CMU Approved

Approved: Ava

By | Published on Tuesday 18 June 2019


Composers Anna Phoebe and Aisling Brouwer are set to release ‘Waves’, their debut album together as Ava, next month. It’s a collection of tracks that play piano and violin off each other in a very satisfying way. They began working on it in the run up to the 2016 EU referendum and that – and its unexpected result – ended up feeding into their music, neither having been born in the UK but both living here at the time.

“When Aisling and I started writing together, it was against this background of social and political turmoil”, says Phoebe. “We were both trying to understand our identities within a country where we had built our lives”.

“The sessions we had together were an escape from all the noise”, she goes on, speaking of writing together at her home on the Kent coastline. “We would take breaks from writing and walk onto the beach, looking across the water at the outline of the French coast, discussing what it was to be European in a country where people had voted to reject Europe”.

“All those mixed up emotions found their way into the music”, she adds, “exploring the complex layers of identity we all have – the layers of who we are and where we fit in”.

It’s not an entirely despairing record though, insists Brouwer, who has nonetheless departed the UK since the referendum. It very much acknowledges the challenging times in which we live, but looks for positivity, the hope that helps people power on through the turmoil.

Focusing in on new single ‘Resistance’, Brouwer explains: “The string swells almost sound like cries for help. It’s about letting all these feelings boil up inside of you and using this to build your strength. It’s not so much about asking questions as it is about insisting on answers”.

Phoebe adds: “This piece for me is about the outside turmoil – when everything is dragging you down and it’s muggy and you’re trying to pull yourself up out of it. When I hear Ash’s piano line come in around 2.40, for me that’s such a stroke of positivity shining through and is a reminder to keep going and to fight through”.

‘Waves’ is set for release on 12 Jul. Watch the video for ‘Resistance’ here:

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