Press

Alexander Hawkins/Elaine Mitchener Quartet captivate at Kings Place

Kevin Le Gendre

“Rhythmic turbulence, focussed harmonic distortion and dynamic interplay all bear down on Uproot but Hawkins and Mitchener also understand that the so-called avant-garde is nothing if not melodic and that beauty can occur when serenity dovetails ferocity.”

Alexander Hawkins – Elaine Mitchener Quartet – Uproot album launch at Kings Place

Dan Bergsagel

“Flipping between moments of clean organisation, swallowed sounds and run together fingers; UpRoot is composed as an epic struggle; a constant tension between clutter and clarity, wrought with emotion. Yet another unique feather in the cap of the diverse careers of Mitchener and Hawkins.”

New Intimacy III at Ambika P3

Anna Picard

“The vocalist Elaine Mitchener, the poet Dante Micheaux, the saxophonist Jason Yarde, the trumpeter and flautist Byron Wallen, the pianist Robert Mitchell, the drummer Mark Sanders and the bassist Neil Charles delivered their set of Vocal Classics of the Black Avant-Garde with brilliance, discipline and daring; a body of work as substantial, poetic and exciting as Hans Werner Henze’s Voices.”

Concert Review – LSO St Luke’s

Rebecca Franks

“Bravest of all were the vocalist Elaine Mitchener and the double bassist Neil Charles (the Charles Mitchener duet), who launched into two exhilarating, mind-bogglingly freewheeling improvisations.”

Possessing Nothing: John Cage Song Books

Kings Place – London

Deborah Nash

“We are immersed in action and distraction from every direction – performers are behind us and in front. Dam chants an unintelligible mantra from the side; Mitchener bangs a typewriter; Brenda Mayo slaps pink goggles over her eyes and addresses us in French. At a certain point, the performers assume the majesty of archetypes: the messenger, the trickster, the home-maker, the wild card.”

Sonia Boyce: We Move In Her Way, review: A curious power play at work

Ben Luke

“Mitchener is a distinctive presence and interacts with her body and the remarkable sounds she produces: speech, soulful singing, breathless percussive bursts, skittering across octaves.”

In Search of Julius Eastman

Ivan Hewett

“The steely self-possession of the words, the remorseless repetitions of both text and music, and the spell-binding intensity of the performers, above all reciter Elaine Mitchener, made for something both enthralling and moving.”

Apartment House

Anna Picard

“(…) Rzewski’s Coming Together (1971) opened the concert, ignited by the flame of Elaine Mitchener’s voice as she hissed and crooned and preached the words of Sam Melville, who died in the 1971 Attica prison riot. Ferociously expressive in voice and body, alert to the irony and beauty and misery of the text, Mitchener drove a thrilling performance by Apartment House, the pounding piano ostinato unflagging.”

Alexander Hawkins / Elaine Mitchener Quartet

Rob Harford

“It might have been their debut performance as a quartet, but the wealth and depth of individual talent shone through. Hopefully we won’t have to wait “all of [our lives]” for another gig. Sublime stuff.”