There’s wonderful news from British composer Emily Hall who is releasing the live recordings of Life Cycle, the song cycle she wrote in 2010 with writer Toby Litt. Reflecting on the theme of motherhood and drawing from collective experiences, including Hall’s own one as a mother, her song cycle narrates the story of a couple who first have a stillborn child but end up conceiving again and becoming parents. Presented trough the eyes of the woman, the story addresses and encompasses the different emotions and stages of a mother’s journey. In Life Cycle, and as the press release describes, “exquisitely simple melodies and hard-edged lyrics bring to life the anxiety and impatience of pregnancy; the shadow of loss; the joy of birth; sleep deprivation and the wonder of watching a baby grow”.
To get you enticed for the release of Life Cycle, listen to the gorgeous and poignant ‘I Am Alone’ below.
To coincide with International Women’s Day, Life Cycle is out on March 8th through Bedroom Community.
October is here and with it comes a very special selection of tracks picked by Emily Hall, the marvellous and infinitely creative British composer. She won us over with her 2015 concept album/opera Folie à Deux, which was one of our Album Picks of the Year. So we asked her to put together a mixtape with some of the artists and bands that have inspired her and the stunning mix she sent us journeys through a myriad of genres and styles, with artists from the likes of Anna Meredith and Oliver Coates to Mara Carlyle and Lady Maisery. Enjoy!
Anna Meredith – Something Helpful [Moshi Moshi]
Oliver Coates – Another Day [PRAH Recordings]
Mara Carlyle – How It Felt To Kiss You [Ancient & Modern]
Mesadorm – Drink You [Babylegs Records]
Olivia Chaney – Blessed Instant [Nonesuch]
Mira Calix – The Stockholm Syndrome [Warp]
Kronos Quartet with Bryce Dressner – Little Blue Something [Anti-]
Lady Maisery – This Woman’s Work [RootBeat Records]
Ties Mellema: Jacob Ter Veldhuis – Grab It!
Oliver Coates – Tommib Help Buss [PRAH Recordings]
Nadia Sirota – Etude No.3 [Bedroom Community]
Laurie Anderson – O Superman [Warner Bros.]
Håkon Austbø and Olivier Messiaen- I. Regard du Pere [Naxos]
Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim – West Side Story: Tonight [United Artists]
We're ecstatic to start September with a very special selection of tunes picked by the incredibly talented and imaginative multi-instrumentalist and composer Quinta. The Quick of The Heart, her second album, is one of the most exhilarating, enchanting and engaging albums we've heard in a long time. Quinta is also part of the experimental arts quartet Collectress and regularly lends her wizardry skills and inventiveness to other projects, collaborating with many renowned artists and composing for theatre, contemporary dance and circus. So, press play and indulge your ears.
Emily Hall – mantra [Bedroom Community]
Sufjan Stevens – All The Trees Of The Field Will Clap Their Hands [Sounds Familyre]
Serafina Steer – The Valley [Static Caravan]
John Adams – Shaker Loops: I. Shaking and Trembling [nonesuch]
Albert Tétard & Daniel Barenboim & Luben Yordanoff & Claude Desurmont – Messiaen: Quatuor pour la fin du temps – 5. Louange à l’Eternité de Jésus [Deutsche Grammophon]
Owen Pallett – E Is For Estranged [Secret City]
Joan As Police Woman – Christobel [PIAS / Reveal Records]
tUnE-yArDs – News [4AD]
Scott Walker – Plastic Palace People [Philips]
Baby Dee – Black But Comely [Drag City / Tin Angel Records]
Errollyn Wallen – Photography: IV. Moderato Keep Very Rhythmic [NMC]
Accomplished British composer Emily Hall is no stranger to the classical music world, having written for several ensembles and orchestras, including the London Sinfonietta, LSO, the Brodsky Quartet, Opera North, and the Hungarian Radio Choir, to name but a few. Hall has also a number of work and collaborations under her belt that go beyond the classical spectrum, namely with Oliver Coates, Mara Carlye, Mira Calix, Olivia Chaney, Lady Maisery, and David Sheppard.
Today she is releasing Folie à Deux, a concept album/opera commissioned by the Mahogany Opera Group. which Hall co-wrote with Icelandic author Sjon. Translating from French as ‘the folly of two’, which refers to a shared psychotic disorder, the album is described as “a sonic voyage into a shared psychosis where a delusion is transmitted from one person to another and is a lyrical and intense investigation into love and loneliness within a relationship”.
Folie à Deux was written for two singers, Swedish vocalist Sofia Jernberg and British tenor Allan Clayton, and it also features a specially created electro-magnetic harp, designed and built by David Sheppard and Jonathan Green. The album was mixed by Valgeir Sigurðsson in Reykjavík and co-produced by Valgeir.
Here’s a taste from the album, the majestic ‘mantra’. Head over to Emily Hall’s bandcamp straight after to buy/stream the whole album.