here.here with Seamus Cater & Alexander J. Ellis (1814-1890)
This is the 9th iteration of the here.here streamed concerts series after Parkinson Saunders (May 2021), Voice & Electronics with Sadd, Moore, Waeckerlé and Ziv (April 2021), Greg Caffrey (IE, March 2021), Marie Cécile Reber (CH, Feb 2020), Gildas Quartet (UK, Oct 2019), Marcus Kaiser (DE, May 2019), Stefan Thut (CH, April 2019), Jessica Aslan and Emma Lloyd (UK, March 2019).
For the three concerts of this 4th season, we are focusing on a theme of dislocation of sound in space and time, chosing works that rely upon the voice and other sonic events coming from elsewhere literally or through technology.
We are starting with Seamus Cater’s new song cycle based on in-depth research into English mathematician,philologist and amateur concertina player Alexander J. Ellis (1814 – 1890). For the second concert in March, works will metaphorically give voice to architecture through time and space, and explore the threshold between natural and build in environment. The last concert in May will focus on the interplay between voluntary and involuntary sounds, breath and voice.
Traces of Alexander J. Ellis (Seamus Cater, 2021)
For skhismic concertina and voice.
A solo which draws exclusively from the archive of Alexander J. Ellis (1814-1890), translator and annotator of On the Sensations of Tone (Helmholtz 1863, Ellis 1875). Personal, musical and scientific texts have been redacted into songs and alongside this, the instrument that Seamus tuned in the Skhismic temperament of Ellis, brings a second level of connection between Ellis and himself. Ellis was an amateur concertinist, and two of his experimentally tuned instruments remain to this day untouched in the Horniman Museum. Thus, the words of Ellis are delivered in manners not unfamiliar to Ellis, creating a kind of blending between Ellis and Cater, which Cater calls, ‘mixing our sensibilities’.
In conversation with him, fellow Dutch composer and poet Samuel Vriezen has referred to Seamus reviving of Ellis work as a unique form of ventroliquism (or ventriloquy) in the way he is channelling and giving a contemporary voice to Alexander J. Ellis words, thus speaking and singing from a distant and dislocated past.
Seamus Cater is a British musician based in Amsterdam. His music is, usually, a combination of song writing and acoustic instrumental composition. Playing the duet concertina, sometimes tuned in Just Intonation, as accompaniment for voice, he searches for resonant connections between these sources. The songs are noted for conceptual narratives, often reinforced by musical parallels.
2019 saw the release of Secrets, a three-year collaboration with Berlin clarinettist Kai Fagaschinski. Cater’s 2016 album, The Three Things You Can Hear, released on the Lebanese imprint Annihaya Records (CD), and Nearly Not There Records (LP), referenced revivalist folk music and 60s minimalism, drawing lyrical subject matter from the history of labour. Seamus continues to organise DNK Days as a founding member of DNK-Amsterdam. http://www.seacater.com
Here.here concert series
The here.here concert series, is a collaboration between bookRoom and the Audio Research Cluster at UCA Farnham, curated by Emmanuelle Waeckerlé and Harry Whalley, around their common research in extended, textual, visual, gestural and object scores and ways to integrate or experience technology in text / music / film / performances. The project is supported by UCA research fund.