Last Show: Mademoiselle + The Seen – Friday 20th October – Francis Close Hall Chapel



Pianist Belle Chen collaborates with dancer Anastasia Kostner and VJ Maarten van der Glas in cinematic and immersive improvised segments, where the piano and the classical idiom is also transformed through multitrack, electronica, and extended techniques.

“Original and provocative” – Brian Eno (NOISE 2014)

“A revelation” – Max Reinhardt, BBC 3 Late Junction (Latitude Festival 2016)

Handpicked by Brian Eno as the one to watch, Australian-Taiwanese pianist Belle Chen has distinguished herself with her unique recorded works and live performances that are unbound by tradition- often mixing classical music repertoire with recorded soundscapes. Her creativity was celebrated through winning the classical music category of 2015 London Music Awards, as voted by a luminous panel from the UK music industry.

Belle’s unique and versatile creativity as a performer has seen her grace the stages of several major UK festivals and key venues ranging from BBC Radio 3 70th Anniversary at Royal Festival Hall, 2016 Latitude Festival, The Roundhouse to Café Oto. Her work was selected by BBC Radio 3 as one of top 4 best new music by BBC Introducing Classical Artist in the year of 2016.

Belle’s latest album Mademoiselle (2017) is a cinematic capture of Paris through the eyes of someone experiencing “saudade” – a deep emotional state of missing someone with a repressed knowledge that the person will never return. This work advances her previous musical style through further incorporation of electronica, multi-track, and paraphrasing of classical piano music.


The Seen

Seth Cooke (steel sink, resonance & feedback)
Matt Davis (trumpet)
Dominic Lash (double bass)
Mark Sanders (percussion)
Matthew Lovett (text)
Mark Wastell (tam tam & harmonium)

Mark Wastell has been organising larger formations of musicians, collectively known as The Seen, since the early 2000’s. Using predominantly improvised material with occasional instructions or themes distributed to individual musicians just prior to performance. No formation has ever been repeated, THE SEEN never stays static.

Register of previous participants include Tetuzi Akiyama, Mattin, Michael Duch, Graham Halliwell, Andrea Neumann, Rhodri Davies, Paul Hood, Takehiro Nishide, Annette Krebs, Lee Gamble, Matt Davis, Joe Williamson, Wolfgang Fuchs, Burkhard Beins, Tomas Korber, Paul Abbott, Ben Owen, Jonathan McHugh, Jane Dickson, Olie Brice, Dimitra Lazaridou-Chatzigoga, Bertrand Denzler, Angharad Davies, David Toop, Chris Burn, Richard Sanderson, Dominic Lash, John Butcher and Jason Kahn.

“With The Seen, everything is up for grabs. Even the act of listening – so sacrosanct in the word of improvisation – becomes problematized, for in such a tapestry of sound and silence how can one process what’s happening at any one moment? Yet this impossibility of total response provides opportunities to form clusters within the whole, that break apart and reform in different configurations as things develop. For listeners, too, there are possibilities for moments of both detailed focus and wider-scale immersion” – Paul Margree

Doors at 8pm

Ticket price £7 and £3 students. Email to reserve tickets.

Francis Close Hall, University of Gloucestershire. Swindon Rd Cheltenham GL50 4AZ


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