‘As I was creating I felt as though I was sharing with Capel, almost as if we were working like bandmates might work. I’d put something out there and it would give me something back, sometimes it would surprise me and I’d capture it and roll with it, sometimes we battled until we found the sound we both wanted, other times we spoke and shared harmoniously; we worked together. You can’t be with Capel Y Graig and not interact with it, it was an amazing experience.’
‘Wrth i mi greu, ro’n i’n teimlo fel ’swn i’n rhannu gyda’r Capel, bron fel pe baen ni’n gweithio fel y byddai mêts mewn band yn gweithio. Byddwn i’n rhoi rhywbeth allan fan’na a byddai’n rhoi rhywbeth yn ôl i mi. Weithiau byddai’n fy synnu a byddwn yn ei ddal ac yn mynd gyda fo, ac weithiau bydden ni’n brwydro nes i ni gael hyd i’r sŵn roedden ni’n dau ei eisiau; dro arall bydden ni’n siarad ac yn rhannu’n gytûn – bydden ni’n cydweithio. Allwch chi ddim bod gyda Chapel y Graig a pheidio â rhyngweithio gyda fo – profiad anhygoel oedd o.’
Lara Jones is a saxophonist, improviser, composer & collaborator. She is a member of award winning J Frisco J Frisco & Beyond Albedo.
Lara creates immersive, meditative soundscapes with solo saxophone & electronics; using live processing and field recordings. As a soloist, Lara has recently completed her place on Manchester Jazz Festival’s Hothouse Programme which commissioned her to write a new series of audio-visual based works for saxophone & electronics. She has received the Jerwood Jazz Encounters Fellowship to develop this work into an interactive installation in train stations and through Brighter Sound is receiving mentorship from Anna Meredith.
During her intensive 6 day Residency here at y Capel, Lara will work on finishing writing and recording her debut album exploring the circular motion of a train journey regularly undertook between Leeds and London over the last 12 months. Inspired by the Japanese notion /symbol Ensõ, Lara aims towards an embodied expression of the moment ,allowing for irregularity and room for becoming, questioning the constraints of perceived Western processes towards ‘perfection’.
Lara will return to y capel later this year to offer a public performance. ( If save to do so )
For more info about Lara’s practice, her previous, current and future projects and performances follow this link.
Since her Residency, Lara has recently released her debut solo album ‘Ensō’ recorded here at Capel Y Graig which has been featured on BBC Radio 3’s ‘Freeness’ and in London Jazz News.
In lockdown with… saxophonist Lara Jones
Please do read further below …a thoughtful and beautiful reflection by Lara of her time here at y capel….and for the link to listen to Ensõ .
Sacsoffonydd, perfformwraig fyrfyfyr, cyfansoddwraig, addysgwraig a chyd-weithredwraig yw Lara Jones sy’n rhannu ei bywyd rhwng Leeds a Llundain. Mae’n aelod o J Frisco, triawd jazz sy’n creu seinluniau byrfyfyr sy’n hylifol o ran genre a sŵn a dynnir o faterion sy’n ymwneud â’r emosiynau, gwleidyddiaeth a rhywedd. Mae Lara yn aelod o Beyond Albedo, pedwarawd retro-ddyfodolaidd rhyngserol ac yn Gyd-gyfarwyddwr Northern Contemporary Collective, ensemble o gerddorion, artistiaid a dawnswyr sy’n defnyddio gofodau anarferol, byrfyfyrio a ffurfiau trawsgelfyddydol ac sy’n cyflwyno gweithdai addysgol yng Ngholeg Cerdd Leeds.
Yn ystod ei phreswyliad 6 diwrnod dwys yma yn y Capel, bydd Lara yn gweithio ar ysgrifennu a recordio ei halbwm cyntaf sy’n edrych ar symudiad cylchol siwrnai drên y mae wedi’i gwneud yn rheolaidd rhwng Leeds a Llundain dros y 12 mis diwethaf. Wedi’i hysbrydoli gan y syniad/symbol Japaneaidd o Enso, mae Lara yn anelu at fynegiant ymgorfforedig o’r ennyd, gan adael lle i afreoleidd-dra ac i ddyfod, wrth gwestiynu cyfyngiadau prosesau canfyddedig y Gorllewin tuag at ’berffeithrwydd’.
Bydd Lara yn dychwelyd i’r Capel yn nes ymlaen eleni i gynnig perfformiad cyhoeddus.
Am fwy o wybodaeth am waith Lara, ei phrosiectau a pherfformiadau blaenorol dilynwch y ddolen hon.
Capel Y Graig Reflection: Lara Jones 22.05.20
In February I found myself on a journey through storm Dennis with a suitcase filled with saxophones, microphones, synths, cables, ocarinas, and more. In tow with me was my wife to be and Idris, 5. We were on our way to Capel Y Graig, a beautiful artspace that was soon to become a place I held so fondly in my heart. Little did I know this, as we were led to believe we would be stranded in Birmingham, listening to the announcements of cancelled train after cancelled train. We were hauled from one broken train to the next, until eventually taking an old bus from Shrewsbury which ooriginated from Hong Kong in the 1970’s. It was a journey from hell – a nightmare – but we did everything in our power to make it through the winds, storms and floods. Already I knew there was something pulling me to Capel Y Graig. Jess (my wife to be) kept telling me we would make it, we had to and we would… and we did. With all the saxophones, microphones, synths, cables, ocarinas and more in tow… and one very tired child. We stopped overnight at Jess’ mum’s in Llanafan where the small one was staying for the week, and we got our rest in ready for my introduction to the Capel the next morning…
I felt as though I had waited a lifetime to finally meet with Capel and Avi. We had been communicating for some months prior to my visit and I knew it was a perfect match; the place my debut album I had dreamed of making since I was a little girl would finally be given it’s life. We met Avi in the carpark of Cletwr, a lovely cafe just down the road from Capel space (which I came to enjoy many gluten free vegan breakfasts on perhaps one too many *oops I drank too much wine the night before* mornings) and honestly I was nervous! I had been so excited to meet this brilliant woman who was running such an amazing and essential space for artists, that when we finally met I felt overwhelmed with emotion… that and I was itching to experience the Capel sound, especially after our mammoth journey there!
Have you wondered why this reflection is being written 3 months after I completed the residency? Well, honestly, I don’t know how to find the words to describe all the beautiful things I felt experiencing that space. Jess had put Avi and I in touch when some funding I was set on receiving had fallen through, she knew I could make my album happen as long as I had the right space and she couldn’t have been more right.
Capel Y Graig has the most amazing sound, I was in awe of it, I walked around clapping and counting the delay! It was everything I needed, wanted and love about a space. It’s high ceilings, long windows and hard floor make a reflective sound drenched with just the right amount of delay and reverb… I use many fx in my music but Capel Y Graig’s sound gave me so much of the sound I try to replicate in post production, right there in
the room. It was magical.
I’ve thought long and hard about how I would write this, how I could capture everything I felt in the space, but I can’t express through words in the same way I can express through sound. I hope my love and gratitude has been captured in the sound of my album ‘Enso’ which I spent my time at Capel Y Graig completing and recording.
Here I will try to speak it in words, but it’s honestly a space made of dreams.
I spent the first day setting the space up as I wanted it, surrounding myself with heaters, saxophones, finding the beauty spots of the room and settling in with the sound and space.
What followed were days of focus, dedicated writing and recording of my music. For many years I believed my solo music couldn’t be worthy of my or anybody else’s time. I put everything else first, never believing that it was okay to put my own sounds first.
Manchester Jazz Festival were the first to validate what I wanted to do through their incredible ‘Hothouse’ talent development programme; they gave me the faith and belief in myself I needed. Capel Y Graig was the next to support me. As I was creating I felt as
though I was sharing with Capel, almost as if we were working like bandmates might work. I’d put something out there and it would give me something back, sometimes it would surprise me and I’d capture it and roll with it, sometimes we battled until we found the sound we both wanted, other times we spoke and shared harmoniously; we worked together. You can’t be with Capel Y Graig and not interact with it, it was an amazing experience.
In the evenings I stayed with Jess and Avi in the most beautiful cottage next door to Capel. This was such a big part of what made this week so special, the conversation we shared in the evenings were so inspiring and passionate, fueling me during my days of
working to keep creating and pushing my limits. We would occasionally take tea breaks in the ‘bubble’ where Jess was working on her PhD. It’s this amazing bubble that’s placed inside the Capel you can go inside for moments of isolation (and warmth!).
Inside, the chair, a beautiful chair, a place to sit and reflect. I felt as though you could shut the entire world behind you on this chair inside the bubble.
The week ended and I completed all the recordings and compositions, now it was time to take it all away with me and spend time with it in headphones. I was elated that I had all the material to take away and share with the world, but the idea of leaving after such
an intense and beautiful week filled me with sadness. Jess and I spent the last night of our time here sleeping inside the Capel (in the bubble!), it was the perfect ending and chance to say goodbye to the Capel. I know we’ll be back, it was the start of something really special and I really couldn’t be more grateful to Capel and Avi for giving Enso the chance to come to life.
photographs by Jess Rose
Lluniau gan Jess Rose
“‘As I was creating I felt as though I was sharing with Capel, almost as if we were working like bandmates might work. I’d put something out there and it would give me something back, sometimes it would surprise me and I’d capture it and roll with it, sometimes we battled until we found the sound we both wanted, other times we spoke and shared harmoniously; we worked together. You can’t be with Capel Y Graig and not interact with it, it was an amazing experience.’
I and Capel y Graig always welcome and encourage Artists, Musicians and Composers to work not only in, but with …with(in) …the capel space…to be attentive and thoughtful as to developing ‘together’. Thank you Lara for respecting y capel ( your bandmate!…wonderful!) with reciprocal harmony…battling…harmony to create such a beautiful work. When you have been through this together…you and y capel….as you say…it is the ‘start of something very special’ …looking so forward to you coming back to develop more together. Diolch o galon Lara, Thank you so much Lara. It was a very special time. ‘ Avi Allen, Capel y Graig.
Listen to Ensò here and do support Lara Jones…