COMMISSIONED: Jo Quail performs The Cartographer

Originally announced for Roadburn 2020, we’re delighted to – finally – be presenting Jo Quail’s The Cartographer, one of Roadburn 2022’s commissioned projects. The long wait to see this original composition brought to life on a Roadburn stage hasn’t dulled our enthusiasm for seeing it come to fruition. It feels like a lifetime ago when we approached her, having been enthralled by her guest spots with At The Gates, MONO and Myrkur at Roadburn 2019, but the day is drawing nearer! 

Jo will join forces with Rotterdam’s highly regarded New Trombone Collective – a group of trombonists who pride themselves on innovation, creativity and collaboration – to work towards communicating specific feelings through their combined output. Five interlinking sections of music will be performed, each one a missive of intent. We can expect much of the tension and release, the big builds, and the emotional crescendos often found in post metal, performed on classical instruments. The musicians will also employ compositional effects that create the aural illusion of delay and reverb, tools not often employed in more traditional classical compositions or performances. 

Jo told us: “I cannot wait to perform the Cartographer live, with an audience, for the first time.  It has been a long wait but it feels appropriate that Roadburn takes place in the Spring because birth and new life is a good metaphor for composing new pieces.  This ‘birth’ was not straightforward, obviously due to covid, but having the extra time to sit with this creation has really allowed me to deepen my connection with it and it has been able to grow beyond how it might have sounded in 2020.”

“We managed to gather to record – which was an international mission! – in between two lockdowns and that was a very special experience.  This was really like working with my dream supergroup and I love working with musicians who bring so much creativity – I know that they will take a line of music I’ve written and make it something that represents both of us.”

“So April 2022 – on stage at Roadburn with 16 amazingly talented musicians, where we will release The Cartographer in its final form will be hugely moving for me, for us as an ensemble, and a triumphant celebration.”

Whatever you think this may sound like – we encourage you to leave your preconceptions at the door; this has all the indicators of a mind-bending, immersive Roadburn experience – we can spot them a mile off; we’ve seen a few.

-Becky Laverty

Photo © Nick Hodgeson 

Date: April 23

Time: TBA

Stage: TBA