Bela Emerson is an innovative and prolific performer of electric cello, electronics, tenor viola and musical saw, who creates passionate, evocative and spontaneous music of no definable genre. As well as collaborating widely with other musicians and artists, she has four solo releases (vinyl/CD); the latest one, “Hespera” appeared on BiP_HOp to great acclaim. We were thrilled that Bela was a key part of 'Cordophony' by Philippe Petit & Friends for us in 2012.
This is an excerpt from a concert film of cellist Bela Emerson in Brighton in 2009:
Here's a little more information about Bela Emerson:
Bela Emerson is an innovative and prolific performer of electric cello, electronics, tenor viol and musical saw, who creates passionate, evocative and spontaneous music of no definable genre, influenced by her work in genres such as riot grrl punk, pop, avant-jazz, rock, experimental electronica, techno, Balkan folk & gypsy. Her music harnesses many different styles whilst creating noiseworlds all her own.
Bela's solo performances are the stuff of legend: intense and exhilarating. Her command of her instrument and ability to attune to the uniqueness of the moment combine to produce music which is remarkably different and frequently spellbinding.
Using an array of electronics, pedals and effects that take the cello way beyond its usual sphere, Bela builds layers of rhythm and sound not just from strings and bow, but from every bit of the instrument. Sounds are looped, take on lives of their own, bounce off each other, drop in and out...
The effect, as anyone who's heard her will testify, is mesmerising.
Bela is a prolific and well-travelled performer who tours extensively as a headline act worldwide. She has performed at many festivals, including Glastonbury, Supersonic, Bestival, Faster Than Sound (Aldeburgh), the Big Chill, BLOC, & EXPO, as well as at many worldwide Ladyfests. She has been broadcast on national BBC Radio (Late Junction/Mixing It), Resonance FM (including live sessions), many European national terrestrial radio stations, and countless times on the web.
Her live soundtrack-to-film programme, Movietronica, has been featured at Birmingham's prestigious Flatpack festival and Hastings's Coastal Currents amongst others; each Movietronica programme is different, and has included films by Magali Charrier, Tereza Buskova and Lesley Barnes.
Bela has four solo releases (including 7" vinyl), the most recent of which, Hespera, a full-length studio album, was recently released on BiP_HOp.
In addition to her solo work, Bela has collaborated with innumerable other musicians ' live with Tim Exile, Sten Sandell, The Dirty Cakes, Same Actor, Los Albertos and Rhodri Davies, to name but a few. She recorded five sessions with Lianne Hall for Radio 1's legendary John Peel - including a live Christmas special at Peel Acres - and has recently recorded with The Damned, Nick Pynn, Philippe Petit (as featured on a recent Wire magazine CD), and British Sea Power.
Remixers of Bela's music include si-cut db and John Wills (Pumajaw/Loop) - the latter track soon to be featured on The Sound Projector's new compilation.
Bela also tours worldwide with the Lost and Found Orchestra: twelve dates at Sydney Opera House, a month at London's Royal Festival Hall and Amsterdam's Theater Carré.
Bela also collaborates widely with artists of different disciplines, including creating the soundtracks for Tereza Buskova's films: the award-winning Wedding Rituals, Forgotten Marriage, & Spring Equinox ' including a live performance at 176 project space of Spring Equinox with full cast, including Prague-based dance company Nanohach. Other soundtracks include SchMovies's On The Verge, and Last Bus's documentary about artist Marco Crivello, Threshold. She has also created many other live soundtracks to theatre, circus, burlesque and cabaret, and dance.
When not performing, Bela can often be found facilitating workshops and teaching contemporary cello to students of all ages in Brighton, where she lives.
You can follow Bela's work, releases, shows and news on her site here:
You can stream, share and buy 'Cordophony' by Philippe Petit & Friends here: