Latest Release: The Falling, The Frailing by Tre Zampe
The Falling, The Frailing captures the first musical meeting of improvising trio Tre Zampe, melding the confronting and subtle sound-world of guitarist Richard Comte (France), exquisitely morphing, driving drums of Francesco Pastacaldi (Italy) and warped impressionist ballads of vocalist/keyboardist Leila Adu (NZ/NYC).
With elements of free improv, jazz, noise music and no-wave, this new EP follows a collection of Adu’s poetry on the theme of the interplay between vulnerability and safety, through art, the body, citizenship, and falling in love throughout time.
We, the people, deserve love
We deserve love
We, the people
are also one billionaire
Does the queen really eat cake every day
Sitting on people and people and people
Is a special kind of internal deafness
A small — mute way
to wade through death
one child at a time
Leila Adu : Vocals, Keyboard
Francesco Pastacaldi : Drums
Richard Comte : Guitar
Recorded by Richard Comte
Mixed by Richard Comte & Francesco Pastacaldi
Mastered by Richard Comte – Studio B, Montreuil
Vocal Production by Jean Charles Versari – Poptones studio, Paris
Twelve years ago I came to visit New York for the first time. On the recommendation of a music buddy, I headed straight to world music, dance and experimental venue Barbès to see a show, so I’m delighted to be finally playing a duo show with Jon Toscano there next Sunday. Today, afro trip-hop collective Lucked In, has our second single out on London’s XVI Records, with full EP and music video coming up!
Lucked In went on tour to Accra Ghana a couple ago, we played shows and made new friends. Also, our first single was released ‘Debi Debi’
Leila Adu sings her original songs for piano and voice joined by longstanding NYC collaborator, bass-player Jon Toscano, for an acoustic set of impressionistic ballads and stridant protest songs that have been compared to Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell and Tim Buckley. Hailing from New Zealand, Britain and Ghana, Leila has toured the world with recent shows in Paris and Accra, released five acclaimed albums, including two for Italian National Radio and ‘Dark Joan’ recorded by Steve Albini; was voted MTV Iggy’s Artist of the Week, and has performed on BBC’s World Service solo, as well as performing in Luscious Jackson on ‘Late Night with David Letterman.’ WNYC’s John Shaeffer describes Leila’s music as “art pop”: “she pulls it off because she is a genuinely good singer, with a velvety, soulful voice, and because she is an accomplished composer who’s written music for symphony orchestras, string quartets, and the like.”
We’re wrapping up three new, very different, international recording EP projects: afrobeat trip-hop trio Lucked In with co-producer/sax player Alejandro Van Zandt-Escobar (Columbia/US/France) & poet/rapper Kwame Write (Ghana); and a sublimely melodic and grungy improv project with drummer Francisco Pastacaldi (Italy) and guitarist Richard Comte (France); and a new solo LEILA ADU EP as well!! My collaboration with Silent Poets, “Asylums for the Feeling” for Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding game has hit 10million views, so we’ve stopped counting…
Finally, I’m very happy to remain in a space of social change with a couple of projects. First, Brandon Ridenour’s – Come Together Beatles project, where I sing the song ‘A Day in the Life’ with Brandon at the keys and Dylan Greene on drums. The album features amazing classical instrumentalists and arrangements as an anti-divisive and beautiful statement for our times, and you can listen to or buy ‘Come Together’ here. Second, I’m deeply grateful to be teaching a workshop for incarcerated girls as part, as I return to work with Musicambia—music for social change in conjunction with Carnegie Hall’s Weill institute. If you’d like to help out, you can donate or find other ways to support
Over the past year, I’ve been finishing off my PhD but lots of collaborative music has been bubbling along and bursting out into the atmosphere!
GAIKA: ‘Neophyte’ Spaghetto, Warp Records
I met Gaika a few years back and was immediately struck by his flow and lyrics. Now he’s signed to Warp and doing great things, both musically and culturally. Two of my homies, Alex Morris and Yoshee Windrich of Briggs Studios, London also produced this track. Check out a teaser for “Neophyte” on Warp Records here.
Part-improv, part powerpop, part digital hardcore, the Miz’Ries is the funnest band of all time to play in and always gets a wild response from the audience when we play live. We have recorded more ambient tracks on this recording with techno crazytronica and drones from Jeff Snyder on analog synth and gritty noise, vintage voice and opera samples and effects from Quinn Collins and kraut rhythms from me on drumpad, with poetry and punk political lyrics from me. All in all a great time.
LIFE STATION, LIFE STATION
Leila Adu (vox/piano), Daniel Carter (horns), Jeff Henderson (sax), Jeff Snyder (analog synth), Federico Ughi (drums).
I love the spirit, creative and political nature of the act improvisation and I deeply value the global community around it — this album has some of my favorite people and musicians in the world. Jeff Henderson has been my buddy, mentor and collaborator for too many years to count. He’s an amazing musician and I was excited to organize a recording session for him when he hit New York from NZ. I enlisted Federico Ughi, who I met 9 years ago when I lived in Rome. We both happened to live in Brooklyn after Italy we’ve collaborated ever since. Luckily, through Federico, I met the lovely, living legend, Daniel Carter, and he agreed to come down and play. The final person in this group is my genius analog synth master friend, Jeff Snyder… Thus, LIFE STATION was born.
CAVE CRICLES, Apricity, “HOUSEKEEPING feat. Black Rainbow”(/aka Leila Adu)
Cave Circles is one of the brainchilds of drummer-producer-composer, Riki Gooch. Riki played drums on my second album years ago, and I’ve always been struck by his rhythmic strength and sensitivity. He has always prolifically produced and composed electronic music and now the world is lucky that he has suddenly started releasing it, under different monikers. This vinyl was put out by the lovely people at Wonderful Noise, Japan and you can check out more of Cave Circles on bandcamp.
The Mystic Hour with Pulitzer Prize winning composers Caroline Shaw and Du Yun. Shaw’s “This might also be a form of dreaming” World Premiere performed by ICE and Roomful of Teeth, Yun’s “An Empty Garlic” played by Claire Chase and Leila Adu’s Alyssum performed by the Calder Quartet with ICE harpist, Bridget Kibbey.
Ojai 2016 Festival Artistic Director Peter Sellars with composers Caroline Shaw, Leila Adu and Du Yun.
Morning Ojai Extra with the Calder Quartet. Leila Adu’s “if the stars align…” with features works by Christine Southworth and Caroline Shaw.
Prominent guest panelists moderated by Peter Sellars and distinguished musicologist Susan McClary with Leila Adu and Carla Kihlstedt.
Leila Adu Songs & Improvisations, solo grand piano and voice.