Saxophonist Trish Clowes & cellist Louise McMonagle have been making music together for over 15 years, whether appearing as a duo, playing in Clowes’s band and her Emulsion festival, or recording for BBC Radio 3 studio sessions. Each musician has built a reputation for delivering powerful performances, premiering and commissioning new works, and forging alternative paths on the London contemporary music scene. A duo album is on the horizon, presenting a collection of collaborative compositions and improvisations, exploring texture, mood, and melody – think Wayne Shorter meets Kronos Quartet.
“Why do we not hear more of the cello and sax as a duo? Their sound-worlds, as shown by these two musicians, belong together. This is a warm, playful, exquisite partnership which has the perfection of Bach and the physicality of dance. It’s inquisitive, reaching out into every possibility the instruments have at their disposal, while making the listener believe we’ve known this all along. An intimate space, a vast cathedral, the open air, a frozen lake, a beach – this is music and a musical partnership which works in every imaginable setting, in the company of two compelling musicians.”
– Fiona Talkington, BBC Radio 3 presenter
Photography by Will Darkin
A Scottish cellist based in London, Louise McMonagle is a versatile performer who enjoys making music in many environments. Her playing has been described as “especially vivid, with its powerful combination of precision and intensity” (Jonathan Russell, Bachtrack). Career highlights include winning the Ernst Von Siemens Ensemble prize (2020, as a member of the innovative Riot Ensemble), performing at Wigmore Hall (London), playing as soloist in Boulez Messagesquisse at the VIVA Cello Festival (Switzerland), and recording Berio Sequenza XIV with Four Ten Media.
Saxophonist and composer Trish Clowes has been described as “an improviser to be reckoned with” (Downbeat Magazine) and “one of the most agile and original jugglers of improv and adventurous composition to have appeared in the UK in recent times” (The Guardian). Lauded for her imaginative approach to improvisation and composition, Clowes is currently an Associate Artist at Wigmore Hall and has released seven critically acclaimed albums.