Askew and Avis

Askew and Avis

BandWorldAlternative

"British Vocal Duo who create astonishing songs and soundscapes using only their voices and innovative live-looping technology. Grooving and danceable with a world jazz feel, a fresh approach to the voice and songwriting.

Biography

"The record is a powerful mix of technology and invention, with some great
melodies stirred in - I can't wait to see the band live!" David Jones: Serious Music, UK

We sing, we tell stories, we make music with our voices……we groove. What we do is unlike anything you have ever heard two vocalists doing before.

2 years ago we decided to start a band of 2, using no instruments except our voices, a loop-making machine and some effects.
We didn’t know exactly what sound we wanted, we just knew we wanted to have fun, play with the possiblities of our voices and write some good songs. Dry Land, our first album, is what we came up with…….

Looping technology, by giving us the possibility of building up layers of vocal and rhythmic texture unavailable to us with our ordinary monophonic voices, helped us come up with our own unique musical language. It is a sound we would not have developed if we had been writing for piano and voice, band or even choir of 10 singers.

How to describe it then?… We use live-looped vocal samples to make songs that are both improvised, and carefully structured. Our music is lyrical and funky. The songs work both in an album format (songs, stories and scenes to savour) as well as in a live situation because each song is re-created every performance using only our live voices. We sing harmonies, bass lines, outh percussion loops, that get sampled into the texture of the song as it progresses. None of what we do live is pre-recorded or pre-sampled, each song grows out of nothing into something complete. Because some parts of the songs are also improvised, every performance is fresh and unique.

Live: Live we are joined by Robin Whitnell: sound engineer, composer and DJ extraordinaire, who manipulates the laptop that records and loops our live vocals to create whole songs, pieces and soundscapes.

Lyrics

Eldest Son

Written By: Rebecca Askew, Jeremy Avis

Driving through the dark, just me and the road
Rushing through the night, travelling back to love
A small world full of shared pasts
They’re waiting there in the firelight
Incomplete until I arrive
The eldest son

One year since I last made this journey home
Five days is all I have to breathe easy again
They won’t see what I’ve become
Out here in the larger world
I’ll always be what I always was
The eldest son

La Reina de la Noche

Written By: Jeremy Avis, Rebecca Askew

La Reina de la Noche
One summer night, stopped for a moment
Quickening pulse, a foot on the stairs,
With deafening silence, mute and so fine
She pours forth her flowers, fruits of her vine.
Eight years : waiting,
With thorns : her song
This night : you flower
Then gone

La Reina de la Noche
Queen of this night alone
There in the moonlight
With the turning world
Beyond the window frame
I am drawn : a moth to your brilliant flame.

Quicker than lightening, deeper than floods
Higher than angels, redder than blood
Warm summer night and you open my eyes
To the rush of the hush of the life down inside
Eight years : waiting………

Discography

First Album: Dry Land

Set List

Set List largely follows the order of the album. there are also songs that are completely improvised. A show normally lasts about one hour, but can be extended to two 40 minute halves.