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This autumn SoundUK brings you two of Britain’s brightest folk and electronics artists, Lisa Knapp and Leafcutter John, who collaborate for the first time to create new music inspired by the culture and history of the British waterways.
Following the world premiere inside the London Canal Museum at 7.30pm on Wednesday 9 September, the 1930s narrow boat The Chiswick will journey up the once thriving trade route from London to Birmingham, Britain’s longest single stretch of canal. Serving as a floating stage, The Chiswick stops for performances along the banks of five canal side settings, each chosen for their natural beauty and significance to the history of the canal.
Highly acclaimed folk singer Lisa Knapp and leading electronics artist Leafcutter John will capture the spirit of the UK waterways in a contemporary celebration of canal life, playing new work inspired by the canals as well as their own existing music.
Mojo Folk Album of the Year winner Lisa Knapp is a spellbinding singer and fiddle player. Her radiant folk merges traditional tunes with self-penned songs, and blends fiddle with sonic delights from the technological age. “Knapp sounds like a young Maddy Prior with the girlish inflection of Bjork” Uncut.
Leafcutter John has been hailed as one of the finest exponents of folktronica, combining guitar and voice based writing with more experimental electronic sonic forms. He is currently working on his fifth solo album (Young God Records), as well as being a member of the Mercury nominated Polar Bear. “Like Leonard Cohen is having a cup of tea with Warp Records in a truck stop outside of Denver” The Stool Pigeon.
London Canal Museum (map)is a treasure trove of canal curiosities with a particularly interesting history. Audiences here can peek inside a narrow boat cabin and peer into the huge Victorian ice well that stored vast quantities of ice imported from Norway, used by famous the local Swiss Italian Carlo Gatti to make early ice cream.
The beautifully restored 1930s narrow boat The Chiswick plays a key role in Canal Music. With her own colourful history in entertainment she is perfectly placed to serve as an unusual stage for these unusual artists. She appeared in a 1970s BBC drama, features in a number of books about Canal history and today takes part in canal rallies and festivals, and offers Halloween trips through the Islington tunnel.