Love Cells Tour and Classical Video Release

After shows in London, Rome, Viterbo, I’m pleased to announce festivals coming up in California at Ojai Music Festival and Carlsbad Music Festival Presents Village Music Walk with New Jersey and Mexico dates TBA. We’ve also got a special release show in New York at LEILA ADU Love Cells Release Show at National Sawdust with O PARADISO & NICO TURNER SOLO.

Here is a new release of a video recorded of Mivos quartet with award-winning harpist, Sivan Magen. Ojai Music Festival will feature some of my classical pieces, including “Alyssum” for string quartet plus harp, being played by the Calder Quartet & ICE‘s Bridget Kibby.

“Alyssum” by Leila Adu — Mivos String Quartet with Sivan Magen (harp) from Leila Adu on Vimeo.

Here are the interviews and performances along the way…

— KCSB Sonic Earspace with Jack Fischer
Full audio of interview on Soundcloud

— WNYC Women’s Voices and Electronics New Sounds with John Schaefer
National Sawdust Show

— WNYC/WQXR’s Q2 Music at 12mins 30secs

— London’s Resonance FM’s on Dexter Bentley’s Hello Goodbye Show interview with Ilia Rogatchevsk and Live recorded session at the Briggs Ware House Location recorded by Alexander Morris 46 mins 20secs

Finally, I’m very grateful to everyone that we’ve reached over a third of our Indiegogo Goal of the Love Cells EP release and expanding the Love Cells tour.

Thanks to everyone for making all this possible. Please contribute to get the music for yourself and share this link to spread the word! Love Cells Release Tour on Indiegogo

LOVE CELLS EP Release and Tour

Belts and Whistles proudly presents the release of Love Cells, Leila Adu’s partner EP to her recent release Scary Love Monster. Together the pair is collectively known as The LOVE EPs. Scary Love Monster is an EP of global urban and suburban romantic ensnarement, impressionist avant-tronica written and recorded in Rome out of a suitcase and houses in Rome, London, Wellington and New York. With sound worlds of Grimm’s fairytales and Toni Morrison, these dark tales hint at moments of light and love.

Where Scary Love Monster warns of the perils of love in Grimm’s fashion, Love Cells speaks from the mundane 9-5 romantic love to the most abstract forms of love. The title track Love Cells signifies that we are all created out of vibration, light and love: “love yourself, each sacred atom of the world is connected to you.” From the intimate laptop recording moments of a cappella Je T’aime… to afrofuturist The City and the Voodoo Lady, a tribute to the city of New York and Mingus’ The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady… to the perverse post-colonial love of Horror in

Love Cells comes out hot on the heels of the Scary Love Monster EP which has already garnered critical acclaim.

“Scary Love Monster” presents us with six unpredictable tracks (that’s a trendy adjective in these Trumpish days, isn’t it?), fluctuating between pop, weird jazz, dark lyrics and brainy experimentation at times reminiscent of Brian Eno’s early records… —NYC Deli

She’s making music that stands alongside the great work from the likes of PJ Harvey, Arthur Russell, Kate Bush and Bjork. I truly believe that. That’s not to say she sounds like any of them – but it’s that sort of vision, that determination, the willingness to be out on your own and making music that you believe in first and foremost…

You’ll hear some of the best pop melodies too. As it just so happens. But you’ll hear music from the Gamelan and classical worlds, from jazz and the worlds of dance and theatre as much as music.– The Dominion Post

You can now buy LOVE CELLS through all major digital outlets — if you purchase through Indiegogo, you will support the LOVE CELLS EP RELEASE TOUR

Love Cells EP Release Tour on Indiegogo from Leila Adu on Vimeo.

Love Cells EP — Out May 20

The Love Cells EP is coming out on May 20 on Belts and Whistles. The new EP comes out hot on the heels of the Scary Love Monster EP which has already garnered critical acclaim.

“Scary Love Monster” presents us with six unpredictable tracks (that’s a trendy adjective in these Trumpish days, isn’t it?), fluctuating between pop, weird jazz, dark lyrics and brainy experimentation at times reminiscent of Brian Eno’s early records… —NYC Deli

She’s making music that stands alongside the great work from the likes of PJ Harvey, Arthur Russell, Kate Bush and Bjork. I truly believe that. That’s not to say she sounds like any of them – but it’s that sort of vision, that determination, the willingness to be out on your own and making music that you believe in first and foremost…

You’ll hear some of the best pop melodies too. As it just so happens. But you’ll hear music from the Gamelan and classical worlds, from jazz and the worlds of dance and theatre as much as music.– The Dominion Post

Where Scary Love Monster warns of the perils of love in Grimm’s fashion, Love Cells speaks from the mundane 9-5 romantic love to the most abstract forms of love. The title track Love Cells signifies that we are all created out of vibration, light and love: “love yourself, each sacred atom of the world is connected to you.” From the intimate laptop recording moments of a cappella Je T’aime… to afrofuturist The City and the Voodoo Lady, a tribute to the city of New York and Mingus’ The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady… to the perverse post-colonial love of Horror in Black and White: “Did I bomb your village? Could I set you free?”

Love Cells EP new release on all major digital stores through Belts and Whistles — out May 20

Limited CD reversible edition of Scary Love Monster EP/Love Cells EP and web portal — The Love EPs — out May 20

“Oriental Finger Trap” New Music Video and Dance Collaboration

The video to Leila Adu’s new single, Oriental Finger Trap’ is a dance film directed by choreographer and performer, Katelyn Halpern. The two recently collaborated as part of K A T E S (Katelyn Halpern and pianist, Kate Campbell), composing music for “Two Voices” with text by Halpern and a score for the Dan Trueman’s new software keyboard instrument, the bitKlavier by Adu. K A T E S will perform “Two Voices” at Switchboard Festival in San Francisco on April 8. “Oriental Finger Trap” is the second video single from Leila Adu’s Scary Love Monster EP, out now on Belts and Whistles.

“Between pop, weird jazz, dark lyrics and brainy experimentation at times reminiscent of Brian Eno’s early records…” — NYC Deli

The Scary Love Monster EP is out now on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Spotify and Bandcamp

Scary Love Monster EP – OUT NOW

Belts and Whistles proudly presents the release of Scary Love Monster, the brand new EP from Leila Adu. Scary Love Monster is an EP of global urban and suburban romantic ensnarement, impressionist avant- tronica written and recorded in Rome out of a suitcase and houses in Rome, London, Wellington and New York. With sound worlds of Grimm’s fairytales and Toni Morrison, these dark tales hint at moments of light and love.

After four studio releases, this EP is intimate, mostly self-produced, with the help of gear from friends and extra production from London dance producer Alex Morris in London and New Zealand drummer/producer, Riki Gooch and final-mixing in New Zealand. The first video from the EP is Bluebeards and Monsters. NYC Deli‘s New York EP Release Show review says:

Here at The Deli we like to reward unconventinal artists – although unconventionality must be matched by talent – and New Zealand composer/musician/producer Leila Adu definitely belongs to this category. Her new EP “Scary Love Monsters” presents us with six unpredictable tracks (that’s a trendy adjective in these Trumpish days, isn’t it?), fluctuating between pop, weird jazz, dark lyrics and brainy experimentation at times reminiscent of Brian Eno’s early records…

The Scary Love Monster EP is out now on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Spotify and Bandcamp

Music Matters Festival Sri Lanka-Live Videos

Leila Adu performed two main stage nights and on experimental night at Music Matters Festival, a festival dedicated to experimental music and traditional music from around the world in Columbo Sri Lanka. Leila Adu performed her original songs with locally based kiwi bass player, Isaac Smith and Sri Lankan drummer, Sum Suraweera, who are both active in the local new music community, have founded a music school and a local record label. They featured on the front cover of the Columbo Sunday Times and performances were captured by video artist Amila Galappaththi,as part of Ayaale social and creative activist collective.

IMG_0833 crop 2

Leila Adu and Sum Suraweera performing ‘Ode to the Unknown Factory Worker’ on Music Matters Festival Mainstage Day 2.

Adu performed with guitarist, Sarani Perera, rapper, Shafni Awam and drummer, Sum Suraweera, as part of Music Matters Festival’s Experimental Night at the Goethe Institut in Columbo.

Adu also participated in two collaborative music writing and learning workshops with traditional Tamil singers and drummers from Batticolo along musicians from Music Matters Columbo and improvisors from Austria and Germany. See Transcoastal Collective’s debut performance at Music Matters Festival below.

Performance with Orchestra Wellington

Orchestra Wellington Little Russian

On June 20, 2015, Leila Adu, sang her orchestral piece, Rain as Blessings Fall, written as Orchestra Wellington’s Emerging-Composer-In-Residence-2014, to a packed house of sixteen hundred people at Wellington’s historic Michael Fowler Center. Listen to ‘Rain as Blessings Fall,’ Orchestra Wellington with Leila Adu from the live broadcast on Radio New Zealand.

Orchestra Wellington Pic 1

REVIEWS

She stands pretty motionless, expressionless, yet seeming totally self-possessed and confident. I’m sure her demeanour persuaded most of the audience that we were going to hear something unusual and significant, and there’s no doubt about the forces of personality and character that work in her favour in any role she chooses to adopt.

Her voice arrived first and for a moment seemed to dominate the orchestra, even though it appeared not to be amplified: it’s an engaging voice that switches several times into a surprising falsetto which was presumably to reflect the spirituality of the words. After a little while, the shape of the piece emerged: limited amount of melodic material, mostly consisting of descending scales in a rhythm that might be described as part-time jazzy, related more to the idiom of the mid-century American musical than to jazz itself. The words sometimes sounded as if being forced into existing musical patterns…

One had the feeling in the end, trying to weigh the music, assess its value, characterise it, that given its base in Buddhist philosophy and morality, the standards that are applied to western music were irrelevant. That it’s not meant to be judged as we might judge a sonata or an opera, but perhaps rather, a madrigal or a protest song, where the message or the spirit is more important than the artistic clothing in which it’s dressed. Read more: Review by Lindis Taylor in ‘Middle C’

 The thread, always, is her voice. And Blessings featured a Buddhist text by Kalu Rinpoche and revised by Chime Shore (an early meeting with Shore had been a formative experience in Adu’s life) with Leila singing against the rise and fall of the orchestra. It was mesmerising as the voice became a mantra when singing of mantras, as the strings and horns moved around in a constantly modulating piece, tempo shifting, keys changing, it had busyness but never bluster.
Read more: Review by Simon Sweetman in ‘Off the Tracks’

 Orchestra Wellington Leila Marc

Musicambia—for Social Change in Incarcerated Communties

This year I am honored to be part of Musicambia, a project teaching music to inmates at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in New York. I am teaching music theory and vocal techniques along with fellow composer, Elliot Cole; instrument lessons are given by jazz pianist John Chin, brass by trumpet player Thomas Bergeron and strings by viola player and founder of Musicambia, Nate Schram. We have been working hard to create a comprehensive music curriculum at Sing Sing Prison alongside composer Daniel Levy and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. It is a life changing project for us and for all the incarcerated people we work with.

We have been raising funds through Kickstarter, as well as Musicambia’s Faculty Concerts, the first of which ias at Rockwood Music Hall, NYC on Sunday December 14. Musicambia is a charitable trust and is only made possible through your continuing generous support.

Love and Mettā,
Leila

Rockwood Musicambia Poster 2

Leila Adu’s Ghanaian Roots: Music and Research in Accra

Leila Adu received a (PIIRS) Princeton Institute of International and Regional Studies grant towards a visit to Accra, Ghana, for her PhD research on electronic music and hip-hop producers. Leila’s father is London-based a Ghanaian poet, playwright and musician and she is keen to reconnect with her culture on her first visit in fifteen years.

On her stay, Leila is also playing at Republic Bar and Grill, a hotbed of culture for local Ghanaians, many of whom have returned from living abroad, as well as expats. (Read more about Republic’s contemporary take on Ghanaian food in this Guardian article A foodie revolution cooking in West Africa).

ONE REPUBLIC presents FLAMENCO web

Republic has weekly live performances on Wednesdays curated by Omon Blanks, as well as DJs at the weekend, curated by, Akwaaba Music’s Benjamin Le Brave. French/American, Le Brave founded Akwaaba Music in San Francisco, and moved the label to Accra three years ago; Akwaaba (“welcome” in Ashanti Twi) is dedicated to making African music easier to access worldwide through releasing, distributing, licensing and growing an online presence in a way that is fair for the artists.

Leila is collaborating with Accra artists and has recorded two tracks at 2 1 Entertainment with Ghanaian poet, Kwame Write.

Belts And Whistles Tape Label Launch: The Miz’Ries Album

All About Jazz News
Published: 2014-07-18

Belts and Whistles hits Cameo Gallery on Wednesday July 23 at 10pm for their joint label launch and album release party. The Brooklyn and NJ based electronic and improvised tape cassette label drops its first album, Emotional Performance Motorcycle, from The Miz’Ries.

Electro-kraut digital hardcore supergroup, The Miz’Ries: uber-americo noise nerd Quinn Collins plays broken records on a turntable with crazy effects, mad genius inventor Jeff Snyder plays his own analog synth creation whilst Neuseelander songstress Leila Adu sings and plays electronic drum pads. The Miz’Ries have been described as “a noise band that plays 3-minute pop songs”, and as “the music that plays in the club the bad guys hang out in”.

BELTS AND WHISTLES CAMEO POSTER NEW

Over the past year — singer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, improvisor and Miz’Ries’ member — Leila Adu has toured New Zealand, Japan and featured in Spin Magazine with Lord Echo aired backing vocals and percussion with popular 90′s alt-rock band and Beastie Boys’ labelmates, Luscious Jackson, on MTV VH1 and Late Night with David Letterman. Leila previously won MTV Iggy’s Artist of the Week, is this year’s Orchestra Wellington’s (New Zealand) Emerging-Composer-in-Residence and recorded albums with Steve Albini and for the Italian National Radio. As founder and lead designer of Snyderphonics, Jeff Snyder designs and builds unusual electronic musical instruments including the Manta, which is played by over 150 musicians around the world; the JD-1 Keyboard/Sequencer, which was commissioned as a specialty controller for Buchla synthesizers; and the custom analog modular synthesizer on which he performs in The Miz’Ries. He frontsOwen Lake and the Tragic Loves as his electro-country alter-ego. The Miz’Ries turntablist, Quinn Collins is a composer of acoustic and electroacoustic music combining rigorous formal processes with rock energy. His music has been performed by ensembles such as the orkest “de ereprijs,” members of Bang on a Can, TRANSIT, Cadillac Moon Ensemble, Loadbang and TV Buddha.

Brooklyn based, Tristan Shepherd/Michael Foster Duo kick off the night. Composer, improviser and turntablist from Dearborn, MI, Tristan Shepherd most recently, curated “Incidental Music”, an exhibition of site specific installations and performances at the Fragmental Museum’s project space: a 4 story, 50,000 sq. ft. former zipper factory and has performed at Roulette, MoMA PS1 and the Whitney Museum of American Art. In this pairing, multi-instrumentalist, Michael Foster, plays sax and amplified small objects. Foster works within the fields of free improvisation, composition, noise, punk, and industrial music and video, with gigs and tours with Weasel Walter, Steve Swell, Pascal Niggenkemper, Psychic TV, Airway, Chris Corsano, Spiritualized, Kid Millions, Nate Wooley, Sean Ali, Han Bennink, Marina Rosenfeld. Foster divides his time between Amsterdam and New York. Recent live performances include Michael Foster Live at Smokey Bear Cave on Youtube and Tristan Shepherd Live at the Control Room on Vimeo.

The Cameo Gallery evening ends in a dance party from BABL: a man whose voice box is running on prosthetic peripherals, a man who has outsourced his memory for unprecedented processing power. BABL is a song and a dance calibrated for optimal lumbar gyrational support and skeletal-rhythmic synchronization. He is influenced by the likes of John Zorn, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Pharaoh Sanders, Pharoah Monch, Shostakovich, D’Angelo, Flying Lotus, James Blake, and Bach and has played at The Stone, Carnegie Hall, Lincon Center Out of Doors.

Go into the draw to catch all three acts for free: :WIN A PAIR OF TICKETS at gimmi.io for the joint Tape Release Party for The Miz’Ries and Belts and Whistles Label Launch Party.

Cameo
93 N 6TH ST
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
WED JULY 23
DOORS: 10PM, $8

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