with Seamus Cater & Alexander J. Ellis (1814-1890)

Live and streamed from IKLEKTIK followed by a Q&A


For the three concerts of this 4th season, we are focusing on a theme of dislocation of sound in space and time, chosing works that rely upon the voice and other sonic events coming from elsewhere literally, metaphorically or through technology. The theme is inspired by  Seamus Cater’s new song cycle based on in-depth research into English mathematician, philologist, and amateur concertina player Alexander J. Ellis (1814 – 1890).

Traces of Alexander J. Ellis (Seamus Cater, 2021)
For skhismic concertina and voice.

A solo which draws exclusively from the archive of Alexander J. Ellis (1814-1890), translator and annotator of On the Sensations of Tone (Helmholtz 1863, Ellis 1875). Personal, musical and scientific texts have been redacted into songs and alongside this, the instrument that Seamus tuned in the Skhismic temperament of Ellis, brings a second level of connection between Ellis and himself. Ellis was an amateur concertinist, and two of his experimentally tuned instruments remain to this day untouched in the Horniman Museum. Thus, the words of Ellis are delivered in manners not unfamiliar to Ellis, creating a kind of blending between Ellis and Cater, which Cater calls, ‘mixing our sensibilities’.


Seamus Cater

A British musician based in Amsterdam. His music is, usually, a combination of song writing and acoustic instrumental composition. Playing the duet concertina, sometimes tuned in Just Intonation, as accompaniment for voice, he searches for resonant connections between these sources. The songs are noted for conceptual narratives, often reinforced by musical parallels.

This is the 9th iteration of the streamed concerts series after Parkinson Saunders (May 2021), Voice & Electronics with Sadd, Moore, Waeckerlé and Ziv (April 2021), Greg Caffrey (IE, March 2021), Marie Cécile Reber (CH, Feb 2020), Gildas Quartet (UK, Oct 2019), Marcus Kaiser (DE, May 2019), Stefan Thut (CH, April 2019), Jessica Aslan and Emma Lloyd (UK, March 2019). concert series

a collaboration between bookRoom and the Audio Research Cluster at UCA Farnham, curated by Emmanuelle Waeckerlé and Harry Whalley, around their common research in extended, textual, visual, gestural and object scores and ways to integrate or experience technology in text / music / film / performances. The project is supported by UCA research fund.