BIO

Dominie Hooper is a British songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who “sings like a mother-bitch” – says Yola, Queen of Country Soul. Having spent years as a collaborator and session musician, working with the likes of the aforementioned Yola, Alabaster Deplume, and Band of Burns, 2021 sees the launch of Dominie Hooper’s ambitious, brand new, full-band solo project. With an aesthetic drawing on English folk, classical music, alternative rock, and avant-garde pop, the music defies easy categorisation, already being described as “deliciously off the wall” by Terry O’Brien of Playpen Music. Hooper pushes the boundaries of folk and standard singer-songwriter fare, disregarding rules and leading listeners on a journey with unexpected grooves, soaring strings and moments of furious, heavy abandon. Hooper’s lyrics tackle inherited religious shame and sexuality, the dissonance between coming of age and leaving shit behind, and the riddle of love in the guise of an acorn received in the post. This is a bold, adventurous new project, carefully nurtured and ready for a stratospheric launch into 2022 and beyond.

 

Originally from Dartmoor, Devon, Hooper is now based in London, and is a founding member of international folk ensemble Band of Burns, having fronted the band at such venues as The Union Chapel London, St George’s Hall Bristol, Barrowland Ballroom Glasgow, Band On The Wall Manchester, Celtic Connections Festival, and live on Radio 3. Aside from live and recorded music, Hooper has explored crossovers between music and theatrical performance. She trained in physical theatre, 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 £10K DYCP grant from Arts Council England to develop her skills as a creative composer, taking time to work with mentors and develop new sounds. She has composed for theatre and dance, as well as The Sunday Boys low voice choir. She is currently completing a year on the English Folk Expo’s Artist Mentoring Programme.

 

MUSIC

MUSIC COLLABORATIONS:

Band of Burns  – singer, cellist, vocal harmony arrangements

Dominie is a founding member of international folk ensemble Band Of Burns; a collaboration between twelve dedicated folk musicians to celebrate and explore the works and egalitarian philosophies of Scottish poet Robert Burns

Albums released: Live From The Union Chapel, The Thread, The Sweetest Hours (Live Album) – all can be heard and bought/downloaded from https://bandofburns.bandcamp.com/

Emotional showstopper” – MOJO Magazine

Stunning” – The Sunday Times

Brilliant” – The Guardian

Absolutely sumptuous” – Sean Rafferty, BBC Radio 3

Exemplary musicianship… with a real respect for the tradition” – Fatea Magazine

Other collaboration and session work:

Mikey Kenney Reverie Road Band  – 2019

Adam Beattie  – 2018/19

Yola – cello, backing vocals – 2017/18

Brooke Sharkey –  2016

Alabaster Deplume and Daniel Inzani – The Jester album – 2014

COMPOSITION:

The Sunday Boys – Manchester’s LGBT Male Voice Choir

Robin, Why Do You Sing? – choral commission – a Christmas song about growing up in the countryside and grappling with sexuality and a sense of belonging.

Dominie is currently developing a new piece with the choir, The Quietening. It is a piece about unintended stillness.

 

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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