30 November 2019
Hall 1 \ Kings Place
7pm + 9pm
The 12 ensemble join Elena Tonra (vocalist/guitarist of Daughter) for a unique, re-imagined performance of her solo record, Ex:Re. To celebrate the one year anniversary of its release, London’s leading string orchestra bring a renewed perspective to this acclaimed album with brand new arrangements from Tonra’s close collaborator and Ex:Re band member Josephine Stephenson.
Elena Tonra assumed the pseudonym Ex:Re (pronounced ex ray) for her eponymously-titled debut solo album, a deeply personal record that was made with both a sense of urgency and a cathartic need. Tonra’s candid solo songs document the time after a relationship ended and are written like unsent letters to herself and others. Taking on a creative moniker, she chose Ex:Re to mean ‘regarding ex’ and also ‘X-Ray’ as a way to look inside and see what is really there. Writing took a year but the recording process lasted mere months, turning to Fabian Prynn (4AD’s in-house engineer and producer) and composer Josephine Stephenson on cello to help bring Ex:Re to life.
“Although the record is written for someone, a lot of the time it’s about the space without that person in it. In every scenario, there's either the person in memory or the noticeable absence of that person in the present moment. I suppose it is a break-up record, however I do not talk about the relationship at all, and he hardly features in the scenes. He is only felt as a ghostly presence.”
- Elena Tonra
This event is part of Kings Place award-winning series Venus Unwrapped, celebrating female creativity throughout 2019.
Josephine Stephenson is a Franco-British composer, arranger and performer based in London. Described as ‘music to arrest the ears and stop the heart’ by The Times, her music has been commissioned by institutions such as the BBC, Radio France, Wigmore Hall, Bristol Old Vic, Spitalfields Music, Nonclassical and Arcal. Performers of her work include the London Sinfonietta, Sinfonia Viva, Miroirs Étendus, The Hermes Experiment, Explore Ensemble, the Van Kuijk Quartet, guitarist Laura Snowden, gambist Liam Byrne, violinists Eloisa-Fleur Thom and Fiona Monbet, and the Maîtrise de Radio France. She enjoys collaborating with film and theatre makers (FellSwoop, L’Éventuel Hérisson Bleu) as well as songwriters and bands (Daughter, Evergreen), and is a regular arranger for projects from the Berlin-based ensemble stargaze (David Bowie Prom 2016, concerts with Lisa Hannigan 2018-19). She is also, alongside composers Freya Waley-Cohen and William Marsey, artistic director of the London-based concert series and record label Listenpony, which puts on events mixing contemporary classical music with older classical music and popular genres.