Loscil & Lawrence English [CA/AU]

Will Samson [UK]

The air has colours: Loscil and Lawrence English will open the Spectaculare festival

The opening night of the eleventh edition of the Spectaculare festival will welcome duo of ambient musicians Loscil and Lawrence English, who will present their joint project Colours of Air at the Church of Sts. Simon and Jude on 23 February. The canadian and australian artists use the sounds of a more than 100-year-old church organ and meditate on the relationship between colours and sound. The duo will be joined by Will Samson, who complements his ethereal ambient compositions with dreamy vocals. The show will be accompanied by an eclectic AV laser performance that will transform the ambient of the church into a completely different space of colours. The Spectaculare Festival will run throughout Prague until the beginning of April.

Laser and light design: Laser Hazer

Canadian musician Scott Morgan aka Loscil has been an important figure in experimental electronica since the late 1990s. He has released on the prestigious Kranky and Ghostly International labels, collaborated with Ryuichi Sakamoto, and also spent years drumming in the indie-rock band Destroyer. In Colours of Air he met Lawrence English, another ambient classic and founder of the cult label Room40. A few years ago, English discovered a 30-year-old organ in a museum in his hometown of Brisbane, the unique sound of which he has used on several previous records. In February 2023's Colours of Air, he and Loscil turned it into a source of sounds evoking the strange muted majesty of natural phenomena.

Loscil and English's collaboration was born out of a shared fascination with natural sounds as well as a conversation over the "color of music," and each of the eight tracks bears the name of a shade from the color spectrum that inspired the pair's free musical associations. So while Yellow offers a gentle dance tune, Black immerses the listener in a somber avalanche of sound, and the closing Magenta takes the listener into an ominously raging storm. The repetitiveness of the motifs and the relentlessly held notes of Colours of Air draw the listener into a magical sonic universe that, according to Lawrence English, mirrors "that which lies beyond our comprehension - a bird's call, an animal's cry, the whisper of a mountain licked by the wind - the things that give birth to our mythology."

The Colours of Air project will be joined by Oxford musician Will Samson at the opening concert of Spectaculare. He has been on the music scene for more than a decade, alternating gentle folk songwriting with forays into downtempo or ambient in his discography. Records like Ground Luminosity or Welcome Oxygen released on the French label Talitres could be classified in the indietronica genre, but this year's Harp Swells for 12k is pure ambient. The meditative surfaces do include the occasional guitar and in a few places his voice. "Samson has made a beautiful album that adds another layer to an already remarkable artist," wrote music website CLASH about the record.

On 23 February, Will Samson's organ-driven Colours of Air and gentle ambient compositions will kick off the eleventh edition of Spectaculare, which brings to Prague a tightly curated selection of remarkable artists working at the intersection of contemporary electronica, avant-garde, jazz and ambient. The programme of the festival, which takes place in February and especially March, will also welcome, for example, the group Mammal Hands – on 21 March.