VÄLVĒ [album Launch]

Servants Jazz Quarters, London

To celebrate the release of their second LP, ‘Tiny Pilots’ on Slowfoot Records coming out on Nov 17th 2023, VÄLVĒ will be touring with an expanded band, adding Craig Fortnam (NSRO, Arch Garrison) on Phillichorda and guitars and Frank Byng (Snorkel, This Is Not This Heat) on drums/percussion.

What is VÄLVĒ? Folk lullabies re-imagined by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Found-sound collages interrupted by Welsh language orations and sudden outbursts of fuzz bass. Gleaming synthpop workouts that collapse into swirling dreamscapes of sax and harp. Tiny sounds opening out onto the epic. Hi-tech and no-tech, deployed with equal measures of discipline and abandon. Carefully sculpted disorder. Uncanny geometries of noise and melody. Dizzy and gleeful and drawn in notebooks. That is VÄLVĒ.

VÄLVĒ started out as the outlet for composer/performer Chlöe Herington’s compositional work using text and image as the starting point for scores. She collects sounds and diagrams, composing predominantly for bassoon, saxes, electronics and found sounds to explore synaesthetic memory and collective experience.

The band morphed - from what originated as a solo project, performing mainly in art galleries, it grew to include Elen Evans on harp. After moving from galleries back into music venues, they were been joined by Chlöe's Chrome Hoof comrade, Emma Sullivan on bass, microkorg and vocals. Live, the music traverses the realms of noise and improv into songs, punctuated with found sounds and eases into spacey soundscapes. They are currently performing in solo and duo (with Emma) form with the occasional guest performer.

“These sounds aren't designed to sit on top of memories or prop them up but rather they are precisely shaped to weave through the mind like blood through a capillary.” – The Quietus

“…Reich for reception classes…” – The Sunday Experience

“If Brian Eno invented a time machine and took Steve Reich on a tour of 17th century olde England and recorded their trip on a handheld radio, this would be the result. And yes, that is a good thing.” – Brighton Source

“The performance is mesmeric and improvisational, ranging from Aphex Twin abstractions to childlike songs with arresting lyrics, in the vein of Brian Eno’s vocal works” – Prog

“{da}FEM is the most spectral of the pieces, its translucent drones and ominous background chatter recalling Kristen Gallerneaux’s Strung Figures or the Folklore Tapes collection Calendular Customes. However, with the muscular bass and angular shards of clatter and clang that are sprinkled around the edges, this is a more brutish type of mysticism, as though the trio are attempting to crack open the concealed mystery of Klint’s pieces with something for muscular and dense” – The Wire

“Absolutely beautiful.” – John Doran, The Quietus


Ursa Major Moving Group is the debut project of multi-instrumentalist, composer and writer Ursula Russell. Her debut album is an intense and dynamic musical journal of a process of individuation, wherein songs are offered as myths for a new world filled with eros. Tracing a constellation of various entangled characters as they perpetually transform and seek to integrate separate parts of self within the context of an increasingly mechanised society, Ursula's stories are a celebration of sensitivity as a vital technology for self-governance. On-stage, these stories are animated with a percussive approach to playing. Ursula accompanies her voice with electric guitar and is joined by drummer and producer Ann Bukla for their all-new Ursa Major Moving Group duo performance.