Oliver Coates - Shelley's On Zenn-La LP
Label: RVNG Intl.
In broad string strokes, British cellist, composer, and producer Oliver Coates went from studying at the Royal Academy of Music to becoming an artist in residency at London's Southbank Centre to contributing to works from Radiohead. His in depth understanding of classical cello is met with his study and exploration of electronic experimental sound.
Earlier on, Coates received the Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artist Award and has been commissioned for string and electronic arrangements with visual artist Lawrence Lek and composer Jonny Greenwood (on the scores for Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood and Phantom Thread) and collaborated with musician Mica Levi on their 2016 album Remain Calm.
Coates' foray into electronic leanings on Upstepping, his other 2016 release, have led to the more expansive architecture of his 2018 album, Shelley's on Zenn-La, his first for RVNG Intl. Shelley's on Zenn-La is a cerebral dance record that does much with live cello performance alongside synthesis. Coates made music mostly in Renoise, composing complex drum sequences in numbers and pencil drawn waveforms. Some of the compositions get into FM synthesis - "I like hearing how one tone is enriched by another tone modulating the first, resulting in gleaming sets of new harmonics," says Coates, "I started thinking about putting live cello playing into that chain of antagonism resulting in beauty."