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Holywell Music Room, Oxford
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Tickets are £10 (pay less), £16 (standard), £22 (pay more)
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Oxford Contemporary Music

Ruth Goller | Skylla

Otherworldly vocal harmonies glide over experimental electric bass in Ruth Goller’s debut as a solo artist.

Four women take the stage. One picks up a bass guitar. All start to sing, voices floating, blending, colliding, in a language you’ve never heard: mysterious, intimate, startling. The electric bass moves beneath them, woven in tight to the voices, shifting between bell-like drops of sound to angry low growls. Each song is like walking through a new landscape, tracing jarring lines to gentle swirls, alien shapes to deep intimacy.

Skylla is Ruth Goller’s debut as a solo artist. After 16 years of driving and inspiring the UK jazz and improv scenes with bands Vula Viel, Let Spin, Acoustic Ladyland and Melt Yourself Down, Ruth has stepped out into the spotlight as a composer. On Skylla, Goller in some ways returns to the pure untaught instincts that drove her as a teen punk musician. Working with different tunings for each song, Goller composes instinctively based on what she hears in every moment. As Goller puts it, “at that point muscle memory doesn’t work anymore so I have to trust my ear completely”.

Ruth Goller is joined by outstanding UK vocalists Lauren Kinsella, Alice Grant and Nell Greco. All four are based in London, with Ruth herself originating from the mountains of the Dolomites. Their music takes inspiration all the way from Eastern European folk song, to Free Jazz, to ‘Joyce’. Skylla takes after the mythical three-headed sea monster of the same name, in that their music is both mysterious and sometimes dangerous – in it’s own intimate and unique way.

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