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Photograph by Esteban Lalinde.

Formed as a response to the erratic and all-consuming city of London, White Flower offers its audiences an opportunity to step away from urban life, pay attention to intimate sound, and be drawn into dream-like sonorities. Through creating a focus on stillness & silence, but exploring uncomfortability and contradiction, the group hope to provide space for contemplation, trance and catharsis. The music draws richly from folk music, but is approached through the lens of contemporary classical, improvisation and sound art perspectives. The music may be presented as solely acoustic, or extended and distorted by electronics, creating surreal atmospheres. Poems by the members and others feature in the work. 

The group recently recorded a live demo of some of their work at St. Sepulchre’s Church, Holborn; produced by Klaus Bru, mixed and mastered by Alex Bonney, with a cameo by Peter Straker.

Recent Performances

White Flower recently made three appearances at London’s prestigious Vortex Jazz Club, including a performance which invited leading London improvisers to work with them: German saxophonist Klaus Bru, Greek guitarist Nikos Ziarkas, the London-born drummer Sam Jones, percussionists Giles Leaman & Saul Eisenberg (Junk Orchestra) and Greek folk band, Valia Calda. They have performed across London, including for the revolutionary club night & record label Nonclassical; DIG, an experimental Arts initiative that took London by storm in 2015 and Dalston’s recently closed but enthusiastically celebrated underground music venue, Power Lunches. The group are performing new work on May 1st at St Stephen’s Church, Lewisham, written for them by several prominent London-based composers: Andy Hall, Mak Murtic Cath Roberts, Tim Doyle, Leon Haxby & Rowan Hudson.

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Artwork by Geoffrey Chambers.

Biography

The trio formed in 2014. Seb Silas & Will Newell studied & collaborated together from an early age at Forest School, East London. Subsequently, Seb met German vocalist Sylvia Schmidt whilst studying at Middlesex University, where they both graduated in  Jazz Performance in 2014 & 2012 respectively. During the same period, Will completed his BMus in Classical Violin at Guildhall. Seb & Sylvia work together in various jazz/improv projects including Mimika Ensemble. All are busy London musicians, working in a multitude of projects spanning a rich musical palette.

Future

Whilst maintaining a relationship with conventional performances, White Flower are particularly interested in performing in unusual spaces; disused, extraordinary or with notable acoustic properties. Continuing Seb’s work with DIG, which facilitated and encouraged experimental space-focused work, the group seek site-specific projects and installations, as well as collaborations with others from different and similar practices. They are working towards recording their first album & developing an immersive narrative-based piece exploring fairy tales, ghost stories, lullabies and other folk mythology. Through their occupation in music teaching they have started developing educational programs that run alongside their work.

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