Photo by Phil Miller
Helen Caddick is a south London born composer, songwriter and arranger whose passion and interest in all genres of music has inspired her work. This in turn has enabled her to collaborate with musicians, artists and directors in both theatre and film on a diverse range of projects. Helen’s unique compositional style has drawn many admirers and her style of writing has been described as both emotive, timeless and filmic. Her arranging has also drawn attention and she has worked on critically acclaimed albums, including The Magical World of the Strands & Here's Tom with the Weather with Michael and John Head. She believes everything around you can be used to inspire music, whether it’s things you see or hear, fragments of sound, dialogue, art, nature – all can be interpreted musically. Her work has featured on SkyArts, Channel 4, Resonance FM, BBC Radio Kent, BBC 3’s Late Junction, at the Deal and Wise Words festivals, Channel Radio, performed in the UK and abroad.
Catch up on BBCiplayer to hear Helen talking to Dominic King on 23/10/19 about her work Haze inspired by JMW Turner and the premiere of a beautiful new film by Phil Miller which weaves images of the Turner paintings which inspired Helen's work with sublime imagery of the Kent coast, seen as it is today. Generously supported by Arts Council England Haze was performed by CantiaQuorum at the Gulbenkian theatre, Canterbury on Friday 1st November, to coincide with the hosting of the prestigious Turner prize at Turner Contemporary, Margate.
Seen as 'the greatest of the age' by art critic John Ruskin and seen by many to be the first 'modern' painter, Caddick's Haze reacts to the sumptuous colours and use of light employed by Turner in five delicate paintings, pieced together to form a fictional narrative - one that endures to this day - of a man and boat at sea, at the mercy of the elements. Haze aims to add a further dimension to the audience, as if they themselves had stepped forward into the artworks.
Huge excitement as PRS Foundation's Women Make Music announce award to support the research and development of Caddick's new opera inspired by the incredible Swiss artist Sophie Taeuber-Arp for premiere in 2021 - the journey starts here...!
On Saturday 18 August, 2018, Helen's work Amphora received it's London premiere at the prestigious Tête à Tête: Europe's largest Opera festival. Inspired by dadaist Jean Arp it was performed at The Place, London's leading venue for contemporary dance. Featuring stunning dance and choreography by Kamala Devam and dada inspired costume by swiss couturier Martina Trottmann, Amphora was performed by Soprano Katherine Crompton and the incredible CantiaQuorum ensemble. A screening of Amphora ...the making of by Phil Miller preceded the performance. To view the London premiere at Tête à Tête 2018 visit https://www.tete-a-tete.org.uk/event/amphora/
In the Spring 2018 edition of The Musician Helen's work Amphora was chosen as a top pick favourite - see reviews page for full review.
On 5th July 2018, as part of the Deal Festival, there was a special performance of Helen's piece Bright Planet. Reimagined with new choreography by Trinity Laban's Vanessa Michielon and Songhay Toldon, Bright Planet was performed by the brilliant CantiaQuorum Trio with dance students from the Goodwin Academy in the Foyle rooms at Turner Contemporary, Margate. A further performance took place at the Sidney Cooper gallery, Canterbury in March 2019, with the work revisited for the 2019 Deal Festival.
As part of POW! 2018, Helen gave a recital of her first album, 'Between sleeping and waking...' in homage to the suffragettes and to mark the centenary year of the first British women gaining the right to vote. The recital took place at the Walpole Bay Hotel, Cliftonville, Margate on Saturday 10 March.
In November 2017, the film 'Amphora...the making of' photographed and directed by Phil Miller went on display at Turner Contemporary, Margate. Looped throughout November 2017 until January 2018, it explores the creation of Caddick's Amphora, tracing Helen's creative journey and that of dancer Kamala Devam and costume designer Martina Trottmann in the creation of the work. A filmed performance of Amphora captured live in the Sunley gallery, was looped alongside.
To view these films on YouTube or on the Turner Contemporary website visit:
Amphora, performed by Soprano Katherine Crompton and the electrifying CantiaQuorum ensemble, is available for purchase at bandcamp:- https://helencaddick.bandcamp.com
On Thursday 12 October 2017, Helen's new work Amphora, inspired by the Arp: Poetry and Form exhibition at Turner Contemporary, received it's world premiere with further performances of held on Saturday 14 October. Amphora was generously support by Arts Council England and Royal Holloway University of London. In January 2018, on the final day of the exhibition, a final screening took place at Turner Contemporary followed by a Q+A.
In response to the Amphora premiere, curator of the Arp exhibition, Eric Robertson, stated 'The performance was stunning and made the whole evening very special. The combination of music, voice and dance worked beautifully. I found it powerful and moving.'
Photographer Lala Borja had this to say of Amphora 'Very impressive and powerful, evocative, modern and original.' (see reviews)
Helen was invited to speak about her work Amphora from initial research to realisation at the Arp symposium held at Turner Contemporary in November 2017.
Inspired by Arp's thinking and approach, his use of nature and chance processes, Amphora explores Arp's art and poetry and the profound love Arp had for the artist-dancer Sophie Taeuber who herself greatly influenced Arp's thinking. After her premature death, Arp felt that his time with her had been spent as if in a dream and that after her death he saw her in reality. With dance and choreography by Kamala Devam and costume designed by Swiss couturier and designer Martina Trottman, Amphora additionally reflects Arp and Taeuber's involvement with dada and the Cabaret Voltaire.
Helen Caddick's music is available as a digital download at https://helencaddick.bandcamp.com/
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