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Dominie Hooper is a singer, multi-instrumentalist and composer from Dartmoor, Devon. Now based in London, she is a founding member of international folk ensemble Band Of Burns. With two albums and five tours under their belts, the band has gigged in such venues as The Union Chapel London, St George’s Hall Bristol, Barrowland Ballroom Glasgow, Band On The Wall Manchester, two appearances at Celtic Connections Festival, and Shrewsbury Folk Festival 2020 (cancelled due to Covid-19). The band has had multiple radio spins across the UK, including BBC Radio 2’s Folk Show, and performed live sessions on Radio Scotland and Radio 3. Dominie has a track record for collaboration, having worked with Yola, Ríoghnach Connolly, Mikey Kenney, Alabaster Deplume, and a whole host of other characters along the way. Aside from live and recorded music, Dominie has explored crossovers between music and theatrical performance. She graduated from Circomedia having trained in physical theatre under Bim Mason in 2012, and has worked extensively with composer of a cappella song-theatre Verity Standen, helping to create startlingly immersive and avant garde choral works. At the start of 2020 Dominie was awarded a DYCP grant from Arts Council England to develop her own skills as a creative composer, taking time to work with mentors and develop new sounds. More recently, Dominie has been working on a new piece for the LGBT male voice choir The Sunday Boys, and after being accepted onto the English Folk Expo’s Artist Mentoring Programme, has started to develop her debut album of original, slightly weird, folk-inspired songs.

 

Music

MUSIC COLLABORATIONS:

Band of Burns  – singer, cellist, vocal harmony arrangements

I am a founding member of international folk ensemble Band Of Burns, a collaboration between twelve dedicated folk musicians coming together to celebrate and explore the works and egalitarian philosophies of Scottish poet Robert Burns. With two albums and five tours under their belts, the band has gigged in such venues as The Union Chapel London, St George’s Hall Bristol, Barrowland Ballroom Glasgow, Band On The Wall Manchester, two appearances at Celtic Connections Festival, and Shrewsbury Folk Festival 2020 (cancelled due to Covid-19). The band has had multiple radio spins across the UK, including BBC Radio 2’s Folk Show, and performed live sessions on Radio Scotland and Radio 3.

Absolutely sumptuous” – Sean Rafferty, BBC Radio 3

Centered on arresting new versions of classic Burns songs, the band’s material also takes in original compositions and instrumental sets, delivered by an array of compelling vocalists, together with fiddle, bagpipes, and rhythm section. Their crowdfunded debut album, Live at the Union Chapel, thrillingly captures the magic of that triumphant London première.” – Celtic Connections

“A shimmering collection … that does full justice to the poet’s humane vision” – The Times

“Nourishing stuff beyond its times, a warm, welcoming stew to feed the bones” – The Guardian

“Exemplary musicianship, exemplary lead playing with a real respect for the tradition shining from every song” –Fatea Magazine

Other collaboration and session work:

Mikey Kenney Reverie Road Band – cello, backing vocals – 2019

Adam Beattie – backing vocals – 2018/19

Yola – cello, backing vocals – 2017/18

Brooke Sharkey – cello, backing vocals – 2016

Alabaster Deplume and Daniel Inzani – The Jester album – 2014

 

COMPOSITION:

The Sunday Boys – Manchester’s LGBT Male Voice Choir

I was commissioned to write a new, queer Christmas carol for their 2019 Christmas Concert – Robin, Why Do You Sing?

I am currently working on a new piece for the choir, ‘The Quietening’.

 

Julie Abbé – Numberless Dreams album – 2019

I wrote cello and backing vocal parts for French-born folk singer Julie Abbé’s debut album.

Kells Water

 

Lungfull – an EP of original songs, recorded in 2014 at Iron Mountain Studios,  Manchester, in collaboration with Biff Roxby. With musical contributions from Ellis Davies, Ríoghnach Connolly (The Breath/BBC Folk Award Best Singer 2019), Angus Fairbairn (Alabaster Deplume), and Phil Howley. It is available to listen and download from Bandcamp.

 

Image below – with Yola, 2017. Photography by John Morgan.

Stage

 

UNDERSONG – Verity Standen – 2018/2020 – singer/physical performer

Undersong places you at the meeting point between threads of music.
Voices weave amongst you and around the space, from a whispered duet to a screaming mob.

Nine singers build a vibrant language of a cappella music and movement as they bring to life a series of brand new compositions, which move between tender and expansive.

‘A visceral and life-affirming experience… it was possible to catch the reactions of the audience at the very heart of this performance: faces of wonder, of fear and of hilarity.’ – Bristol 24/7

 

JEREMIAH – Jack Dean – 2018/2019 – cellist

A raucous new show with live music about England’s forgotten revolution.

Featuring an original score and live band, Jeremiah tells the incredible true story of the much-misunderstood Luddite rebellion.

 

BEAR AND BUTTERFLY – Theatre Hullabaloo – 2017/18 – musical director/cellist

Theatre for children and young people. Originally devised by the company in 2015, directed by Dani Parr, with script input from Phil Porter. I played Simon McCorry’s original score on cello using loop and effects pedals.

 

LUNA – Theatre Hullabaloo – 2016 – musical director/cellist/guitarist/singer

Theatre Hullabaloo is a pioneering children’s theatre company creating quality work for children and young people. For Christmas 2016 I joined the company for a run of their under-5’s show, Luna, to accompany the show with a live score on cello, guitar, loop pedal and voice. You can find a review of the 2016 run here.

 

MMM-HMMM – Verity Standen – 2013 – 2015 – singer/physical performer

I was a singer, performer and collaborator involved in the creation of Verity Standen’s critically acclaimed a capella trio show. The show toured extensively, including the Edinburgh Fringe, Battersea Arts Centre, Shoreditch Town Hall, Tobacco Factory Theatres Bristol, and a rural tour of the Outer Hebrides.

Mmm Hmmm is a playful, poignant musical journey shaped by three exceptional female voices jumping between sound worlds and lyrical styles.

Using intricate vocal techniques and rich harmony, Mmm Hmmm holds a magnifying glass up to snapshots of everyday life. One moment a fragile apology, the next a perilous trip to the First Great Western buffet car…Verity Standen’s original acapella songs evoke the awkward, heartrending and hilarious moments that characterise what it means to be human.

★★★★ WhatsOnStage:
‘A paean to the wonders of the human voice

★★★★ Broadway Baby:
Mmm Hmmm blends a cappella music, theatre and movement to create something brand new and utterly thrilling.’

 

HUG – Verity Standen – 2013 – 2015 – singer/hugger

Each audience member is blindfolded. They are then individually hugged by a singer.
Unable to visually gauge their surroundings, participants experience the performance through sound, breath and vibrations of the body as the choir of voices deliver the song.

WINNER of the Off West End TBC Award 2016.
In 2015, it was shortlisted for The Arches Brick Award and a Total Theatre Award.

★★★★★ TimeOut:
‘To feel somebody’s thorax vibrate as they tackle an elaborate countermelody feels like the most immediate, visceral experience of music as human expression possible… like an antenna to heaven.’

★★★★ Guardian:
‘Song erupts around you… it’s startling, moving and genuinely immersive.’

 

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