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|Born||1958 (age 62–63)|
|Genres||folk-rock, poetry-guitar, classical|
|Labels||Utility, Oporto Records, Tuition, Evensong, Generous|
|Associated acts||The Blue Aeroplanes, Winnebago Orchestra, Mirabeau, Koral Society|
Caroline Trettine (born 1958) is an English musician.
Caroline Trettine was born in London and spent the early years of her life in Nigeria. She began composing songs seriously while still at school. After gaining a degree in English at Bristol University, she joined a folk-rock band and was discovered by Gerard Langley in 1983 who invited her to join The Blue Aeroplanes.
Caroline Trettine sang and played guitar with The Blue Aeroplanes who comprised at that time: Gerard Langley, Nick Jacobs (Exploding Seagulls), John Langley (Strangelove), Angelo Bruschini (Massive Attack) and David Chapman. She then left the Aeroplanes to pursue a solo career in London. Securing a contract with Billy Bragg and Pete Jenner's Utility label, she recorded the Be A Devil album in 1990 at the Cathouse studios of Grant Showbiz (producer of Billy Bragg, The Smiths and The Fall). Successful tours with Bragg and Christy Moore, and appearances on regional and national BBC radio were met with critical acclaim. 'Like [Sandy] Denny, Trettine hovers over great melancholy with an almost detached air that only cuts closer to the quick. To be worthy of such a comparison this early on is no mean feat.' In the intervening years Trettine continued to record material, experimenting with different styles and working with a range of collaborators. Though an acoustic artist, she worked closely with hip hop in the early 1990s. In 2001, she released her second album, Ten Light Years. It was recorded and produced by Richard Bell (The Blue Aeroplanes) at the label Evensong's studio. The main musicians on the album were multi-instrumentalist Ian Kearey (Oyster Band, and The Blue Aeroplanes); bass player David Chapman and guitarist Nick Jacobs (both ex Blue Aeroplanes); her father Laurence Halcrow on concertina; and her brother Ian Halcrow on vocals; plus featured producer – Gerard Langley (The Blue Aeroplanes).
In 2005, Trettine released her third album, Trail in the sky on Oporto Records run by Spencer Roberts. Caroline was then invited by Spencer Roberts to join The Winnebago Orchestra with whom she made two albums – Fifteen and Born in the sun – on the German label, Tuition (Schott International), in 2006 and 2008. At the same time, she started up her own poetry band Mirabeau with Richard Price (a novelist and poet) and Ian Kearey. They played two introductory gigs at the Edinburgh Festival and The Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, before releasing their first album Golden Key in May 2011. Their follow-up Age of Exploration was launched at the Ritzy Upstairs in summer 2015.
Since 2004 Caroline has written a number of solo chamber musicals, two of which – The Silver machine, Learning to walk – she performed at the London fringe theatre, The Rosemary Branch, in 2007 and 2009. Trettine has also begun writing classical pieces: a string quartet – My mother's war – in 2010; a guitar quartet – The Love bridge, 2011; and a violin/cello concerto – Conversations with Ian, 2012.
In December 2011 she released her album – Tears – which comprised 'sudden sonnets', rap-blues pieces and her guitar/bass/drum arrangements of poetry by Lorca. This was followed in 2014 by Gay demo: field recordings of the audio underground in which she encapsulates her experiences of the lesbian and gay community.
In 2015, Trettine formed the band Koral Society in which she combines talents with the double bass player and composer, Alison Rayner, and the Guinean Griot composer, kora player and multi-instrumentalist, Mosi Conde. Their soon to be released album Waters wide has already been played on BBC Radio 6 and met with critical acclaim: ‘wistfully sweet...excellent’ (Gideon Coe, BBC Radio 6 Music) and ‘wonderful and really lovely’ (Peter Culshaw, The Arts Desk).
- Be a Devil, Utility, 1990
- Ten Light Years, Evensong, 2000
- Trail in the Sky, Oporto, 2006
- Fifteen, The Winnebago Orchestra, Tuition, 2006
- Born in the sun, The Winnebago Orchestra, Tuition, 2008
- Golden Key, Mirabeau, Generous, 2011
- Tears, Generous, 2011
- Gay demo: field recordings from the audio underground, Generous, 2014
- Age of exploration, Mirabeau, Generous, 2015