Leila Bordreuil is a Brooklyn-based cellist, composer and sound-artist from France. She accesses concepts as diverse as Noise, contemporary classical, free jazz, and experimental traditions but adheres to none of them. Her music mixes deep melancholia with harsh noise-walls at ear-bleeding levels, and was described by the New York Times as “steadily scathing music, favoring long and corrosive atonalities”. At EMS Leila Bordreuil is collaborating with Stockholm-based composer Kali Malone on a new piece for
Sound of Stockholm to be presented on November 23rd at Slaktkyrkan.
Despite their transatlantic locations, Leila Bordreuil and Kali Malone have been working together in ensemble formats for the past two years. At Sound of Stockholm, they will be performing as a duo for the first time ever - Kali on electronics and modular synthesizer, Leila on cello and electronics. Using microtonal tunings and a multitude of amplifiers in a multichannel configuration to achieve rich textures and psychoacoustic effects, they created a new piece specifically for the festival, which they will develop Elektronmusikstudion EMS in Stockholm.
Driven by a fierce interest in pure sound and inherent texture, Leila challenges conventional cello practice through extreme extended techniques and unorthodox amplification methods, to the extent she sometimes seems to be playing the P.A system rather than the cello. Her compositions frequently incorporate sound-spatialization by way of site-specific pieces and multichannel installations, and focus on neurological perception and our physiological relationship to sound and space. She creates psycho-acoustic effects through the manipulation of specific frequencies, amplitude levels, and careful speaker placement to provoke altered cognitive states.
Leila is also a dedicated improviser and “rising figure in New York’s improvised music scene” (The Chicago Reader), having performed with a wide variety of artists such as Marina Rosenfeld, Zeena Parkins, Thurston Moore, Toshimaru Nakamura, Kim Gordon, Eli Kezsler, Chris Corsano, Nate Wooley, Lee Ranaldo, and C. Spencer Yeh to name a few. Her collaborative projects are notoriously numerous and diverse, and include duos with Bill Nace (Body/Head), Japanoise artist Tamio Shiraishi (Fushitutsa), techno producer Bookworms, bassist Zach Rowden, sound-artist Julia Santoli, and a freely improvised trio with Sean Ali and Joanna Mattrey.
Venues who've showcased her work include The Whitney Museum, MoMA PS1, Lincoln Center, Cafe Oto (London), Le Guess Who? (Utrecht), Edition Festival (Stockholm), KAII Theater (Brussels), All Ears Festival (Oslo), Control Club (Bucharest), Ausland (Berlin), Ftarri (Tokyo) and countless basements across the USA.
She is a 2020 artist-in-residence at the GRM, Paris and Exploring the Metropolis, NY. In 2018, she received composer commissions
from the French Embassy, The Kitchen (New York), LAMPO (Chicago), The French Alliance and Issue Project Room (New York).
She was a Composition fellow at the McDowell Colony (2017) and and artist-in-residence at Issue Project Room (2016).
In 2019, Leila released Headflush, her debut solo LP on Catchwave LTD, along with collaborative releases with Joanna Mattrey
and Sean Ali on Astral Spirits. 2020 releases include Bird Meets Wire with Susan Alcorn and Ingrid Laubrock on Relative Pitch,
and liil with Julia Santoli on PTP.