A soundscape artist and composer, Andrew Heath creates quiet, ambient, lower-case music based around piano, electronics and field recordings, drawing inspiration from a simple piano motif, an electronic shimmer or a processed found sound.
The work he produces blends piano, electronics and found sounds into a mix that on the surface sounds quite minimal and open, but on closer listening, contains detailed fragments, constantly shifting and changing place. Early collaborations using Fender Rhodes, piano and electronics with fellow musician, Felix Jay under the name Aqeuous led to the release of ‘Tall Cloudtrees Falling’ on Hermetic Recordings in 1995.
This inspired a partnership with the legendary Hans-Joachim Roedelius with whom they collaborated on ‘Meeting the Magus’ in 1997. A late night performance in an art studio resulted in the ‘Entertaining Angels’ album in 1998, which was swiftly followed by their last collection, ‘Vortexia’ in 1999. Andrew went on to produce a number of video and site-specific, sound installations. This introduced him to the technique of working with field recordings, often leaving in the sonic detritus that most would seek to eliminate as being ‘non-musical’.
In 2014 he released his first solo album, ‘The Silent Cartographer’ on Disco Gecko Recordings. The Ambient Music Guide hailed it as “environmental ambience of the highest order” and one fan went as far as stating that “if you’re one of the legion of fans hankering after the new Budd, Roedelius or Eno, quit waiting and immerse yourself in this”. Andrew followed this release with ‘Flux’ in 2015, ‘Europa’ in 2016 and ‘Found | Assemble” in 2017. Not only did he revisit his previous Aqueous collaboration with Roedelius to create “After The Magus – to resound” in 2015, but he recorded a concert they performed together at Stroud’s Goods Shed with Christopher Chaplin in 2016 and released that earlier this year as ‘Triptych in Blue’. Crack Magazine loved the “stunning recordings …. which are delicate, wistful and supremely moving”, while Electronic Sound Magazine complemented them on their “sublime ambient/neo-classical compositions … each mesmerising track floating beautifully in astral space” His 4th album for Disco Gecko Recordings, ‘Soundings’, was released worldwide in November to great acclaim. “... with a guiding hand, a steady heart and a burning desire to produce stunning beauty, Heath has created an immaculate conception to which even God would have marvelled.”
Toby Marks was born in South London in 1964. He was drawn to music from an early age and formed his first band as a drummer, aged 14. He went on to sing and play guitar in a variety of styles, exploring rock, folk, jazz and world music, before discovering electronic dance music via the late ‘80s Acid House scene.
In 1989 he formed Banco de Gaia, focussing on world music-infused dance and ambient/chill-out styles, and has released 17 albums (or 20 if you include some early cassette-only releases).
His official debut album Maya received a Mercury Music Prize nomination and he achieved notoriety for his pro-Tibetan follow up Last Train to Lhasa. Both topped the UK Independant Album charts.
As Banco de Gaia he continues to play live and DJ worldwide and has previously performed with a variety of other musicians as a live band. Since 2015 he has been touring with a live 3-piece band and a video artist.
Bára Gísladóttir is an Icelandic composer and double bassist based in Copenhagen. Over the last years, she has worked towards combining her instrumental practices with her compositions – creating a growing solo project.
She has released three albums; Different Rooftops, in 2015, containing pieces for voice, tenor saxophone, double bass and electronics, B R I M S L Ó Ð, in 2016, a piece in three movements for double bass and electronics, and Mass for some in 2017, for double bass, voice and electronics.
In addition to her solo project, she is the double bassist of Elja Ensemble, Skark Ensemble, and Balkan-band Orphic Oxtra. She has also performed with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and S.L.Á.T.U.R.
Her music has been performed by ensembles and orchestras such as The Danish National Symphony Orchestra, The Danish National Vocal Ensemble, Duo Harpverk, Elektra Ensemble, Ensemble Adapter, Ensemble InterContemporain, Esbjerg Ensemble, Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, loadbang, Motocontrario, Mimitabu, NJYD, Riot Ensemble, Siggi String Quartet and TAK Ensemble. Bára ́s pieces have been selected for festivals such as Dark Music Days, International Rostrum of Composers, KLANG Festival, ManiFeste Ircam Academy, Nordic Music Days and Ung Nordisk Musik.
In 2018, Bára received the Léonie Sonning Talent Prize for her compositional work.
A native of Reykjavík, Iceland, Hafdís Bjarnadóttir started playing electric guitar at the age of 12. She was soon performing in bands and writing her own music, with an initial focus on rock and folk. In 2002, she graduated in jazz guitar performance from the FÍH School of Music. Keen to develop her compositional voice, she earned a bachelor’s degree in contemporary composition from the Iceland Academy of the Arts in 2007 and a master’s degree from the Royal Danish Academy of Music in 2009.
With a reputation for breaking down barriers between different genres of music, her past projects include a sound installation for the Nordic Lighthouse at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai; an orchestral piece based on knitting instructions; three solo albums mixing different genres and domains of instruments; an ensemble piece based on financial graphs and charts from Iceland’s 2008 banking crisis; various commissioned pieces for solo instruments or chamber ensembles; and a piece for a mixed choir and electric guitar. Her second solo album, JÆJA, received critical acclaim and was nominated for the 2009 Iceland Music Awards. “A Day in February” for Halldorophone and accordion was nominated by the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service for the 58th International Rostrum of Composers in Vienna in 2011. Her third solo album, “Já”, received the 2017 Kraumur Music Awards and is nominated for two Iceland Music Awards. She lives and works in Reykjavík.