AIR LOOM: Sarah Angliss with Stephen Hiscock and Sarah Gabriel
Composer and performer Sarah Angliss presents Air Loom, her new album of dreamlike music, distilling a lifetime’s work with ancient instruments and extraordinary electroacoustic techniques. Centre stage is the clavisimbalum, a sonorous, fourteenth-century cousin of the harpsichord. Its plucked, soft iron strings ring with a rich, dark reverberance – a sound that hails from Eastern European folk and the Renaissance court. Angliss adds voices in close harmony, recorder, theremin, percussion and robotic carillon, an instrument she devised and built to play bells at inhuman speeds, creating a haze of delicate, metallic sound.
Angliss is joined by vocalist Sarah Gabriel and percussionist Stephen Hiscock. As they play, their sounds are deftly contorted, fragmented and recombined using Angliss’ digital inventions. Her own variant of the loop pedal stretches every strand of sound subtly as it plays. This transforms the most consonant music into something more angular as it makes beguiling musical collisions – the precarious harmonic terrain of Angliss’ signature soundworld: “Music possessed of an eerie instability…a whole universe unto itself brimming with fresh propositions and new directions…a shimmering minimalist masterpiece’ (Wire Magazine, May 2017).