Rivers and Railways
Eliza Carthy is a traditional folk musician and composer who was championed from an early age by John Peel, Andy Kershaw and Billy Bragg and is the winner of five BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and currently Associate Artist at Sage Gateshead. Eliza’s new piece, Rivers and Railways is a collaboration with celebrated sonic adventurers Moulettes, exploring the theme of what makes a city what it is, when it is perched on the edge of a place, a port, a destination, an identity. Touching upon themes of migration, Hull’s industries and history (Hull was the second most bombed city in the Second World War) and its pioneering son William Wilberforce who was instrumental in writing the Abolition of Slavery Act, the piece uses local stories and music creating something very special and unique, and with a strong Hull flavour that is unmistakeable and moving.
Rivers and Railways is commissioned by Freedom Festival.
About Eliza Carthy
If there is one musician who embodies the dynamism and vitality of the current English folk revival, it’s Eliza Carthy. Beloved of staunch traditionalists and iconoclasts alike, Eliza’s music effortlessly crosses boundaries of genre and style. Whether performing a centuries-old ballad or a self-written song, her powerful, nuanced voice, fiercely beautiful fiddle playing and mesmerizing live performances have influenced a whole generation of young musicians.
Describing herself simply as a “modern English musician”, Eliza Carthy is one of the most recognisable faces in British folk. Launching head-on into the scene in the early 90s, she quickly became one of its great innovators. She has spearheaded the re-emergence of English traditional music as a vibrant, exciting genre that could stand proud next to other world musics. At 39, with a wealth of experience under her belt, Eliza’s talent has matured and is flourishing. She continues to bring new audiences to English folk through well-judged collaborations, recordings and performances.
Moulettes have always been an evolving phenomenon, and each of their four studio albums has seen a significant leap into new unchartered territory, their unusual musical vision and instrumentation prompting comparisons as disparate as "…the Kronos quartet, Roxy Music, Frank Zappa, Kate Bush...echoes of early Pink Floyd, Bowie and Radiohead.. Kraftwerk and Björk" (R2 Magazine/ Reuters.)
Incurably ambitious, this is a band that has always put an adventurous approach to Art at the heart of their craft. Experimental but still accessible, fusing rich vocal harmonies, persuasive melodies, big riffs, detailed arrangements and sharp songcraft, they explore the moving space between electronic and acoustic; DIY and big production.
The band’s synergy and tightness is a testament to their relentless touring schedule; their musical range described by Prog Magazine as "huge, complex and compelling. One of the most thrillingly nimble musical ensembles the UK has produced in decades."
The performance of Rivers and Railways was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 1 July 2017