London’s Imogen Heap has been quite the busy bee lately. Her intimate electronica can be found in the blockbuster film Chronicles Of Narnia, artist launch pad The O.C., and most importantly her new solo album, Speak For Yourself. Following her ’98 debut, I, Microphone, Imogen found herself continuing collaborations with super producer Guy Sigsworth, creating the electro pop duo Frou Frou which launched her into the main stream with songs appearing on Shrek 2 and Garden State. Last night, Imogen was in town to treat her fans to a live performance at NYC’s dance club, Avalon.
The sold out show opened with cellist Zoe Keating of Rasputina fame performing her solo material which consists of layering samples of her hauntingly beautiful melodies via effects devices and foot pedals. The intense ambiance created by her music was the perfect warm up to Imogen’s set.
The stage at Avalon hosted a piano and numerous electronic devices, which were adorned with white Christmas lights and red flowers. Imogen delighted her fans by opening the set with vocal and piano arrangements of, as she described, “songs from my three different musical periods,” performing "Just For Now" from Speak for Yourself, Frou Frou’s "Let Go", and I, Microphone’s "Candlelight". Imogen was giddy as she explained, “this is the fist time I actually get a real piano and I have my own bus waiting outside!”
The real treat began as she headed over to her electronic toys to call up beats, samples, and vocal effects to recreate tracks from her new album. It was amazing to watch as she controlled all of the devices as well as sung her dreamy melodies. Sitting next to the electric gear she had a Thumb Piano on which she performed an arrangement of her track "Clear The Area".
To round off her already eclectic performance, Zoe Keating was brought back to the stage to provide cello accompaniment as Imogen moved between the piano and electronic devices. Imogen had a few technical difficulties which were evident as she started "Hide and Seek", the single from Speak For Yourself, four times apologizing “oh, it sounds like rubbish.” Apparently most of the gear she was using was brand new. She had performed earlier in the day for her appearance that night on David Letterman and was provided the gear as she explained “to be at two places at once”.
Source: John Majer