Massive congratulations to Kate on the release of her first solo album, After, on Leaf Music, released November 18, 2022. Artfully mixing Baroque repertoire with experimental electronics, After delivers a stirring mix of antiquity and modernity from one of Newfoundland’s most in-demand violists. Read takes listeners on a journey that entwines the purity of Bach with the chaos of electronic improvisation in ways equally surprising and satisfying. She’s joined on the last track, "Aftermath," by award-winning audio engineer Michelle LaCour, whose improvisational synth stabs and found effects provide a counterpoint to Read’s modern interpretation of Bach. After features two new commissions by composers Andrew Staniland and Benton Roark.
Loopstitch features violist Kate Read and sound engineer/artist Michelle LaCour, frequent collaborators since their first artistic foray together during Sound Symposium XIX (July 2018). Having been programmed for the next iteration of the biennial festival (which was postponed due to public health restrictions), the two took the opportunity to expand upon and curate their creative efforts. What initially began as a re-imagining of J.S. Bach's violin sonata no. 3 led to the pair exploring a sonic world comprised of amplified viola; looping, reverb, and delay pedals; synthesizers; and found sounds recorded in nature around the province of Newfoundland & Labrador. They have since created a graphic score together, a piece of embroidery that is constantly growing and expanding as the group adds to their bank of artistic inspiration. Loopstitch use many different elements as starting points to their improvisations, from a look into detailed minutiae, or a favourite chord or sequence, and are often inspired by specific motifs found in their favourite classical works.
In 2021, the two began work on Kate's solo viola album, After (released November 18, 2022 on Leaf Music), with Michelle acting as recording engineer and artistic collaborator on the album's final track, Aftermath. This album features Kate's performance of the J.S. Bach work that inspired Loopstitch's beginnings, and Aftermath serves to bring together baroque and electronic experimentation, the thread that weaves together the works on After. It is the unifying work on the album, the culmination of a year of experimenting and listening together.
Loopstitch's first public performance was a collaboration with generative visual artist Andrew MacKelvie for Sound Arts Initiative's "Night Music Online" in February 2022. Since returning to in-person events, the duo was delighted to host Night Music at the Ship Pub in September 2022, performing a set and facilitating improvisation between audience members, guest artists, and themselves. Loopstitch performed at Sound Symposium XX (July 2022) and at the Cape St. Mary's Performance Series (September 2022), and have received an invitation to perform at Electric Eclectics in Meaford, ON (August 2023). The duo has received return invitations to Sound Symposium and Cape St. Mary's, and are working on an album of original music to be released under their name, which will be supported by performances on and off the island of Newfoundland.
Check out our appearance with generative visual artist Andrew MacKelvie for Night Music Online over on the Sound Symposium Facebook page [CLICK HERE]