Tag: classical music

sophia bacelar

Herbert Meets: Sophia Bacelar

Herbert Meets: Sophia Bacelar

Photo by Dovile Sermokas

Sophia Bacelar and I first connected a couple of years ago when I came across a video of her performing  Bridge Sonata and was instantly taken in. As I have gotten to know her a bit better, I discovered a thoughtfulness, studiousness and passion that underlies everything she does, (which in hindsight is what shone through in that video). I wanted to learn more about what drives Sophia and what is coming up for this rising cellist. 

Sophia, I know it’s been a very busy year for you, can you share some of the highlights?

My move to New York, getting a dog (@cubathehapa), starting my Artist Diploma at
Julliard, finding my gym (whose logo I got tattooed!) and its community, and the
evolution of relationships with the people around me.

And you managed to fit in some performances – I saw a video of you performing at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York –  how did this come about? read more

Good Vibes Only: Herbert Meets Unit 31

Good Vibes Only: Herbert Meets Unit 31 

Unit 31 is a collective founded by two musicians and a filmmaker that connects artists across London’s creative community.

I was lucky enough to sit down with Raffy Bushman and Julian Prentis – two core members of the team – to find out the story behind the space, their exhibition, which celebrates the last 5 years at Unit 31 and that culminates in their final installment of chamber music on 15th December.

Photo by Karolina Wielocha  read more

Herbert Meets: Ell Kendall

Herbert meets: Ell Kendall

Herbert and I have known for some time that Ell is an artist to watch out for. This November marks the release for Ell’s debut track  – ‘Marlen,’  which is the culmination of 5 years of testing, trying and making. The freshness and intricacy of his music is coupled with his ability to go one step further and engage his listener’s emotions through his play on spaces through sound.

Ell, congrats – it must feel great to have Marlen out –
 
It feels really good. I’ve been working to get to this point for … well if I think about it compositionally, technically, I got to a point about 5 years ago where I started to make material that actually captured how I felt. Once that happened, I started to putted the dots together on a page. 
 
When you talk about ‘that moment’ – what was it that clicked for you?
 
When you record classical music, you are typically documenting a performance. Even though we have wonderful recordings, it’s not concerned with creating a stand-alone sound experience.
 
So, it became important to me to create something fully acoustic, which is quite rare. I also wanted to enter the recording process open minded, so that I could let my imagination run wild and reach new sounds –
 
We went into the studio and recorded each of the musicians individually. Isolating the sound lets you discover that instrument’s innate nature. From there you can also manipulate the sound to zero into their quality.
 
How long did it take to record Marlen in this way?
 
We took a year to record Marlen and two other tracks.
 
Wow!
 
Yeah, but bear in mind, experimentation was a large part of this. We spent the first month really just trying different things out.
 
I wanted to play with space with the sounds I was using. There’s something called ‘spatialising,’ which is very popular at the moment in performance – it describes when musicians perform from different places in a venue. I took this a step further to create a dream like experience where anything could happen sound-wise (you also need a nifty producer!)
 
Apart from creating different avenues for sound, what is the extra effect of this for a listener?
 
It’s about the sensation of sound – and the different experiences you can have of sound. For example – if it doesn’t exist right in front of you, it can evoke a very different emotional character and adds this extra layer to the music. 
 

Was there a specific set of emotions you wanted to evoke with Marlen?
 
Marlen is a portrait of a dancer that I met. We worked together for a week and I thought she was very beautiful. She had an energy and life about her which was …very special. It was also the first time that I realized how important it was to cherish that kind of beauty and life because it is so transient.  
 
…that experience inspired me to write the track, and those are the emotions behind the sound choices, but ultimately it’s up to the listener to decide how it makes them feel and what it means to them.
 
Is that Marlen on the cover? 
 
Yes, of course it is! It’s funny, a lot of people that have seen the image seem to think it sexualises her. It makes me laugh because Marlen actually sent me that picture of herself for this track. For me, it captures the same energy and life that I tried to capture when I wrote and recorded the track.
 
As an artist that is trying to do things differently, are you used to that kind of opposition yet? 
 
… I mean, my classical music education has been a story of pure persistence. I came from a pop music background, but I decided to switch to classical at the last minute with no formal training. To get in, I ended up teaching myself to transcribe music in a week and convinced the professor to take me on. That’s why it’s so important for me to try and stick to my vision. 
 
What was it that made you shift to classical?
 
I liked the ambiguity of classical. Pop music is tied in with words/poetry. I found that words grounded the music too much for me – I like to leave my music very open for interpretation.
 
Apart from Marlen, do you have any tracks in the works for release?
 
I have the next portrait Nuha coming in the next couple of months, which like Marlen is an expression of a person and a moment in time.
 
Very cool – thanks for your time today Ell. 
 
No, thank YOU. This has been fun.

Ell will be performing at Hundred years gallery on November 22nd – tickets available on the door.  

He will also be performing at Q3 Ambient Festival in Potsdam – April 2020.

To stay in touch with Ell click here or here 

Tags

read more

Matthew Jamal Scott

Herbert Meets: Matthew Jamal

Herbert Meets: Matthew Jamal 

Meet Matthew Jamal or @sunday.applepie – double bassist, composer model and student at Manhattan School of Music.

He fuses classical, jazz + latin influences to make his sound – check out track Lazo to get a good sense. 

Herbert wanted me to find out more about Matthew, his journey, dreams and upcoming EP ‘Redefined.’

Photo by: Kel Burchett 

Would I be wrong in saying that it hasn’t been straightforward for you to pursue classical music? Can you tell me a little about your journey and what’s made you keep at it? read more

Yena Choi

Herbert Meets: Yena Choi

Herbert meets: Yena Choi

Words by Faye Fearon @Fayeisabella

Cello chic – those are the words that best describe Korean-European cellist Yena Choi @yenastic. With a harmonious relationship to her much-loved musical partner – the cello – she not only parades a large repertoire in classical music, but also crosses the boundaries of alternative genres. And fields too – one quick glance of her instagram account demonstrates an enthusiasm for art, photography and fashion. Having graduted from Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin Germany, she now lives in California as a faculty member of the state’s International Music Festival and Azusa Pacific University. read more

Samuel Sykes

Herbert Meets: Samuel Sykes

Herbert Meets: Samuel Sykes 

Following Sykes’ ‘One To Watch’ feature last month @samuelsykescello, I wanted to find out more about the 16 year old cellist, what he’s working on, his inspirations and his plans.

All photographs by Vince Di Francesco

So Sam, are you working on anything at the moment? 

Yes! I am currently working on a duet album with one of my best friends, which will include both a range of baroque and modern works. 

Cool – what were your main inspirations for this?  read more

Blair Coron

Herbert Meets: Blair Coron 

Meet Blair Coron, Glasgow-based composer and pianist.

I saw a photo of Blair’s workspace on Instagram and   wanted to find out where it was, how Blair put it together and how important it was in Blair’s composition process and for him as an artist.  

For a podcast about blackboards, Nils Frahm, his hamster Pippin, the Scottish highlands and his EP DO/RE., listen here.

Tags

read more

vincent hardaker

Herbert Meets: Vincent Hardaker

Herbert Presents: In The Pit | Vincent Hardaker

Herbert has always been fascinated with conductors and wanted to find out more about what their lives were actually like.

So… Herbert reached out to Vincent Hardaker @vincehardaker – one of New Zealand’s most promising up-and-coming conductors to see if he’d give us a sense of his daily routine…

Welcome to the first installment of:  ‘In the Pit’* 

*Pit = Orchestra Pit 

Tags

read more

cy leo

Herbert Meets: Cy Leo

Herbert meets: Cy Leo 

I don’t know if you remember, but back in July, I saw a gig at Wilton’s Music hall presented by the Hong Kong Music Series.

One of the performers was harmonica player Cy Leo who truly opened my eyes to an instrument that quite honestly up to that point I had paid no attention to.

Intrigued, Herbert reached out to Cy Leo who kindly indulged and answered some of my most burning questions.

NB: There’s a real treat at the bottom of the article, so stay with me. read more

Take a leap of faith