New Release by ISOLDE // Out 10.19
(From 'Seed Bud Bloom' EP, filmed at 3 Cliffs Bay, Wales, by Adam Shuldman)
As You Are
(Vessels collaboration, from the album 'Dilate')
'Beautiful' - Oliver Wilde
'Luscious, real world folktronica.. on a rowboat in a slightly misty lake' - The 405
'Glacial' - The Skinny
'A musical oasis' - Glastonbury Festival Press
'Isolde can write a song about anything'
- BBC Introducing
'Out-of-this-World' - Stephen Fry's Mum
Isolde Freeth-Hale is a singer, songwriter, composer, producer, choral director and teacher based in Bristol, UK. She produces songs that fuse neo-soul, electronica & experimental pop, and curates vocal projects that push the creative boundaries of contemporary vocal music.
’Isolde’ (iz-ol-deh) is an old-English name, originally derived from Arthurian legend, which means ‘daughter of earth’. Given this by her artist father at birth, Isolde kept it as her stage name as a reminder of all that is ancient, natural and ever-present in our modern world, however disconnected we become to it. Growing up in inner-city London, and always wishing to be running free in the lush English countryside where she visited family, her work explores the curious interaction between the organic and manmade, often drawing upon field recordings, instrumentation, and voice, manipulated electronically and combined with beats & bass. Lyrically, Isolde opens a conversation about the human experience at our point in history, drawing upon story-telling, sound collage, Dada poetry, and words of the wise, to explore that which serves life. Musical influences include: Bjork, Kate Bush, James Blake, Cosmo Sheldrake, Portishead, Eryka Badu, Bonobo, Mount Kimbie, Sylvan Esso, Joanna Newsom, Little Dragon, Feist, Blue Hawaii, Gretchen Parlato, Lamb, Radiohead, Hanne Huckleberg, Bobby McFerrin, Tune-Yards, Prince, Nina Simone, Bat for Lashes, Regina Spektor, Jesca Hoop, Fourtet, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Diane CLuck, Emilliana Torrini, Billie Holiday, Hiatus Koyote, Jill Scott, Verity Standen, Chaouche, Nils Frahm, Bon Iver, Joni Mitchell, Ella Fitzgerald & Imogen Heap.
Isolde released her debut EP, Seed Bud Bloom, in 2015, which was celebrated by Time Out as one of the year’s ‘best exploits’. This body of work marked a first step into creative music production, originally coming from a background as an acoustic singer-songwriter, trained in jazz and world music at Leeds College of Music. Conceptually, the 3 pieces mark moments in time: a song about the past, the present, and the future. They involve a vast variety of sounds relating to each piece, including coat-hangers, the sea, and the sampling of an entire kitchen.
Isolde’s 2nd up and coming EP, Elements (2019), began with a journey to Kolkata to study Indian Classical Singing. Documenting her experience, she returned with a hard-drive full of recordings and song sketches. In an attempt to synthesise and bring home these ideas into a form that felt authentic, she decided to focus on what links people and place, not sets them apart. Each of the 4 pieces, then, reflect on the common, universal elements of air, fire, water and earth, and the re-experience of these taken from being in another culture. ‘Meet Me at the View’ is composed of sounds collected from trekking in the Nepalese Himalayas; ‘Next Time’ is a reflection on death & reincarnation, with samples of fire cremation in Varanasi; ‘Rain Dance’ was written during an electrical storm, whilst trapped in a mountain cafe for a day; ‘Gravitation’ begins and ends with the grounding sound of a drone.
At the heart of Isolde’s work, also runs a life-long love affair with vocal harmony. Christened by her great-grandfather, and coming from a long line of clergy, she grew up singing gospel music in her church, which provided a grounding in voice, harmony, and a connection to something bigger through music. A large part of her career has since been carved out of directing, composing and arranging for vocal projects, and teaching voice and composition. She has worked with a plethora of organisations and projects, and currently directs Rising Voices Recovery Choir for Bristol Drugs Project (as seen on Songs of Praise), and Murmuration Choir - a 60-piece contemporary vocal project, inspired by Isolde's artistic influences. She also teaches one-to-one singing classes from home.
Isolde is studying for an MA in Popular Music at Goldsmiths University, where she is writing her first album. She’ll be traveling to Finland this year to create new work in the Finnish outback, as a part of an artist residency at the Arteles Arts Centre.
If you'd like updates about my work, journey & inspiration, or if you're interested in booking me for a lesson or gig, please send an email, join the mailing list, and/or follow me @isoldemusic via the links below.
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