Biography

Improvised, multi-layered electric cello from Brighton, UK.

“She makes her instrument speak in tongues” Ed Pinsent, The Sound Projector, November 2008

“Spontaneous music of extreme beauty and power” Venue magazine, September 2007

“A more captivating, physical performance you are not likely to see.” Brighton Source, November 2006

“Excellent!” Mark Russell, Mixing It, BBC Radio 3

“My favourite concert: Bela Emerson, Ladyfest Brighton; she touched me so deeply with her cello playing and beautiful, passionate appearance… she got me in tears” Charlotta Kerbs, The Tumbling Dice


Combining electric cello with loops and effects, Bela Emerson strives constantly to explore the potential and extend the boundaries of the instrument’s place in contemporary music. Passionate and exciting, both musically and visually, she captivates audiences throughout the UK and Europe. She has recently incorporated musical saw & tenor viol into her solo sets.

Bela’s performances are the stuff of legend: spontaneous, intense, and exhilarating. Her command of her instruments and ability to attune to the uniqueness of the moment combine to produce music that is always 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 mesmeric.

Though in her element as a live performer, Bela has captured a healthy slice of the excitement of her performance on two solo CDs. 2003’s Kissing Nettles received extensive radio play - notably on BBC Radio 3’s ‘Mixing It’, internet station Totally Radio and Passion 107.9 , where it was played in full as a live set.
The second CD, Cables, was released on Quiet Records in October 2004, and Bela did her bit for the vinyl revival in November 2005 by releasing a 7” single, Scythe (on Brighton’s own The Slightly Off Kilter Label)launched with a stunningly powerful Hallowe’en performance in St. Andrew’s Church, Hove that left some dazed locals mumbling about ‘’gig of the year’’.
2005 also saw Bela perform live on BBC Southern Counties Radio (as part of Brighton Festival), do two UK tours - 8 dates in July and 12 dates in November - and win over the crowds at Glastonbury, Big Green, Brighton, and Shambala festivals.

In 2006, Bela toured Germany with vj Stephen Wolff, to great success; she also collaborated with Stomp for the world premiere of their highly-acclaimed production The Lost & Found Orchestra for Brighton Festival, performed at Aldeburgh Festival’s extraordinary Faster Than Sound (with Tim Exile), Bestival, & three Ladyfests, played live sets on Resonance FM,plus shared bills with A Silver Mount Zion & Wolf Eyes amongst many others.

In 2007, Bela performed at Sydney Opera House with the Lost & Found Orchestra, solo in Sweden, Finland & the UK (including a solo tour with Hot Roddy)including live sets at Supersonic, Quwack(e), Ladyfest Finland, Big Chill, Ortom, & Sonic Boom, also writing & performing the soundtrack to Tereza Buskova’s film Wedding Rituals. She toured with Drei in Switzerland, in Brussels & Holland with The Mercurial Ensemble (Ryan Teague (Type Records), Sefa Steer/Rhodri Davies, & Tom Edwards), performed a solo UK split tour with Men Diamler and a six-week solo tour of the USA & Canada.

Bela has just released a new studio album, Hespera, on BiP_HOp and recently completed four soundtracks (inc. SchMovies On The Verge, and Tereza Buskova’s Forgotten Marriage, premiered in London in July 2008).
In October/November 2008, Bela joint-headlined a six-week European tour with Lianne Hall and can soon be seen in Stomp’s Lost & Found Orchestra 30-date run at London’s Royal Festival Hall in winter 2008/9.

RELEASES: Hespera (BiP_HOp 2008) NEW!!
Laurasia (Drama Queen 2007)
Subaqua (Gruenrekorder 2006) - track on AudioArt03 compilation
Scythe 7” vinyl (The Slightly Off Kilter Label 2005)
Cables (Quiet Records 2004)
Kissing Nettles (Drama Queen 2003)

Edited by belaemerson on 17 Jan 2009, 18:25

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