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LISTEN: Laura Cannell & Andre Bosman Collab
The Quietus , July 11th, 2018 14:37

Reckonings LP launch takes place this Friday at Cafe Oto

More wonderfully timeless music continues to flow from the rural Suffolk home of Laura Cannell and Andre Bosman, this time in the form of a new collaborative fiddle record, Reckonings. The album sees Bosman unplugging the electronics of his Hoofus project to take up fiddle and bow alongside Cannell for an improvised album recorded in St Andrew’s in Raveningham, Norfolk - we're informed that it was made of recordings undertaken in "visits through the seasons with wind rattling, sun burning and snow melting". There's a Reckonings LP launch at Cafe Oto this Friday, 13th July, featuring Jonathan Hering's interpretations of renaissance polyphony and tQ's Luke Turner playing tunes. We asked Cannell and Bosman about the Reckonings album. They also play Cambridge's Unitarian Church Hall on 20th July and York Mediale on 30th September.

How did you and Andre come to collaborate on Reckonings. Given you have such an intimate relationship, how do you know when it's time to write together?

Reckonings is something we’ve been thinking about for a while… about five years! We’ve both been really busy and focussed on our solo music and other projects. This seemed like a good moment, we both have solo albums coming out next year so it felt like the right time to put it out there and play some live dates too.

Our ethos is not to over plan or over discuss, we’ve found that when we make music together we work best when it is spontaneous. We are both very singleminded musicians and words can sometimes get in the way, for us it’s just best to do it and see what happens which is why we recorded our trips to the space and then chose our favourites without judging too much what we were doing in the moment. The album is made up of visits and recordings made over a couple of years.

How did you decide on what instrumentation to use?

We wanted to blend two instruments together to sound like one indistinguishable sound, one really full on and epic violin, exploring texture and emotion rather than melody and fixed rhythm. We started playing two violins together in 2013. It was during a period when Laura was transitioning from being in a full time duo for nearly ten years (since 2003) and André was great at encouraging us to improvise more. We both play other instruments (Laura - Recorders, fiddle plus crumhorn/early instruments and a bit of cello, André - Electronics as Hoofus, fiddle, guitar, bass, Indian Harmonium). We both really love rough and rustic traditional fiddle playing whether it’s American Primitivism, traditional Norwegian, or Donegal style… the scratchier and honkier the better!

What inspired the music on Reckonings?

The music is an intermingling of the concepts and aesthetics of our work as solo musicians, exploring drones, oscillating tones, fifths, rough textures and the spaces between notes. We are also both interested in expressing ideas of nature, landscape and edgeland spaces in a raw and non-romanticised way.

Tell us about the church you recorded in and how you chose it.

We recorded in Raveningham Church, in the village where we used to live. At the edge of the marshes and the Norfolk broads. André finds it really creepy in there but Laura likes the idea of all the people who have past through the doors and it’s worth it for the sound, (even though sometimes it smell like dead shrews). It’s a small Norman round tower church in the gardens of a country estate. It’s open everyday, you can just go in and play. It always feels a bit like you aren’t supposed to be in there, but that adds to the intensity of the playing and the music. There’s a sense of urgency in playing this way, we have permission to play, but the arrangement is that we have to disappear if a funeral or wedding party turns up so when we are playing there is a sense of always looking over a shoulder, or catching a shadow through the clear medieval window panes.