One day, Anna was wearing a different head and wrote some tiny guitar tunes that don’t really sound like any other Dorcha. We had a real laugh playing them but didn’t know where to place them, so we’ve put them here.
This is their home now.
And we decided to extend the family.
These tunes sparked a new idea to invite others to write for Dorcha. Different heads, same body. We set out on an adventure to get artists from varying musical backgrounds to create a set of miniatures for us to play and record in a day.
In Volume 1 we have the miniatures from Anna that started us off down this road, then on to collaborations with James Oldham, Stella Roberts, Ben Lee and Natalie Mason. We intend to pick up the miniatures again for another Volume with a new batch of collaborators further down the line.
The Ofelia miniatures by James Oldham - 21st century composer, amateur linguist and Artistic Director of Waste Paper Opera Company. Founded in 2012 Waste Paper Opera Company is an interdisciplinary collective of artists from Birmingham and beyond, creating experimental, cross-genre music theatre that drives artistic innovation and brings it to the most diverse audience possible, challenging preconceptions of what opera is and can be. The Ofelia miniatures were originally composed for a stage production of Hamlet then re-arranged and AMPED UP for Dorcha.
UK based pianist/composer Stella Robert met Anna and the Dorchas at Birmingham Conservatoire where she studied on the Jazz Course. As well as composing for her own projects, Stella has found a fondness of portraiture. You can listen to some of her own music, and browse the gallery on her website:
Dorcha & Ben BOT composed by Ben Lee. Mr Beep, a toy robot comes to life when electrocuted in a storm (Euan Palmer and Meesha Fones). Anna Kristina Maisie Palmer and Mr Beep set off on an adventure through the surrounding forest where they meet The Joker (Stella Roberts), The Beggar (Beth Bellis), and finally the Fear Dorcha herself who tries to take their souls to the underworld. But he's a robot so does he even have a soul?
And finally - Cherry Pie, High Rise and Five Steps by Natalie Mason. Natalie is a composer, performer and researcher. She writes intricate instrumentals and surreal songs about times in Birmingham and beyond, while playing as many instruments as she can get her hands on. Her musical life began in the womb at a classical concert, when her mother felt a kick during the climax of Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony. As a baby she was weaned on strange sixties music, in a cradle rocked by her father’s foot as he practised guitar. After several years living and working in Cape Town she returned to Brum, where she now runs an innovative music education project with Friction Arts, plays in Kamura Obscura and co-hosts a Brum Radio show on alternate Wednesdays 9-11pm. She is also curator of Club Integral Midlands Branch, a local home for the musically uncategorisable, sibling of London's finest left-field music night.