area: Composition / Media Art
nationalityUSA, Great Britain
areaComposition / Media Art
time periodMarch 2013 - March 2013
Ebe Oke is a multifaceted artist who chose music, sound and performance as his predominant language to invite us into his very own realm of otherworldly beauty.
Born in the deep American south of Georgia, Oke has made London his residence of choice from where he crafts compositions that combine sonic remnants of his rural upbringing with tropes of the musical avant-garde of the twentieth century through solid songwriting, which provides the perfect vehicle for his extraordinary quality as a vocalist.
After receiving a development deal through Rough Trade Records, which led him to collaborate and record with Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music, Oke was invited to study composition with legendary composer Karlheinz Stockhausen in Germany.
His recent compositions are complex in nature and yet universally accessible. His unusual instrumentation, which currently blend classical instruments with instruments of diverse cultural origins the world over and processed field recordings of birdsong and nature sounds form a well measured backdrop to his lyrical songmanship, which is delivered with an unshakeable clarity through his unforgettable androgynous voice. He pens musical pieces that remain raw and are simultaneously refined to a point, which gives them a quality of timelessness. His contemporary musical and lyrical poetry opens up a world of mysticism that leaves us with a rare spiritual listening experience. His music and his performances are haunting in the best sense.
Fresh out of the studio after finishing the recording of his latest album Valor, he has just started to perform this collection of deeply moving songs to live audiences. After seeing one of Ebe’s shows at Café Oto in London, Brian Eno invited him into the studio to collaborate on music, which they performed together at a recent Stop The War Coalition event.
Ebe Oke is currently performing with an electro-acoustic ensemble in which he plays the piano and sings. His enchanting live shows are of a rare engaging beauty, always new and surprising through changing improvised passages and multimedia elements. He regularly collaborates as a composer, dancer and performer with a collective of artists, ranging from his longterm collaborator and cellist David Barbenel to filmmaker Fritz Stolberg, performance artist Nissa Nishikawa and multidisciplinary artists Matthew Stone and Socrates Mitsios.