Last year Emma was invited to record five songs with the symphonic rock band Simple Harmonic Motion. On 21st and 22nd February, she will join them to present their new album ‘Fantasia’ in the Netherlands and France.
Here is their press release:
Total immersion in lights and sound. That is the approach of progressive rock band ‘Simple Harmonic Motion.’ Together with Leiden mezzo-soprano Emma Brown, the British band will visit Leiden to present their latest album “Fantasia” in a free concert here in our very own Hooglandse Kerk. Their stunning music is accompanied by bespoke projections in the medieval high choir.
‘Simple Harmonic Motion’ have performed in the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, and the United Kingdom. Led by Jonathan Beckitt, they have an fresh and innovative approach to music. Their latest album “Fantasia” shows their respectful covers of well-known classical music. It includes folk songs, the Bach-Gounod ‘Ave Maria,’ the ‘Sanctus’ from Fauré’s Requiem, and Albinoni’s ‘Adagio.’
Their previous albums have been equally innovative. In “Tone Poems” they explored the poetry of John Keats, based on Greek mythology, as is depicted magnificently in the accompanying projections. In this album, guitarist Curtis E Johnson really shines, showing his creative use of the harmonic textures of distortion and feedback.
Unusually, the band began as a studio project. They wanted to record high-quality, original music, as can be heard on their album “Interludes.” The success of this album inspired them to perform live. The bespoke projections fit ‘hand in glove’ with the music. A backing track helps the musicians stay synchronized with the animations, and still allows them to play and sing relatively freely.
It is challenging to classify the band. Between them, the musicians have experience in many different genres. Emma is well-known here in the Netherlands as a classical singer: she is the most recent member of the band, joining them in 2018 for “Fantasia.” Meanwhile, bass-player Steve Kershaw regularly performs with jazz bands in the UK, Europe, and Russia. Drummer Gerry O’Riordan has performed in many different genres and works as a sound engineer in London. Guitarist Curtis E Johnson has recorded solo albums as a rock vocalist. Composer, arranger, keyboard player and flautist Jonathan Beckitt draws on all their respective talents. Simple Harmonic Motion has been labelled as a ‘progressive rock band,’ a ‘symphonic rock band’ and also as ‘minimalist,’ ‘ambient,’ and ‘new age contemporary classical music.’ In short, they are the band where genres meet.
Friday, 21st February, 20:30, Hooglandse Kerk, Leiden, the Netherlands
Saturday, 22nd February, 20:00, Cathedral of Our Lady, Amiens, France