Author Archives: Hannah

An Evening with Amanda Palmer

If you ever have the chance to see Amanda Palmer live, go. Even if you’ve never heard of her, go. Even if you’re not sure that you like her music, go. Go for the sake of humanity, for love, for your heart. Last night she took my heart – and everyone else’s – and she poured every essence of her existence into it, nourishing us all, without asking for anything in return.

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A wild Amanda appears. Credit: @andrewabphotography

We all sat huddled on the floor of the children’s section of the Central Library in Liverpool. Every few minutes the ground would rumble, the metro passing by below. Continue reading

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Artist Feature: Cosmo Sheldrake

Unique: Cosmo Sheldrake

I have something to confess. Cosmo Sheldrake has had my heart in a Schrödinger Box for a while now, and I want you to know why.

Firstly, his name is entirely legit. More importantly, his music is unlike anything I have ever encountered. Blisteringly fresh, and vociferously zingy, are not words enough to describe his masterpieces in which he combines the out of this world with the down to earth, literally. Take ‘The Fly’, for example, where he used the sounds of solar oscillations recorded over 2 months, sped up 50,000 times, combined with the Aka Pygmy tribe in Central Africa, with a finishing touch of smashing Welsh mountain slates. And because that’s obviously not complicated enough, here he is producing it live on a fishing boat hunting for cuttlefish on the English Channel, or from the back of a horse and cart in Bulgaria. He’s also sampled the cracking bones of a cow carcass, rabid dogs, and the Armenian Duduks. Oh, and because he can he’s also recorded music live in a pig sty, or at a laundrette. I’m not sure that there’s an instrument that he cannot play, I mean, have you ever heard of a sousaphone? I haven’t. He can play 30 different instruments at least. Jealous yet?

I find myself relishing every moment of every song, listening to it over and over, hearing something new each time. Finding relationships between one song and the next, and comparing the nuances. I can’t help myself from clicking and tapping to the beat, and swaying from side to side with a look of concerned enthusiasm across my face.

His other talents include beatboxing, Mongolian throat singing, Tibetan chanting, and making music up spontaneously at live gigs, lyrics and all. Near the end of the concert that I just linked you to (at 49 minutes), he describes how he used the sounds of the Oyster Toadfish and Bucktooth Parrotfish, so that you know that I am not making this stuff up. Often he includes literature by Lewis Carroll or Edward Lear in his music.

He comes across as being humble, impassioned and compellingly creative; in his spare time he teaches and facilitates music workshops and camps. But he also has the time to compose for film and theatre. A lover of nonsense, who knows where he’ll end up next. Definitely keep an ear out though, there are rumours that he will have his first release out in the next month or two, when I am sure that many more hearts will be joining mine in his box.

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Vulfpeck haunts dreams with silence

Track: Zzzzz
Artist: Vulfpeck
Genre: Funk
Mood: Sprucy

The Ann Arbor band Vulfpeck have been causing a raucous, in the most discreet way possible. In a Robin Hood-esque attempt to tour performing only for free for the masses, they have turned to Spotify to make their cents to fund it, by releasing an album containing nothing but silence. Each track on Sleepify earns the band $0.005 per song, and they’ve already generated more than $5,000. That’s more than one million listens thus far. Obviously its listeners are sleeping better at night and approve of this new album.

Whilst riling up the corporations with their ingenious loophole, they’ve often been accused of copying the likes of John Cage or Sonic Youth. I doubt that they would take offence, since surely, if time travel allowed, they could all get together and compose the mightiest of vibrations that ever shook the Earth.

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[Mixtape Monday # 4] Hidden Orchestra – Arhcipelago Mixtape Part 1

Track: Archipelago Mixtape Part 1
Artist: Hidden Orchestra
Genre: Classical/Dub/Electronica/Folk/Post-Rock/HipHop/DnB/Jazz
Mood: Chilled, inspired, enthused.

Every year Hidden Orchestra creates mixtapes that are out of this world. They infuse their own electronic jazz melodies with classic records from the past, present and future. If that wasn’t enough, they then throw in some philosophical spoken dialogue on top, creating a combination that leaves you satisfied in every way possible.

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Rhye

We are terribly excited to introduce our newest author, dogleish. Our new Scottish counterpart, we look forward to her broad taste of various underground music, and her Scottish (inebriated) humour. 

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When my dear friend asked me if I wanted to be an author on a music blog I was bouncing of the walls in excitement. This was on the 5th of April, so I am rather ashamed of myself for taking so long to say hello. I was desperate to write immediately, drowning with anticipation, yet I refused to let myself write until exams were over. But when that time came, The Harmony, unfortunately, became my new procrastination. Until now.

I spent many weeks pondering over which band I would ever write about first. As soon as I saw Rhye in concert, it became obvious. I first listened to ‘The Fall’ in October last year, and I can recall listening to it everyday, over and over and over again for at least a month. Their other song, ‘Open’, I didn’t love as much, but it creeped up on me without my noticing. Not only are these two songs heart wrenchingly beautiful, they also come with fantastic music videos.

When I went to see them I was just getting over some horrible illness, and on the verge of getting a new one, but I had to go, no matter the consequences. I am glad I did, because it was one of the best gigs I have ever been to. My friend and I were very early, and we scored ourselves the best seats in the entire hall. The waiting was agony, they tortured us with some really awful ambient chiropractic music for what felt like hours. But suddenly there he was, stood in front of us behind the microphone with a great array of instruments and musicians surrounding him. Continue reading

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