Cellist Oliver Coates announces debut album on new label PRAH Recordings

Oliver Coates

ACCLAIMED CELLIST OLIVER COATES ANNOUNCES DEBUT SOLO ALBUM TOWARDS THE BLESSED ISLANDS

ALBUM RELEASED 25TH NOVEMBER ON PRAH RECORDINGS

STEPHEN BASS OF MOSHI MOSHI LAUNCHES NEW LABEL PRAH RECORDINGS

PRAH Recordings – a new label set up by Stephen Bass of Moshi Moshi – announces its first release from renowned cellist Oliver Coates.

Coates straddles the worlds of classical and contemporary music, winning plaudits for his collaborations with the likes of Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, DOOM and Massive Attack – and likewise for concerto performances around the world notably with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Britten Sinfonia.

His arrangement of the Boards of Canada track “In A Beautiful Place Out In The Country” was produced with Mira Calix and released on the Warp 20th anniversary box set to wide acclaim. Coates followed this with a duo album of cello drone and electronic noise with the long-term Brian Eno collaborator Leo Abrahams, entitled Crystals are Always Forming.

Towards the blessed islands (the title taken from a poem by Norman MacCaig) is Coates debut album and devotes itself to rich sounds and clear harmonies which develop slowly over time. The cello is tuned or strung differently, or thrown into an unusual playing method on every track. “Think Sonic Youth and their guitars” says Coates.

Towards the blessed islands track listing:

1. The room is the resonator – David Fennessy
2. Cello & Autoharps – Max de Wardener
3. Cello & Whirlies – Max de Wardener
4. Tommib Help Buss – Squarepusher
5. Kottos (live) – Iannis Xenakis
6. Raimondas Rumsas – Laurence Crane
7. The clouds flew round with the clouds – Larry Goves
8. Another Day – Roy Harper / This Mortal Coil

Reflecting a decision this year to explore a different approach to space, architecture and music making, Coates didn’t use a conventional studio set up to record the album, opting instead to use churches, tombs, disused oil rigs and taking field recordings in railway stations at night.

He developed these principles further on a project with field recordist Chris Watson, using music by Britten and environmental sounds for a project in Suffolk and built an installation called The Seafarer in the dark corridors around the Royal Festival Hall boiler room, using music by Messiaen and projecting old Anglo-Saxon poetry.

Coates is a frequent collaborator with Micachu, both live and in recording, and most recently his harmonics and textures can be heard throughout the film Under the Skin, whose soundtrack is scored by Micachu. And as Artist in Residence at the Southbank Centre, Coates curates Harmonic Series, showcasing music and film and featuring James Blake, Anna Meredith and Olivia Chaney among others. He has performed Music for 18 Musicians with Steve Reich and worked closely with Helmut Lachenmann and Thomas Ad├Ęs.

PRAH Recordings has been set up says Bass, “to allow a completely free and open release schedule that can encompass anything from contemporary classical and experimental to soundtrack recordings, spoken word and re-issues.”

PRAH Recordings will host an evening of music at The House Of St Barnabus, 1 Greek St, London W1 on 5th November, 2013. Composer Larry Goves will DJ in between sets from Anna Meredith, Oliver Coates and Aisha Orazbayeva.

Photo credit: Nathan Gallagher

For the latest music, tour dates and more, please go to:

Oliver Coates Official Website