Laura Cannell was commissioned to compose and record a solo music album within our former home, the Wapping Hydraulic Power Station. This was our final project in response to the iconic building that defined our commissioning for over twenty years. We are saying farewell and taking its unique resonance with us in Laura’s music and our hearts. Laura’s music captures the building’s unique resonance.
The Earth With Her Crowns is a set of ten tracks improvised and recorded in single takes in our former home, Wapping Hydraulic Power Station, London, over two days in February and March 2019 and released on 19 June 2020.
The Earth With Her Crowns is available as a digital download and a limited edition vinyl record with sleeve designed by Atelier Dyakova and printed by PUSH, London.
**with special guests:
Jennifer Lucy Allan – Horn / Mini Accordion / Voice
André Bosman – Suspended Stairs / Fiddle
Recorded & produced by Laura Cannell
Mastered by Mark Beazley at Trace Mastering
Published by MuteSong
Commissioned & funded by The Wapping Project
Beneath London flight paths and alongside the Thames, with freezing breath in a vast space below water level I improvise inside the Power Station. Exploring the Boiler House, Coal Store and Filter House and standing in the centre of the glazed and raw brick walls.
Standing on thresholds in the archways between spaces and under the suspended stairs with low notes and high notes flying. Playing in the moment, bringing myself and no pre-conception, no judgement, allowing the sound to branch off like ancient waterways. Self-sustaining, free flowing and changeable.
Staring through clear glass panes which reflect and return my offerings of string and air uttered from fingers and lungs. Double Recorders, Voice, Violin and the drone of overbow violin fill the space of the cathedral like brick shell. No matter the distance the sound is captured, amplified, resonant and alive, sculpted in the moment.
Surging tonnes of water once powering through London because of the industry inside this space, it is never silent, the sound of a living city occasionally and dramatically entering through porous brick, steel and glass. A proud structure, and an honour to hear it’s responses to my questions.
Laura Cannell, March 2019
Laura Cannell is a composer and performer who draws on the emotional influences of the landscape both rural and urban, real and imagined. With deconstructed violin bow and double recorders, she performs semi-composed, semi-improvised pieces which explore the spaces between ancient and experimental.
Laura has released five critically acclaimed albums since 2014, and is regularly broadcast throughout the world including: BBC Radio 3, 4, 6Music, The World Service, Polish National Radio and NPR. Her albums have featured in many end of year lists including: The Guardian, MOJO, BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction, The Wire and The Quietus.
Recent projects include creating music for film, broadcast work for BBC Radio 3, “Reckonings” (2018) a collaborative album with Andre Bosman, tours with the cellist Lori Goldston (Earth, Nirvana) & collaborations with This Heat drummer Charles Hayward & Mira Calix, as well as commissions for Hampton Court Palace, The Immix Ensemble, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra & The Zuckerman Museum of Contemporary Art (US).