Shiva Feshareki Plays Live For Amoenus This Weekend

A new series of events - set to feature Shiva Feshareki, Ben Vince and more - kicks off in London this weekend

Shiva Fesherenki will present the only planned live performance of her debut forthcoming album NEW FORMS this weekend as part of a new event series taking place at Aures in south London.

Aures has a 50-speaker 3D system and the series of Amoenus events will see a number of musicians putting the unique sound set-up to work over the course of the next few months. It’s all curated by artist Christian Duka, and this weekend’s event will also see a collaborative performance from Housewives’ Ben Vince with Lucinda Chua, and Ash Koosha will also present a show.

This weekend’s instalment is billed as ‘Futureshook’ and will explore the ways in which technology has affected the way we behave. Feshareki’s album is out via Resist on February 22, and she will play it live at the show this weekend, on February 3. For more information, head here and keep reading for a little more information on the event from Feshareki, as well as Ben Vince and Lucinda Chua.

Shiva Feshareki

What function does setting and/or context play in your performances?

Shiva Feshareki: Context is very important in my performances as I create a unique performance for every event, so that I can sculpt the music to the space, the vibe, and the moment. I use very physical turntable manipulation techniques that rely on speed and movement, so no performance can be preconceived. Also, because my music covers such a wide range of practices, be it live turntabling, experimenting with style, improvisation, scored composition, orchestral music, collaborations, then I perform in a wide variety of contexts. It really feeds my inspiration for what I do, and what grounds I choose to cover, and what dialogues I aim to forge between different worlds.

What are the fundamental differences between how you construct a live performance and a studio album, is there improvisation involved in the former?

SF: There’s improvisation and chance events in both. So with my album, a lot of the tracks were created in live contexts. For example, I took an element from a live show I did at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art for my track VAC Moscow, and Composition no. 3 was composed live on my NTS Radio show using the radio equipment available to me (e.g. talk microphone, CDJs). This way I am always inviting the listener into the process, and we listen together, not knowing where the journey will lead. It’s about adding that human touch to electronic music, the soul. The studio element is then about how I produce the tracks and reimagine them further. Even if you take my track Composition no. 3, well, that is an electronically manipulated version of a recording of an orchestral composition of mine from 2016. It had a past life and history as this substantial orchestral piece that took me a year to compose titled ‘O’, yet ‘Composition No. 3’ was created in the moment in six-and-a-half minutes.

Your typical live set is atypical of most live electronic performances. Because of this, do you prefer playing in newer and less culturally-established spaces like Aures? What do you have prepared for this specific show?

I actually perform in quite a lot of contexts be it on world stages like the Queen Elizabeth Hall or Royal Albert Hall, or really bespoke unique spaces that may have a different function away from a performance space. Then there’s these more intimate events like at Aures which are special to me because it is actually rare for me to play in these more informal settings. It really gives me a chance to experiment and work with the crowd as essentially my performances are super casual and constructed in the moment. I was very interested in Aures as a space because of the 50-channel 360 sound system. This was my main incentive. And because it is intimate setting it really helps invite the crowd into the music and experience. I really do think it’s one of the best soundsystems in London. For this show I will be creating a one-off realisation of my new record in surround sound, presenting NEW FORMS in a…. new form! NEW FORMS really is a philosophy around my work: How sonic material can be transformed in a moment into a completely different perspective to that which already exists. New forms is a play on perspective and a play on context, and what this says about how we communicate, and the expansive nature or interpretation.

Ben Vince & Lucinda Chua

Could you talk us through your collaborative show, the elements that make it up and how it came together?

BV : Our mutual friend Morell Maison put us in touch, saying we should work together. I’m personally almost completely a free improvising musician, and from listening I could tell Lucinda has that element to her work as well. When we started playing in our first session, it felt immediately like a new pace and sonic space that allowed the more cerebral, minimalist elements of my playing to flourish. Whilst I have my normal live-looping setup, Lucinda modulates the sound of the cello through a series of effects, the combined sound of the sax and the cello naturally is very rich and resonant and is really fun to explore.

In contrast to my other live collaborative projects, which I feel are much more high-energy, this is more atmospheric and meditative. This Aures gig is really special because controlling sonic elements in a 50-speaker setup that fills the length of the concert space, you can send motifs and textures forward and backwards, even perceptually up and down it seems, so depending where you are in the space, you will get an individually immersive experience.

Given this is your second performance together, how did it go the first time around? What were the greatest challenges you faced, and what elements do you feel worked really well?

LC : I remember the first time we met up, we just played for a couple hours straight and that was how we got to know each other. It’s nice to meet inside the music, you get to know each other very quickly without even talking. It felt very effortless, like breathing, maybe the first time I had made music without thinking about what I was doing, or what I was going to do next.

We played our first show last year, which I think was the second time we’d ever played together. Our solo shows are very different, but there is definitely a space where we intersect. For me, this is some of the most dynamic and free music I’ve been part of, which is really exciting. I guess the more we perform together, the more we will develop our own language. It’s funny to think this is only our second show, I guess we must have done alright on the first one or we wouldn’t have been asked to play again.

Ben, following your collaborations with a number of other artists, you explained you’ve moved from ‘creator to vector, being bounced off by different forces’. Has that fed into what you’ve been doing since on record and in a solo live setting?

BV : Well I feel that my last record and my next one will showcase that aspect of it more clearly, bar the lyrical parts and some compositional edits, I see almost everything I do as live composition and improvising with other musicians emphasises the ability you have to create something in the moment that is pure and is its own object, with its own internal logic. Working remotely is a little different, because you have to mentally contextualise yourself with another piece of music, I try to get inside it as much as possible and embellish it with new ideas, but sometimes you have to rip into it and attack it to get the best results. I guess it’s made me more confident in my solo performances to build new sonic objects but it’s still very much a different thing to making a record or playing in a collaborative live setting.

Lucinda, you’ve played solo, as a duo with Ben and in FKA Twigs’ live band. Do you find yourself more challenged in one or more of these than others?

LC : Collaboration is a really important part of my musical practise. I’m grateful to have the cello, it’s allowed me access into many different worlds that have been totally new to me. Playing with different artists and musicians has been rewarding, enriching and challenging in many different ways, I don’t know how to explain it in words. But everyone has been so welcoming, and the musical exchange means I feel very part of something, I am contributing. I love that. I get to see the world through a different lens, I get to discover new sides to myself, I try and take these learnings back with me to explore further in my work as a solo artist. And I hope that my solo work can lead to more opportunities where I get to collaborate with other musicians, artists, film makers, dancers… and I can just live inside that loop.

The Quietus Digest

Sign up for our free Friday email newsletter.

Support The Quietus

Our journalism is funded by our readers. Become a subscriber today to help champion our writing, plus enjoy bonus essays, podcasts, playlists and music downloads.

Support & Subscribe Today