Sound artists Yumi Hara Cawkwell and Guy Harries work as a duo, creating ‘sonic rituals’. Using voices, found objects, electronic processing, field recordings, and nonlinear synthesizers, the duo’s performances unfold through a process of improvisation. The structure of the performances, which is never premeditated, is inspired by the concept of ritual, imbued with intent and a sense of inevitability, yet allowing for risk and unpredictability to lead the scenario in new directions.
The duo met in the mid-noughties while completing their PhD studies at City University, and are now teaching colleagues at the University of East London. They found that they shared a common musical language, inspired by contemporary art music as well as the more experimental trends in rock and pop music. After a mesmerising first performance at a Transient Constellations event in London, they decided to continue this collaboration.
The duo has performed at various events in the UK (Cafe OTO, New Lexicons of Dark festival at Courtyard Theatre and Apiary Studios) and abroad (Druskomanija Festival in Lithuania). As part of these commissions, they have been asked to work with themes such as: fire rituals, darkness in the context of Freudian psychoanalysis, futuristic shamanism, and post-apocalyptic scenarios. Though these themes provide an initial inspiration, the meaning attached to these Sonic Rituals is always open to the audience’s subjective interpretation.
Guy Harries performs and composes with voice, electronics, and acoustic instruments, and is involved in projects ranging from garage rock to chamber opera, from sound art to electro art pop and multimedia musicals. He has collaborated with: Meira Asher, Luc Houtkamp, The Pow Ensemble, Sharon Gal, LOOS, Robert van Heumen, Han Buhrs, David Fenech, Seth Ayyaz, Maya Dunietz and Wajid Yaseen. His work was released on the labels Sub Rosa, X-OR, Migro and Auditorium Edizioni.
Yumi Hara is a Japanese musician based in London. She has recorded and/or performed with Hugh Hopper, Geoff Leigh, Mammal Machine, Tatsuya Yoshida, and Charles Hayward among others. As a composer, she has been commissioned by contemporary art music performers such as PianoCircus, Delta Saxophone Quartet, Jane Chapman and Michael Bonaventure. Current main activities include The Artaud Beats (with Chris Cutler, Geoff Leigh, John Greaves), you me & us (with Daevid Allen, Chris Cutler).