Oliver Coates “Timelapse (Walrus)”

Performance day is finally here – and our excitement has amplified tenfold. Tonight beholds the world-first performance between the London Contemporary Orchestra and Actress – which we have had the honour to commission and curate alongside the LCO, and will also broadcast live from the Barbican tonight. Today, we are celebrating with a Debut from notable cellist, composer, producer and LCO soloist, Oliver Coates.

His Upstepping mini-album opus – forthcoming on Moshi Moshi’s contemporary classical and experimental label, PRAH Recordings – illustrates Coates’ deeply contrasting interests in music. Having formerly collaborated with Jonny Greenwood, Mica Levi and now also Actress, and listing his direct influence from the likes of early Orbital and Photek, electronic reflections can easily be traced in the instrumental lyricism and classically versed composition patterns of each of Upstepping‘s eight tracks. On being asked about “Timelapse (Walrus)”, Coates explained to us: “I was living in a hotel for a month because our flat got flooded, and listening to the chromatic steps of happy / sinister early nineties techno. Then I was taking cello harmonics and cutting off the fronts and making sample keyboards out of them. Everything that sounds like it could be a piano or keys starts from a piece of cello residue. The spoken audio is a small child saying ‘small child gets scared to death’. The body of the cello makes everything woody with the colours. I like techno made out of spruce.”

Catch Oliver Coates’ Upstepping masterpiece dropping on 13th May. Tune in to the live stream of Coates playing alongside the LCO and Actress tonight at the Barbican here (20:30 GMT). And in the meantime, take a look at our Behind The Scenes video from the show rehearsals.

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