Recipient of both the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Composition prize in 2014 and the British Composer Award in 2016, Oliver Leith has been turning heads in the industry for several years now. Both an accomplished acoustic and electronic composer, his works have been performed by the London Sinfonietta, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Ives Ensemble, Mimitabu and The London Symphony Orchestra among many others. He also spent a period of time as the composer in residence for the Royal Opera House. His work is unpredictable, exciting and enthralling, with moments of minute detail giving way to bold sonic spasms. We were thrilled to be able to add his name to our growing list of friends and collaborators when, in September 2020, we worked together on his record, ‘Medusa’.
‘Medusa’ is an aural document of the work undertaken by Leith in 2017, in collaboration with Australian artist Michelle Ussher for the Exhibition ‘Medusa’s Room’. The work, which displayed at both Station gallery in Melbourne and the Art Gallery of Western Australia, combined the mediums of ceramic, oil paint, crochet and sound to communicate a contemporary interpretation of the Medusa legend. Using phallic, ceramic ocarinas hand crafted by Ussher and some simple shakers, Leith delicately created an emotive and expressive sonic encounter. The work is quiet and precise, slowly morphing through ever increasing layers of abstraction from the droning opener, ‘Manicure’, to the fidgeting and meticulous ‘Stone Men’.