Bishnu Priya

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Bishi, born Bishnu Priya is a British singer, musician and DJ. She is a London-based multi-instrumentalist strongly influenced by annual visits to the Ravi Shankar School in Delhi.[1] Bishi was first recognised in 2001 as the central DJ & 'face' of London's experimental underground nightclub - Kash Point[2]

History[edit]

Born in London to a Bengali family, Musician/Artist/Performer Bishi Bishi was classically trained in the piano & received voice training in both Hindustani & Western Classical styles. Her mother Susmita Bhattacharya, is an acclaimed Bishi also received training in the Sitar under Gaurav Mazumdar, a senior disciple of Ravi Shankar. Her musical influences also include English folk and disco.[1] Bishi's panoramic exploration of vocal music reached as far as singing with The London Bulgarian Choir & ancient English folk music to exploring the extended techniques of Meredith Monk.

Bishi began her musical career in The Sound Storm - an improvised electro acoustic performance art troupe led by London night club legend Matthew Glamorre and his longtime collaborator Richard Torry.[3] Whilst in her teens, she inaugurated. various cult London nightclubs such as 'The Siren Suite,' & 'Kashpoint' as a resident DJ, with creative partner Matthew Hardern. The pair have so far, released two albums in collaboration; 'Nights at The Circus,' and 'Albion Voice.'

Bishi is characterised by her glamorous and extravagant stage appearance. Her commissions & live stage collaborations have included The London Symphony Orchestra,[4] The English National Opera, The Brooklyn Youth Chorus,[5] The Whitechapel Gallery,[6] Joanna McGregor, Nico Muhly, Martin Carthy & Norma Waterson. Bishi appeared as a guest at the world premiere of 'Double Fantasy Live,' for Yoko Ono's Meltdown at the Royal Festival Hall (2013).[7]

Media appearances include the BBC's Culture Show and Friday Night with Jonathan Ross.[8] Recently she has attracted critical attention and been nominated for the 2008 South Bank Show Awards – the 'Times Breakthrough Award'.[9]

Her first album Nights at the Circus was described as "Falling somewhere between M.I.A. and Simon and Garfunkel via a stint at music college," with Bishi being hailed as a "a welcome breath of air." The album was performed in its entirety with the strings of The London Symphony Orchestra in June 2008 at LSO St Luke's. Also in 2008 she was asked to join a tour of the of English female singers 'The Daughters of Albion' alongside the likes of Norma Waterson and June Tabor. She has toured and collaborated with close friend Patrick Wolf and ex-Moloko singer Roisin Murphy. She appeared on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross on Friday 3 October, singing "Never Seen Your Face".[10][11]

In March 2009 Bishi (in collaboration with composer Neil Kaczor) was commissioned by The British Film Institute and Birds Eye View Festival to compose a score for the 1923 silent film Salome. The first live performance was rapturously received at the National Film Theater on London's South Bank.

Bishi's live performances explore interactive multimedia & film. 'Albion Voice,' was featured in Julien Temple's Film, 'London The Modern Babylon.' [12] ‘Dia Ti Maria’ – featuring The Kronos Quartet, won best soundtrack for the Manish Arora film, ‘Holi Holy’ at ASVOFF 6: A Shaded View on Fashion Film 6.[13] Bishi recently featured as a vocalist on Richard Grayson’s Video Installation , ‘Nothing can Stop us Now,’ which consisted of the song ‘Stalin wasn’t stallin,’ made famous by Robert Wyatt, arranged by composer, Leo Chadburn.[14]

She released her second album 'Albion Voice' digitally on 16 July 2012 via iTunes, which moves through many sounds and styles as diverse as punk, baroque, glam and medieval folk. Ideas of nationality, migration and patriotism in a shrinking world are explored taking her experiences as a British Asian as the starting point. The rich sounds and symbolism of Britain as a sovereign nation and ancient Isle provide recurring themes in both lyric and music.

ALBION VOICE (2012)

Albion Voice explores themes of Britain Ancient & Modern. Bishi sings in English, Bengali, Bulgarian & Biblical Greek to reflect The Babylonian nature of London and all the world cities today. The words of Chaucer, Milton & Mary Elizabeth Fry track the evolution of English from a medieval ‘mongrel tongue’ to the language of today. From Bulgarian throat singing to the experimental work of Meredith Monk; Christian choral music to the music of Rabindranath Tagore, this is an eclectic yet coherent work of style & grandeur.

The Kronos Quartet & John William’s String Players feature as special guests on the album. Tony Benn also created lyrics for & projection

The artwork references royal heraldry & commemorative ceramics, Bishi appears as The Queen, Britannia & St George with elements of Indian Symbolism worked through the images – the lion has been replaced with the Royal Bengal Tiger & the Tudor Rose has been replaced by The Sacred Lotus.

The album performed as a one woman 70 minute show, ‘Albion Voice Live,’ was conceived & directed by Matthew Hardern and produced by Bishi & Matthew Hardern. The show has been so far performed at the BFI Southbank, KOKO, The Kitchen NYC & The SPILL Festival.

AUDIO VISUAL INTERACTIVE PERFORMANCES

‘Call of The Tiger,’ a collaboration of Interactive technologies & performance was commissioned by The Whitechapel Gallery for their Art Plus Music benefit.

With artistic partners Matthew Hardern & Neil Kaczor, ‘Call of The Tiger,’ was a collaboration with Interactive Visual Artist, Oscar Sol. The Piece was a homage to The Hindu Goddess Kali, in which Bishi controlled all the sound & visuals via sensors placed on a Ultra Violet catsuit.

Performance work with Projections & Projection mapping a prime feature, was premiered on Nick Knight’s ‘Showstudio,’ website, entitled ‘The Power of Projection.’

Discography[edit]

Albums
EPs
  • Take Off (2003)
  • BitPop (2005)
  • Brainlove 7" Club No. 4 (2007)
Singles
  • "Never Seen Your Face" (2007)
  • "On My Own Again" (2008)
  • "One Nation (Under CCTV)" (2009)
  • "Dia Ti Maria" (2011)
  • "Albion Voice" (2012)

References[edit]

External links[edit]