Loraine James x LCO
The electronic producer teams up with the London Contemporary Orchestra to perform an homage to composer Julius Eastman.
In a new album released on Phantom Limb, electronic producer Loraine James creates a breathtaking homage to the vital, and unforgivably overlooked, New York composer Julius Eastman, reinterpreting, reimagining and responding to key works.
Phantom Limb initiated this project with the aim of continuing the current tide of efforts to reinstate Eastman’s rightful place in 20th-century composition. James was offered a zip drive of Eastman originals alongside Renée Levine-Packer and Mary Jane Leach’s illuminating biography, Gay Guerilla, and transcribed MIDI stems.
The resulting album, Building Something Beautiful For Me carries the Eastman torch with finesse and sensitivity. James employs samples, melodic motifs, themes and imagery, and inspiration from Eastman’s canon, slicing, editing, pulling apart and playing samples like instruments to craft a stunning album that venerates Eastman’s genius while adhering to her own.
Loraine James grew up in Enfield, north London. Her wide exposure to jazz, electronica, UK drill and grime, reassembled through her intuitive skills and intimate, almost diaristic approach to music-making can be heard on the colourful mix-up of her Hyperdub debut album For You And I.
Icelandic theremin musician Hekla joins Loraine James as a support for this performance. Hekla offers her second album of haunting, spectral soundscape-songwriting, Xiuxiuejar, a sonic black hole of corrosive beauty and mesmerising darkness.
Hekla is a rare virtuosic player of the theremin, a notoriously difficult electronic instrument, joining a miniscule group of musicians in mastery of its esoteric, light-controlled frequencies.
Classically informed, her playing covers an enormous range, from skittering birdsong of chirrups and chirps, to tectonic sub-bass. Her fans in the wider music community – PJ Harvey, for example – compare her style to musicians such as Colleen, Julia Holter or the late Jóhann Jóhannsson.
Presented in collaboration with Bird On The Wire
Need to know
Copies of Loraine James’ new LP Build Something Beautiful For Me are available to purchase as an optional add-on for £17 when you buy a ticket, and can be collected on the day of the event.
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