Sarah Neufeld is a violinist and composer based in Montréal, Canada. Best known as a member of Arcade Fire, she is also a founding member of the acclaimed contemporary instrumental ensemble Bell Orchestre and has performed and recorded with many other groups, including The Luyas, Esmerine and Little Scream.
Neufeld will be touring as a soloist extensively throughout 2013-2014 alongside her ongoing commitments with Arcade Fire, including a UK show at Bush Hall, London on Sunday 26th May where she will be showcasing music from her upcoming album. We are giving one lucky winner the chance to get two places on the guestlist for the show! The giveaway will feature in our upcoming Newsletter So if you’re not subscribed then now’s the time to to do so, just click here to sign up.
Neufeld began developing pieces for solo violin in a more formal and focused sense in 2011, though she has made improvisation and solo composition part of her process and practice since first picking up the instrument at a young age. Neufeld counts Bela Bartok, Steve Reich, Iva Bittova and Arthur Russell among the formative influences for her solo work, in tandem with an ear for the textures and sensibilities of contemporary electro-acoustic, avant-folk and indie rock music. She was commissioned to write a solo violin piece for a short film Scalpel/Stradivarius for Vogue Italia (see below). This inspired a full-length album of solo violin compositions produced by Nils Frahm due to be released August 20th of this year.
Neufeld’s debut solo album Hero Brother indeed channels all of the above, flowing through shifting atmospheres and oscillating between restrained, stately ambience, emotive études, and raw kinetic energy. Small touches of wordless vocalisation, harmonium and piano supplant the violin in a few places. The album was recorded in Berlin by pianist and producer Nils Frahm, with Neufeld’s performances captured in a number of locations with site-specific acoustics, including an abandoned geodesic dome, an underground parking garage, and the legendary Studio P4 orchestral recording hall at the broadcast complex of the former GDR. Hero Brother will be released on Constellation Records in August 2013.
Sarah has recently premiered her solo music at BAM (Brooklyn), the WSO New Music Festival (Winnipeg) and Wavelength Festival (Toronto), of which Exclaim magazine wrote “the highlight of the night was most certainly Sarah Neufeld, whose compositions range from Reichian to folksy without skipping a beat; she uses violin squeals, growls, scrapes and slides to express varying emotions and stomps the stage beneath her for percussion.”
Venue: Bush Hall, London
Date: Sun, 26/05/2013 19:30