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Sunday 5th December 2021

Alison Cotton & Lara Jones

— The Cube
An evening of composed & improvised earthly drones
price: Headfirst Tickets

HEADFIRST STAFF PICK

“Somewhere between freak folk and pagan drone, Alison Cotton conjures pastoral dirges out of viola, voice and harmonium. Lara Jones’ infinite saxophone-scapes are the perfect support.”
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Information:

Sun 05 December // 19:30
Tickets: £10

An evening of composed & improvised earthly drones.

Alison Cotton is a composer, performer & improviser based in London. Her second album Only Darkness Now was released last year and reached number 11 in The Quietus Albums of the Year & number 1 in Quietus' New Weird Britain chart, enjoying airplay across BBC Radio 3 & 6music. Only Darkness Now and her debut have also been newly reissued by our own Bristol record shop & label, Friendly Records.

https://bloxhamtapes.bandcamp.com/album/only-darkness-now

Lara Jones is a saxophonist - both soloist and ensemble player - as well as improviser, composer & collaborator and now based in London. Her debut album 'Ensō' was released last year with radio play on BBC Radio 3's 'Freeness' show.

https://larajones-saxophone.bandcamp.com/album/ens

Cotton's body of work takes in folk & medieval themes, poetic depictions of Gothic torment and historical netherworlds. Jones on the other hand picks up modern anxieties of urban experience with heavy, layered saxophone lines and electronics as weighty as Cotton's long drawn viola bows and cool harmonium tones. Through their immersive practices both composers create a reflective space for their explorations of time and place - both imagined & real, recorded & researched. In her second album Cotton leaves behind the stony chambers of her debut for a much more peopled landscape, a brighter expanse that can reach cathedral-like grandeur. Jones recorded her debut in a Welsh chapel with soaring acoustic properties that can also confront us with claustrophobic onslaughts of noise. Holy space is confidently reframed as layered city life and new monuments - we hear of the 'the confined space' where 'all the germs go round' in an intimate, broken phone call that may be between an anxious, isolated mother & her daughter concerned at the encroachment on their space  – both domestic & the vastness of London St Pancras.

Nostalgia concerns both performers: in 'Ballet', Jones weaves an ambient warmth of submerged & glitched recordings of children's voices. Cotton's viola and choral layers have an earthy, distinctly English experimental resonance with early music modalities; these are stone images of pagan & mediaeval times, the past like the shattered tree stump landscapes of painter Paul Nash. Where Cotton uses her voice, Jones blends live processing and field recordings as on 'Ensō''s opener St Pancras where solemn washes of chords dissolve in choral higher registers before brass howls like a halting train blend into the haunted distant tannoy announcements of St Pancras railway station. 

The Cube offers a ready quiet for a double billing that will send sound through the rafters: a special night of darkness explored – of the natural world & unearthed history presented alongside the familiar urban quickening of claustrophobic nerves & disorientation. Rendered in this way, both performers encourage us to contemplate our own inner preoccupations amongst their richly layered soundscapes.
[PLEASE READ THE CUBE'S COVID-SAFE ARRANGEMENTS BELOW THE EVENT DESCRIPTION. FACE COVERINGS REQUIRED AT ALL TIMES (UNLESS EXEMPT)]

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THIS IS A FULL CAPACITY EVENT WITH NO SOCIAL DISTANCING IN THE AUDITORIUM. PROOF OF A NEGATIVE LATERAL FLOW OR DOUBLE VACCINE WILL BE REQUIRED ON ENTRY. MASKS WILL BE REQUIRED AT ALL TIMES IN THE BUILDING INCLUDING THE AUDITORIUM.

Short film that explains the Cube Covid approach https://video.cubecinema.com/play/144

IF YOU, ANYONE IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD, OR ANYONE YOU HAVE HAD CONTACT WITH DEVELOPS CORONAVIRUS SYMPTOMS – PLEASE STAY HOME! IN THIS CASE, OR IF YOU DON'T FEEL UP TO ATTENDING FOR ANY REASON, WE WILL OFFER A FULL REFUND ON REQUEST, IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO DONATE YOUR TICKET COST. GIVE [email protected] AN EMAIL WITH YOUR TICKET REFERENCE.

Artist Videos:

YouTube
Lara Jones - Ensō
YouTube
Alison Cotton performs The House of the Famous Poet at the state51 Factory

Artist Audio:

bandcamp - Alison Cotton
2:35