Experimental, playful and deeply connected collaboration. For two decades this has been the pilot spark of Collectress: an all-female multi-instrumentalist chamber music collective based in and around London.
Collectress honour intuition and process. Music emerges on the fly or is spun from long periods of playing and sharing; talking and swapping. Cellos sing over jagged krauty synth harmonies, electronic glitches interrupt melodic violin lines, handmade percussion and found sound weave among layered vocals and well-directed mischief.
Individually, the members of Collectress, have worked with some of the most innovative artists in their respective fields, including Philip Selway (Radiohead), Penguin Café, Rambert, Ockham’s Razor, Mary Hampton, Bat for Lashes and Evan Parker.
Outside Collectress, they collaborate and operate within various sonic and visual worlds, including sculpture, dance, circus, costume design, ecoacoustics, conservation, and instrument making. Collectress is fed by and feeds this rich nexus of creative/intellectual currents - a space for shared making.
Although the process of making had changed, the beating heart of Collectress’s music remained four musicians playing together in one room: chamber music for the 21st century. Drawing on both composition and improvisation, the band’s distinctive world of experimentation endures.
Download new single 'Landing' here.
Different Geographies is named in response to the realities of collaboration. Having scattered from their Brighton origins, the band looked for new opportunities to create across the separations of time, space and the vibrancies of life. Collectress gatherings became more intense, the quartet drawn together across a widening map of overseas residencies, research projects from the Arctic to the Amazon, international tours with other groups, and motherhood. Yet Collectress maintained their deep connection. Quietly the music took form, and Different Geographies was born.
Coined by Sylvia Wright in an essay in Harper’s Magazine in Nov 1954, a Mondegreen is the mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase as result of a near homophony, in a way that gives it new meaning.
Collectress find fruit in mishearings and happy accidents recognising that paths through are sometimes oblique or followed without intention; they flow intuitively from improvisations where the outcome can’t be known but is often far more beautiful than could ever have been planned.
Music is a form of recycling where every new player, every new listener, makes new, unique and often very personal meaning from essentially the same set of notes or sounds. This record has been made with four sets of ears making four sets of collaborative hearings and mishearings, and shaping together the paths that flow from them.
Mondegreen is available on all major digital stores and at bandcamp
“The free-thinking with which Collectress write and improvise is informed by their own sensitive absorption of surroundings, making multi-faceted but single-minded sounds. Collectress play
chamber music without constraint” (Line Of Best Fit)
“They’re a funny bunch, Collectress- literary, knowing, witty, arch, while being sincere and very, very talented” (Roobla)
"Their music is both … dazzling and enveloping, made using conventional instruments and other unusual sources and found sounds. We were immediately conquered…" Cast the Dice
"Collectress make super-special chamber-pop. Consummately played, poetic and perfectly pitched.” 20jazzfunkgreats
“Like possessed Brontë sisters teasing an unsuspecting dinner party” (Foxy Digitalis)
“The most exciting thing to happen to string instruments in years… Submit yourself to this musical spell, you shall not regret it." Was ist das?