Anna Meredith is a name that has been floating in my consciousness for many years. When I once circled various UK contemporary music festivals, classical publications and ensembles with my shaky dream of becoming a composer, I was very aware of some of my female contemporaries, since there were (and still are) only a handful. Anna was one of them, along with Mica Levy AKA Micachu, Tansy Davies and my one-time colleague, Claudia Molitor who have all gone on to do great things.
News of Anna’s frequent world premieres, commissions, awards and praise filtered through to me via various contemporary music news streams. After a very long period of cutting myself off from that ‘world’ to focus on indulging my electronic and popular music sensibilities, I was extremely excited to encounter Anna’s work again, but on a very different plane. Just as I leapt with excitement at the brave new sound of Micachu’s debut album Jewellery (Rough Trade, 2009), Anna’s Black Prince Fury EP (Moshi Moshi, October 2012) is a most welcome return to my otherwise distant classical past and it is a brilliant reminder that noteworthy, British female composers can enjoy freedom and success in the world of ‘popular’ music.
The tracks are screaming with life, brave ingenuity, humour and self-confidence and anyone who can shoehorn a world famous pop ballad (‘The Power of Love’), a bicycle horn and 80’s stadium rock beats into nightmare-laden contemporary experimentalism and STILL manage not to elude popular music press is a rare genius in my book.
Cue a high-profile collaboration with Bjork in 2013…