Please see the Gigs / Events page for forthcoming performances
I was a commissioned artist for CANOPY Network, working on their Phone Box Project from 2019-20. The aim of the project was for artists to place works in disused phone boxes over a 10 mile trail in the Forest of Dean area, telling a story about their locations. My work was intended to culminate in a composed sound art piece to be placed in the old phone booth, so people could pick up the receiver and be transported into an underground world – I had been exploring caves in the area and making field recordings / tracing stories and histories.
The Phone Box Weekender was planned for April 2020, but sadly due to COVID the project has been halted for the moment.
In the meantime, CANOPY artists have produced webpages that show our work in progress. I have made some tracks from the research I undertook; the tracks use the sounds I captured in the caves. In some cases the sounds have been treated and effected, but in others they have been left exactly as they were recorded. For the final piece of work I hoped to weave these sounds into a bigger composition, using instruments and voices to expand and develop.
You can read more about the Phone Box Project here, which includes links to individual artists’ pages. You can read more about my experiences and my work here. The player below shows my work in progress:
Halftone have just released a new album – A previous discussion about making an object. We recorded it in 2019. It’s taken a while to release but we’re very proud of it. Dedicated to Keith Tippett, with love.
You can listen, buy a digital copy, or buy a cassette tape via Bandcamp:
I have just released a new Tisla EP – Up, Out. I wrote and recorded all songs this year, after finding myself with a bit more time on my hands than usual…
You can listen and buy the record over on Bandcamp now. My huge thanks go to Kirsten McTernan for the wonderful photography. Please see Kirsten’s website for more of her work. Thanks also to Stephen Kerrison from Tall Trees Audio Mastering for his work.
High Tide, the film artist Sam Francis and I made this year as recipients of a ‘Interpreting Isolation’ grant from the British Music Collection and Sound & Music, is being featured in ‘All At Sea’. It’s a project by Arts Walk Porty, an Outdoor Film Programme happening on Sunday 18 October. The films will be projected onto Portobello Prom in Edinburgh, and will be shown again online soon afterwards.
A visual portrayal of the fragility of our seas & oceans, our climate, and of our own lives (during the pandemic), with a series of film shorts from around the world. The wild sea is explored as a metaphor for our recent uncertain times, alongside ideas for change.
View the full programme here.
Hokkett is comprised of Tina Hitchens, Yvonna Magda (violin) and Helen Pappaoiannou (baritone saxophone). rat was recorded in 2018, and has just been released via Bandcamp. Listen / buy here:
Viridian Ensemble has been awarded a prestigious commission, through Aerial Festival, who partnered with The Quietus, Europe’s largest online culture magazine, and The Willowherb Review, a journal dedicated to diversity in nature writing.
Five musicians and five writers were commissioned to respond to the tumultuous events of 2020, inspired in part by Wordsworth’s epic poem The Prelude and his 250th anniversary celebrations.
It seems this summer is the time to explore playing outside. Viridian Ensemble found ourselves in a tunnel recently. Thank you to Amy Cook for the photos. I got to experiment with a new instrument: the Blue & White Doughnut Pipe…
Myself and artist Sam Francis were recipients of an Interpreting Isolation grant from the British Music Collection and Sound and Music for new works that reflect on COVID-19 in a creative way in response to this unique moment in our history.
‘Drawing upon water as a source of inspiration and as a metaphor for the Covid 19 situation, Tina Hitchens based in Bristol and Sam Francis in Weston Super Mare met virtually over two weeks to connect their separate locations through different water sources – the WSM coast and the River Frome in Eastville, Bristol that both conjoin with the Severn Estuary. At the changing times of high tide they met virtually to observe, listen, look, meditate on and respond to the connecting pull of the water, the environment and surroundings to connect creatively and personally as a lifeline during these uncertain and disconnected times. This work is a montage of material gathered during these outings and a reminder that flow and continuity will always be present and can close the space between us as the space between us all widens’.
I recently appeared in an online stream hosted by the wonderful Newcastle venue, The Old Police House. Featuring flute and FX pedals, it will be available to view online here for a fortnight.
After a nation-wide call for applications which saw over 150 responses, I’m delighted to announce that I am one of 6 recipients, with artist Sam Francis, of an ‘Interpreting Isolation’ grant from the British Music Collection and Sound and Music. The grants have been provided to enable musicians to present ‘new works that respond creatively to this unique moment in our history’. Read more here.
Allowing the water to connect us during this time of distance, we will meet separately by the water sources nearest to our homes in Bristol and Weston Super Mare at the changing times of high tide. We will observe, listen, look, meditate upon and respond to the water, the environment and surroundings to gather sound recordings, video, text and voice to create a new at-distance collaborative audio-visual work.
The 6 works will be launched and hosted on the British Music Collection online and shared via their social channels and newsletters over the coming months. Full details to follow.
Drummer Matthew Lovett and I made a distanced project during 2019 – Grass Sends Out Runners. Made via file swapping and recording improvised responses to each other’s sounds. I’m really happy to be able to release it now – we can still create when we’re not near each other.
As the Covid 19 situation in the UK worsens, all live performances in my diary have been cancelled. It is a worrying time for everyone, and the creative community has been thrown into truly uncharted territory. Many friends and colleagues are without work. If you’re able to, please consider making a donation to the wonderful Help Musicians UK, who provide Health and Wellbeing support to musicians.
Please also consider buying the music you value – direct from artists via platforms such as Bandcamp – it’s the best way to make sure the artists get the most income. Bandcamp is waiving their revenue share on sales this Friday, March 20 (from midnight to midnight Pacific Time), and rallying the Bandcamp community to put much needed money directly into artists’ pockets. There are many people whose incomes are precarious at this time, but please help if you can.
The following are links to recent musical projects of mine, but please explore the wonderful independent artists out there! I am so looking forward to being able to make music with those I love again soon, and to share it with people. There are plans to start streaming gigs online, free wherever possible. I’ll post links and instructions as soon as they’re available. Please note also that I am continuing to teach students at this time, and online lessons are available. If you would like to discuss this option, please just contact me.
It’s been an incredibly busy time with gigs recently, but I’ve also been making strides with my project for the CANOPY Network, who are based in the Forest of Dean. I’ve been exploring caves with GSS (Gloucester Speleological Society) who have kindly taken me under their wings.
So far I’ve visited Wigpool Mine and Miss Grace’s Lane cave. It’s been an incredible challenge but I have captured some astonishing sounds and stories. I have more cave trips planned, and I’m gearing up towards the final project, where I’ll make a soundscape to be placed into a phone box.
My solo songs project, Tisla, has had a lovely review in the Quietus…
all-too-human electronic songcraft: hermetic and inscrutable but with much that beguiles
Read the full thing here. Live shows to follow!
Tisla is my solo songs project. There is a new EP available now – My Mind, In a Line. Listen below, and buy a digital download.
To buy a physical cassette tape, head to Cardboard Club.
I have been selected as a commissioned artist for CANOPY to produce new work for an exciting project focusing on phone boxes in the Forest of Dean area. There will be eight artists of varying disciplines involved. The project is supported by West Dean Parish Council and Arts Council England.
More details to follow soon!
I have been invited to join the wonderful Viridian Ensemble as a core member…
They are: ‘An ethereal blend of image, voice, cello, flute and double bass which re-imagines folkloric forms and tropes of femininity. Improvisation of both sound and image (digital & analogue) produce a dialogic blend of textural depths. Dissociative states, keening, and the supernatural inspirit the ensemble; each performance evokes utterances, nonsensical languages, and trans species forms of communication through collective rhythm, tone and resonance’.
Supported by the PRS Foundation, Viridian are playing a range of tour dates in Autumn / Winter 2019. See the Gigs / Events page for details.
Harpoon’s new album, Permission Fist, is now fully launched and available to buy, here.
We had a wonderful review of the album, featured in the Quietus: “There are a metric tonne of producers out there reshaping techno with scalpels and microscopes: Harpoon are doing it with lump hammers and hard hats. Intense/immense”. Read the full review here.
I performed with the wonderful Viridian for a show on Noods Radio – a Bokeh Versions takeover. The live show is now available to listen to online:
Harpoon’s new album, Permission Fist, is soon to be released via Aphelion Editions! We’re having a launch party on 16 May at the Trap in Bristol (under the Crown on All Saints Lane). See the Gigs / Events page for full details.
You can pre-order the album online now, here: https://aphelioneditions.bandcamp.com/album/permission-fist.
I made the artwork for the album – it’ll be available as both CD and cassette tape (along with digital download):
I played as a guest with the wonderful Viridian in October last year, and you can now listen to excerpts of that evening’s performance:
Edited mix of live session 26th Oct 2018 at Brunswick Club, Bristol.
Playing: Tina Hitchens – Flute, Jo Kelly – Double bass, Dali De St Paul – Vocals, Waterphone – Laura Phillips.
Sound Engineering- Alan from Ambersounds
Sound master mix – Bill Cargill
It has been a busy few months of gigs, but in time for the solstice, there’s a new Tisla song up:
Things have been a little quiet with gigs / events recently, but I’m taking time to write music / explore improvisation projects. More activity is soon to follow!
In the meantime, I have released an EP of improvised music, performed on various flutes:
New Tisla songs are also up:
Halftone’s new record ‘ Live at Long Ashton Church’ is now available:
Improvising quartet Halftone have had a quieter year this year – members have been appearing all over the UK and beyond in many other guises. But, we’ve nearly finished our first record! Excited to be releasing it soon – watch this space…
As part of the Future Perfect public art programme in Bristol, I have been asked to write songs for various community groups as part of Freya Gabie’s Grafted Chorus at Hengrove and Whitchurch Community Orchard. I am creating bespoke songs that the groups will come together to perform at this special summer event. Starting from The Orchard, each group will begin their own song as the previous one ends – a song grafted, like a fruit tree, onto the last. And so on, with performers branching out beyond Whitchurch Green. The final performance will be Saturday 1 July, 14:00.
A work in progress showing is taking place at Spike Island Arts Centre on Sunday 30th April, 14:00. I have composed a song based on writer Holly Corfield Carr’s ‘Hengrove Wassail’, which will be performed by four vocalists.
The improvising quartet I play with – Halftone – have been recording! We spent some time at the beautiful All Saints Church in Long Ashton, Bristol. Further news to follow soon.
I have begun playing / writing in a new group – Hokkett – with violinist Yvonna Magada and saxophonist Helen Papaioannou. Hokket play ‘skronky / wonky riffs, snippets of melodies and hints of harmonies, woven together through improvisation’. More information to follow!
This improvised drum machines duo with Aron Ward – Harpoon – have released a live recording. Recorded on Saturday, October 22nd 2016 at The Firefly for Suprise Attacks in Worcester.
Improvising quartet Tina is flautist with – Halftone – are appearing with the legendary Les Diaboliques – Scottish vocalist Maggie Nicols, French bassist Joëlle Léandre and Swiss pianist Irène Schweizer.
Since the late 1970s, Les Diaboliques have been at the Vanguard of feminist engagement with free improvisation. Schweizer and Nicols were members of the iconic Feminist Improvising Group (FIG) and performed with Léandre in the European Womens Improvising Group. They formed Les Diaboliques in 1990. Nicols, Léandre and Schweizer have collaborated with many of the leading figures in free improvisation including Pauline Oliveros, John Stevens, Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, Anthony Braxton and Phil Minton.
There is also a unique opportunity to hear the artists talk about the history of feminist free improvisation and its ongoing evolution as part of this event. This is free with the evening performance and more details can be found here.
20th November, Arnolfini, Narrow Quay, Bristol, 7:30pm, £14 / £12.50 concessions. Tickets.
The improvising duo with Aron Ward – Harpoon – has a new release available via Amicable Records.
You can also buy the lovely physical CD via Amicable’s Bandcamp site too.