Put together for the first time by the Festival in 2015, pianist Alexander Hawkins and vocalist Elaine Mitchener have emerged from that meeting with a powerful quartet featuring two of the most distinctive voices of their generation. Their acclaimed debut album was described by The Guardian as ‘remarkable reinventions by two fearless originals’. The music fuses Mitchener’s unique way with melody and abstraction with Hawkins’ idiosyncratic composition and piano playing.
This collaboration stakes out a remarkable common ground from the pair’s vast range of influences and experience, spotlighting reimaginings of a number of existing songs including Patty Waters’ You Thrill Me, Why Is Love Such a Funny Thing and Archie Shepp’s Blasé. Structurally, the group function as complete equals, veering radically from the traditional norm of ‘singer plus rhythm section’, instead treating this as only one possible dynamic amongst many.
Alexander Hawkins piano
Elaine Mitchener vocals
Stephen Davis drums
Neil Charles bass
Constantly surprising and superbly executed cutting-edge music built on winningly familiar foundations
Parabola Arts Centre is located in a Grade II listed building in the glamorous Montpellier district of Cheltenham. The centre was built as a facility for students of Cheltenham Ladies’ College and to be used as a public arts centre by the local community.
The original, listed Bayshill House was transformed into a gallery, bar and foyer area. The villa also houses all the rehearsal spaces, offices, video editing suite, dance studio and library. This means that the regular activity of the building takes place in the light, beautifully restored listed building.
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