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PENELOPE TRAPPES ‘Heavenly Spheres’

Feb 16, 2023 | Electronica, Reviews

Free explorations with voice, piano, and an old reel to reel deck

Penelope Trappes releases Heavenly Spheres, a new project recorded during a two-week residency for Britten Pears Arts at the house where the composer, teacher, and musicologist, Imogen Holst lived in Aldeburgh, Suffolk.

Imogen Holst (1907 – 1984) was the only child of the composer Gustav Holst. An outstanding pupil at the Royal College of Music and organiser of musical activities for refugees and civilians in rural areas. Holst went on to found the music school, Dartington College.

Trappes immersed herself in the history and atmosphere of the storied surroundings whilst experimenting with just her voice, an upright piano, and an old German reel to reel tape deck.

How this project was conceived and executed is a fine illustration of the singular approach Trappes takes to her work. And, when taking past achievements into account, this promises to prove how the transformative power of music can never be overstated. Akin to stepping into a sacred space, we believe this is a sensory balm, but also an audio accompaniment to deep contemplation and reflection.

On another note, Heavenly Spheres marks the launch of Nite Hive, Trappes own imprint. The new label will focus on cassette releases by women, and gender nonconforming artists, to allow the free exploration of their approach to experimental music.

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