Press Release

Dateline: Wednesday 20 July 2022.

Co-Incidences 1: Michael Oliva and Musicians
Colourscape, Clapham Common, 18th September 2022, 12:30pm-4:30pm.

Composer Michael Oliva and a talented band of musicians, present an afternoon of his latest composition, collaborations and improvisations on the theme of Universal Harmony or “The Music of the Spheres”

“This is difficult to  categorise…” says Michael, “…a mash up of ambient music, installation and performance. An afternoon of lyrical sounds, immersive Ambisonic sound and musical magic. All housed in the extraordinary Colourscape light sculpture at the annual Eye Music Festival.”


12 musicians improvise to a series of Tanpura based electronic drones and bells (the Classical Indian string drone instrument). The music uses a large scale structure from 60s experimental music (think Stockhausen in Mexico or John Cale in “Theater of Eternal Music” – before he joined Velvet Underground). There’s a fusion of Western and Indian classical forms and sounds, produced by musicians from both traditions, as well as Ancient and Modern, from Baroque to the latest from the London Techno scene.

Michael developed the piece over the last year with the musicians as part of the Tanpura with… project, using improvisation over  synthesised tracks to create a series of reverberating musical pieces that are like looking at the same sculpture from different angles. The structure compels the player to listen constantly but liberates their freedom of expression. Computer processed sounds from the Tanpura allow us to imagine a “Harmony of the Worlds”.

The concert will use the Ambisonic speaker array inside  Colourscape to create swirling sounds consonant with ideas about the ‘motions of the heavens’. The players will be stationed throughout the coloured spaces, representing planets and stars, distributed in the space by their positions and the rotations of their sounds, but also in time and history by the structure of the work. The lights and moods of Colourscape envelop the work in an unearthly glow.

** Michael worked at the Royal College of Music for 23 years in charge of electronic music, running the “From the Soundhouse” series of concerts, and has produced a vast catalogue, including two operas.

** The Players are: Michael Oliva (Electronics, Computer, Composition), Jenny Ames (Viola), Hannah Marshall (Cello), Richard Boothby (Viola da Gamba), Nick Drey (Baroque Cello), Ansuman Biswas (Tabla and Percussion), Lawrence Casserly (Percussion and Electronics), Pedro Merchán Correas (Bassoon and Electronics), Jane Chapman (Harpsichord), Jason Kalidas (Bansuri), Simon Desorgher (Flutes), Matt Saunders  (3D Sound Projection).

** Co-Incidences 02: Orkney will take place September 2023 working with Ewan Robertson (alto and bass flute), the Mayfield Singers and local musicians at St. Magnus Cathedral, as part of the Orkney International Science Festival

** Kindly commissioned and developed by the Eye Music Trust.

**The ongoing Tanpura with… pieces can all be heard on Bandcamp

Contact: Michael Oliva