Julia Kent is a Canadian-born, New York City-based cellist and composer. She has written music for film, theatre, and dance, has released four records of looped cello and electronics, and has toured as a solo artist throughout North America and Europe, including appearances at Primavera Sound in Barcelona, the Meltdown festival in London, the Reeperbahn festival in Hamburg, and the Unsound festival in New York City. Her most recent solo record, Asperities, was released by the Leaf label in October 2015.
"Darkly evocative" - Mojo
"The finesse and dexterity of these compositions makes "Asperities" her most complete record to date. Essential.” -Drowned in Sound
“A masterclass in tonal diversity, expressionist narrative and finespun drama… Recommended without reservation, Asperities is an edifying and invigorating spectacle." - The Skinny
"Asperities is Julia Kent’s most mesmerizing album. Every moment is shot through with tones that entrance and moods that transfix.” - The Out Door
"This is a cinematic journey, meticulously sculpted to keep you on the edge.” - Headphone Commute
"Accessible yet deep...Her new album offers a mix of pensive, emotional tunes and the stringed equivalent of bangers.” - A Closer Listen
“Julia's fully devoted to the exploration of the relationship between emotive cello-generated constructions and electronic manipulation. Her new record demonstrates brilliantly how fruitful, fascinating and effective this relationship can be” - Igloo Music
More information at: www.juliakent.com
Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) - Main Room
WHO: Vancouver-born, New York City-based cellist and composer
STYLE: Looped cello, electronics, field recordings, soundtracks for the cinema of the soul
LATEST WORK: Asperities (2015)
LABELS: Leaf, Important
MORE: Oscar winning director Paolo Sorrentino used her piece, “Gardermoen” in his film, This Must Be The Place.
Operating in the musical twilight between acoustic and electronic, Julia Kent uses her cello to construct looping, layered blankets of melody and texture into expressive soundtracks for the cinema of the soul. Originally from Vancouver but installed in New York City for almost two decades now, Kent travels in pop, art-rock, theatre, dance and film circles. She has played and arranged for The Swans, Rufus Wainwright, Norah Jones, William Parker, Barbara Morgenstern, Jarboe and many others. Her film, theatre and dance resume is equally as rich.
Admitting to a troubled relationship with her instrument, Kent stopped played cello for a couple of years after music school. She eventually emerged in a gothic chamber pop group called Rasputina – a trio of cellists – recasting the instrument as the radical lead. A prolific session player for many years, and a member of sweeping orch-pop band Antony and the Johnsons, her four solo records and her live performances continue to reimagine cello as much more than background or support. Using an ensemble of pedals, electronics and field recordings, Kent conjures up ruminative, emotional passages, often from deeply personal places. Excited by the seemingly infinite palette of electronic sounds and with recording and engineering under her direct control, she has developed a harmonious interplay between organic and synthetic elements – feelings and intentions stay in sync and intact. Citing instrumental electronic music as a main inspiration these days she asked Rafael Anton Irisarri to master her latest release, Asperities. Conceptually and emotionally the music expresses a response to conflict: internal, personal and global.
At home in many musical worlds and a veteran live performer, MUTEK welcomes Julia Kent for the first time, in a moving and profound performance of her instrumental work.