Olivia Moore is one of the UK’s most innovative and creative violinists. She works across a broad spectrum of genres, dedicating herself primarily to jazz and classical Indian music, while also drawing influence from other sources such as flamenco, gypsy and folk.
After giving her first performance at the age of four, she spent her childhood and teen years mastering classical music before going on to explore the art of improvisation. She graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music in 1999; B.Mus (Hons) in Academic Studies (2.1). However, at 21, inspired by a jazz summer school at the Guildhall School of music, she discovered the art of improvisation. This propelled her into a postgraduate diploma at Leeds College of Music (Distinction in 2002). At Leeds, her curiosity drew her to many different styles of music.
After graduation she spent two years performing with the Indian fusion band Savateen, playing their own original works. Highlights were the Brno Street festival in the Czech Republic and at the Millennium Park and Birla Temple, in Calcutta. In 2005, she decided to follow her dream by going to India to study with violin maestro Kala Ramnath, which became the first of many visits to the country. In her most recent visit she learnt how to perform a classical Indian recital of forty five minutes which includes Rag Bihag and Rag Manj Khamaj.
Olivia has played twice at Glastonbury festival with flamenco guitarist Nick Wilkinson as well as collaborating with Graham Clark, Seaming To, Kirsty Almeida, OdBod Collective.
The Owl Ensemble, comprising a string quartet and a jazz trio has been described as inventive, subverting classical traditions. They premiered at Manchester Jazz Festival in 2008 and are excited to be performing at Contact Theatre 20th July this year. They have most recently recorded an album, Owl, bringing their amazing fusion of the classical string quartet with the jazz trio. The result is an original collection of rhythmic and melodic tunes, integrating east and west. Take a taste here!
Her second band, Unfurl is an innovative quintet who collaborate, drawing from their diverse influences of Jazz, Indian and Arabic rhythms. They have appeared at Manchester, Marsden, Marlborough and Brecon Jazz Festivals. Unfurl’s compositions are inspired by nature and Buddhist ideals. Olivia is also currently working with Glenn Sharp’s Jadid Ensemble.
In January 2007, Olivia was awarded a research and development grant from The Arts Council England for a collaboration between her band Unfurl and a video artist. In 2009 she was commissioned by Manchester Jazz Festival and produced ‘Mask’, a collaboration between Unfurl and video artist Mark Cameron Minard. In 2009 Olivia was one of eight musicians in the country to be selected to be a participant of the Serious Take Five artist development scheme.
Classical Indian Music
She has performed internationally with tabla players Mukesh Jadhav from Pune, Kousic Sen from UK and has given solo recitals in the UK. From 2005–2009 she played with Tarang, the National South Asian Music Ensemble in venues such as The Bridgewater Hall and The Purcell Room. She has recently collaborated with bansuri player Lisa Mallett and sitarist Jonathan Meyer at the Shambala Festival in 2010. She also plays concerts with Razwan Sarwar and Mohinder Singh.
Olivia has always been interested in combining with other art forms. In 2006 she composed the soundtrack to a documentary film for Religious Education in schools, ‘Buddhist Pilgrimage: An Indian Spiritual Journey’ (The Clear Vision Trust).
A particular highlight of her career was working with LaMachine, 2008 commissioned by Liverpool European Capital of Culture, described by The Observer as, ‘the biggest, most spectacular piece of street theatre ever seen in the UK’. She also completed Mask, a multi-media collaboration at The Contact Theatre, as part of Manchester Jazz Festival in 2009 with moving image artist Mark Cameron Minard.
Olivia has recorded with producer Tony Remy for saxophonist Jean Toussaint’s album ‘Nazaire’ (Alltone 2000). She features on Kirsty Almeida’s ‘Pure Blue Green’ (Decca 2010), and Fiona Nehama Abrahami’s ‘Random Excess’ (MusicWomb 2009). Olivia released her own album ‘Amoghasiddhi’ in 2008. Her latest album Owl has been recorded with the Owl Ensemble.
Nourished by Indian and jazz traditions, but with an elegance that comes from her classical training, Olivia Moore’s violin has an Eastern tang that is genuinely entrancing— , 10th Nov 2008
As usual Moore’s compositions were exuberant and poignant affairs; each section of music acting like miniature vignettes. This is music that is intricate and yet capable of telling a universal story, what that story is, is probably very different to each listener, but it is this ability to conjure vivid imagery that makes it hugely accessible.— , The Sound of Now, June 29, 2010 http://thesoundofnow.wordpress.com/category/live-reviews/
her obvious joy in playing swells through her impassioned but restrained violin and offers her audience both an emotional and a cerebral fulfilment.— , BBC Manchester 12th Nov 2008