A special festival double bill featuring welcome returns to Cheltenham from pianist James Rhodes and Penguin Café’s Arthur Jeffes.
Frontman and torch bearer for the much loved Penguin Café, Arthur Jeffes’ new project Sundog takes the warm melodious sounds of Penguin Café one step further. Stripped back, but just as emotive, Arthur’s piano playing takes centre stage, throwing in elements of electronica and instrumentation from across the world.
The final track Coriolis on the last Penguin Cafe album A Matter of Life was the first time Jeffes had recorded something in this vein. Playing violin on that track with him is Oli Langford, who joined him in what became known as Sundog. After making their first album together, Insofar, Sundog has continued to explore new paths. Currently, they’re playing some of the music that Arthur created on a NASA residency with American science fiction writer Bruce Sterling, as well as working on music that is likely to make it onto the next Penguin Café album
Pianist, raconteur, writer and broadcaster James Rhodes continues to carve out a position as a performer of unique character. For a sense of what to expect, click here. Rhodes plays what he chooses to play on the night – Bach? Beethoven? Chopin? Rachmaninov? – on the Town Hall’s magnificent Steinway. It’s sure to be a captivating, one-off night of music-making – and encapsulating, too, James Rhodes’ unique, funny, iconoclastic thoughts on music, love and life.
A pianist with a rock-star attitude.
Performances of such natural ease and brilliance that no one can resist
Jeffes’ aim is to create music that can be both intellectually satisfying and quietly touching. This is music which, because of its origin, can work happily under any number of names; classical, minimalist, chamber, or electronica.
With his wild hair and stubble, James Rhodes is the Russell Brand of the piano
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