dreamy-voiced misty melodies from a collector of instruments and weaver of songs
A compelling live performer who appears to be permanently on-tour, the music of multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and composer Bell Lungs encompasses influences from free improvisation, psychedelia, jazz, noise, drone, ambient and folk to create a nuanced sound world that draws on natural cycles, environmental disaster and the microcosmic aspects of relationships.
Her kaleidoscopic vocals were deemed “elemental” by cult arts critic David Keenan of The Wire, and her music described as “genius…or as pretty damned close to that elusive quality that you can get without having yet passed the test of time…” by Terrascope.
She has appeared on BBC Radio 6 (Stuart Maconie’s Freakzone, 2018), BBC Radio 3 (Late Junction, 2017) and BBC Radio 4 (“Master Rock”, 2015), and performed at Supernormal (2019), Copenhagen Jazz Festival (2019), Camp Elsewhere (2019), Doune the Rabbit Hole (2019), Manchester Folk Horror Festival (2019), Fort Process (2018), Swansea International Festival (2018) and Edinburgh Art Festival (2017).
“Wolves Behind Us” (8” lathe cut) came out in February 2019. Previous physical output includes “Phosphodendrophobia” (cassette tape, September 2018) and “Mosul Dam” (lathe cut, March 2017). A new LP is slated for release in March 2020. Previously unreleased tracks “Music for Jellyfish” and “Petiole Fragment” recently appeared in autumn 2019 on cassette compilations released in UK and Austria.
Bell Lungs also composes for theatre, spoken word and dance, working with the likes of German dance company Tatraum Projekte Schmidt (“KLAR. oder die performativ-poetische suche nach schrodingers katze” Edinburgh 2019 and “ERSTENS.) oder dimensionen der gemengelage”, Dusseldorf 2019), Edinburgh-based multicultural company Anahat Theatre (“Instructions on How to Cry”, Edinburgh International Science Festival 2019) , dancer Suzi Cunningham (“Find and Seek”, part of UNKENNY, place+platform/Edinburgh Art Festival 2019), poet Katy Hastie (“Frost Pocket”, part of Victoria Crowe: 50 Years of Painting, ARTLATE/Edinburgh Art Festival 2019) and performance artist Bobby Sayers (“The Faceless Enemy of Me, Sits in the Squares”, Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art 2018).
A passionate community musician who has worked for a number of music charities, art galleries and youth projects, Bell Lungs is also available to facilitate workshops on free improvisation, songwriting and analogue music technology.
Bell Lungs plays acoustic violin, assorted sound-makers and vocalises in Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, and recently toured as violinist in San Francisco psychedelic band Dire Wolves on their autumn 2019 tour, including Festival of Endless Gratitude in Copenhagen.
“…her vocal delivery steps between ornamental trad-folk crenellations, feathery ambient warbles and horrific screams. You can never quite tell whether she’s going to lull you or scare you, but you know she cares about what she’s ferrying across to you.” – Misfit City, February 2019
“…vocal harmonies scattering a dreamlike layer over a built soundscape of darker sounds, weaving many different elements into her tracks”The Fountain, 21/5/18
“Built around round the dreamy swirl of the Omnichord (a cult 1980s electronic instrument), ‘Omnidrone’ is a deeply lovely drift through the cosmos, with Hay layering shooting star vocal loops and electronic twinkles over a slowly phasing drone. Halfway through, she adds vaulting vocal incantations, bringing an urgency and focus that steers the track into the beyond.”The List, 8/11/18