A very special union of two bold and visionary performers from very different walks of song: Richard Dawson (Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK) and Asiq Nargile (Georgia) are bound together by the distinctive ways in which they channel the ancients to transcend the everyday.
Dawson and Nargile met at last October's TUSK Festival in Newcastle, and the seeds were sown for a tour pairing these questing musical spirits for a select run of double-bill occasions across the UK.
More artist info:
Born in Tbilisi and now based in the Borcali region of Southern Georgia, Nargile Mehtiyeva aka Asiq Nargile has been playing saz (long-neck lute) and singing since the age of 15. Fluent in Azerbaijani, Georgian, and Russian, Nargile represents the cosmopolitan heritage of old Tbilisi, a city once known as a meeting point for multilingual aşıq bards who would travel through the region serving as conduits for news, ideas, music and culture. A powerful solo performer, her vocal recital of epic folk poetry is by turns ecstatic and deeply expressive, and is interspersed with bursts of virtuosic, highly ornamented saz. Equally comfortable performing moving laments or upbeat folk dances, Nargile is currently the only female aşıq living and performing in the ethnic Azeri region of Georgia, and has been teaching the art to new generations. Thanks to the efforts of The Sayat Nova Project, a non-profit group aiming to help preserve and promote the diverse musical dialects of the Caucasus, European audiences can now experience the elusive, hypnotic beauty of Nargile's music for themselves. A recording of her live performance at Cafe OTO last year will be released around this tour.
Watch a live video of 'Yurd Yeri' - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgAb87RFgpk
Asiq Nargile full live performance from TUSK Festival 2014: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5z-T1HZ0jN4
Rising up from the bed of the River Tyne, a voice that crumbles and soars, that is steeped in age-old balladry and finely-chiselled observations of the mundane, Richard Dawson is a skewed troubadour at once charming and abrasive. His shambolically virtuosic guitar playing stumbles from music-hall tune-smithery to spidery swatches of noise-colour, swathed in amp static and teetering on the edge of feedback. His songs are both chucklesome and tragic, rooted in a febrile imagination that references worlds held dear and worlds unknown. New album Nothing Important, out now on Weird World/Domino, has seen Dawson's song visions seep, uncompromised and irrepressible, into wider consciousness, confirming him as an unparalleled voice in today’s over-preened and manufactured music world.
Video for ‘The Vile Stuff’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQVlNt6DAxY
Listen to the track ‘Nothing Important’: https://soundcloud.com/weirdworldrecordco/richard-dawson-nothing-important
Press Quotes on ‘Nothing Important’:
“A remarkable record” 4* - MOJO
“Dawson emerges as a talented chronicler of the tiniest, realest details” – NME
“At times deeply, painfully intimate, but also witty, bawdy, surreal, disquieting, nostalgic, brash and fearlessly individual” - The Quietus
“Perhaps Dawson’s most ambitious and affecting composition to date” 7.8 – Pitchfork
“This is a record that unsettles and subverts” 5* - The Guardian
Ex-Easter Island Head
A Liverpool. UK based ensemble composing and performing music for solid-body electric guitar, percussion and other instruments.
Incorporating multiple prepared electric guitars struck with percussion mallets and treated as an infinitely variable sound-source as well as drawing on an arsenal of cymbals, bells, prayer bowls and acoustic percussion, Ex-Easter Island Head devise works that explore group interplay, repetition and melodic invention through purposefully limited means.
They have performed their original compositions solo, as a duo, three piece, quartet and as a large ensemble across a wide variety of events, from site specific installation works to live film scores.
Their debut records – Mallet Guitars One and Mallet Guitars Two - were released by Nottingham-based Low Point records to critical acclaim from the likes of The Wire, Pitchfork and The Quietus. Their third release Mallet Guitars Three was released on 7th October 2013.
Ex-Easter Island Head have received critical acclaim from the likes of The Wire, Pitchfork and The Quietus for their recordings and mesmerising live show.
They have received airplay on BBC Radio 3, ABC (Australia), WQXR (New York) and many more.
New works have been commissioned by BBC Philharmonic (2015) Static Gallery/Bill Drummond (2013), the World Event Young Artists festival (2012), Mercy Arts/Literature agency (2011) and The World Museum Liverpool (2011).