Friday 26th February 2021 - Meet our 2021 Composers, Caitlin Laing-McEvoy
Tonight I continue my 2021 Composer's Blog with Caitlin.
Caitlin Laing-McEvoy is a multi-instrumentalist (piano, flute, saxophone, guitar), vocalist, composer and arranger.
"She is the singer and co-writer in Manchester based duo/collective Oystercatcher, and plays bari/alto sax, flute and backing vocals in 11 piece psychadelic afro-funk group Agbeko.". Recognised for her innovative ideas and fresh musical language, Caitlin was chosen for the Brighter Sound Both Sides Now international commission, for which she is currently collaborating with Denmark based artist Ditte Elly Goard. As well as this, she has recently been awarded the Help Musicians' Do It Differently Fund, for her new collaboration with award winning composer and saxophonist Andy Scott."
"Glue" is one of Caitlin's songs that I found was the perfect way into her style and timbre: inclusive, gentle, emotive, open-hearted and direct. This song is an "Oystercatcher" band production and it was recreated in the video below with a choir or instrumentalists and vocalists. This really is as new a sound as I have heard in a very long time.
A full version of the original track of "Glue" can be found on Spotify.
Caitlin "studied jazz and classical saxophone at the Royal Northern College of Music for two years, she transferred in her third year onto the pop course and finished her degree focusing on vocals. During her time at the RNCM, she studied and experienced a wide variety of styles and influences, which is reflected in her career and her music."
Something that Caitlin feels quite strongly about how music is created and why. She proposed straight away that we look at our project through the lens of the "power of music as a connection to those we’ve lost." I don't think we could have imagined a more poignant focus especially now during these tough times, going through a global pandemic. We need more artists like Caitlin that can speak for us and somehow explain our world and find meaning.
Caitlin is proof that our musical background informs our future choices and can be hugely liberating rather than restricting. Caitlin's sense of adventure, fun, experimentation and innovation can also be seen by the wide range of musical genres she's involved in. This is a video from a performance of Agbeko, her 11-piece psychedelic band where Catlin plays Bari/Alto Sax and flute.
We feel very lucky that Caitlin responded to our call on Sound and Music. (Sound and Music is the UK's national organisation for new music and a charity and it is through them that we've got such lovely connections to composers from all over the world.)
When Caitlin applied to be one of our 2021 composers, we felt that her approach to creating new sound is something we would like to develop with Animo. Caitlin seems to weave melodic lines from simple pulses rather than melodic cells. This, to my mind, is pretty unusual. Or perhaps there's a different kind of magic that I am yet to discover...
All we can say is that we are ready for the music to be un-leashed. Welcome to Animo Caitlin! We look forward to working with you!