert at Sounds New here.

Three Questions: Twisted Lounge’s Elaine Mitchener

March 24, 2014

Ahead of her appearance at Sounds New 2014, I put Three Questions to Twisted Lounge’s Elaine Mitchener.

Tell us about yourself.

I am a classically trained vocalist noted for mixing vocal styles drawing from sources as varied as contemporary new music, gospel, soul, jazz, and experimental/free improvisation. I am honoured to have had the chance to perform with and learn from some of the leading figures in the field of free jazz, contemporary new music, free-improv… I won’t name names here but for those interested please visit my website here.

Elaine Mitchener

Elaine Mitchener

What excites you about contemporary music ?

I am excited by great performances of contemporary music by artists committed to what they’re doing, communicating it and taking us on that journey with them. By contemporary I do not necessarily or only mean contemporary classical new music, but a much wider musical context.

What can we expect from your visit to Sounds New in May ?

Expect the unexpected! Okay, do not come with any expectations, be open to the experience.

Elaine performs with the Brodsky Quartet and Matt Wright as part of the Robert Wyatt Project at Sounds New on May 5th. Find out more about the event online here.

Image credit: Wallpaper.