End of 2019

Hey folks,

Just wanted to say Happy New Year and to have a bit of a reflect on what I’ve been up to this year. Feels like it’s been a year of addressing work / career, getting my house in order, that kind of thing. Honestly, I don’t feel like I’ve done enough of my own creative stuff as I’d like to but I’m going to sort that out for 2020.

That said, I’ve put out 3 releases in 2019…

One solo jams CDR – The Little Room. Quite pleased with this one and sort of defines a new direction I want to take guitar playing in. Sometimes I forget I even play the guitar but here we are:

God bless you Jeffery Davison at the legendary wfmu for giving it a few spins on your show – https://wfmu.org/playlists/shows/88180

The Slowest Lift, Plutonic Shine. I love this album and am looking forward to seeing it come out on lovely plastic (soz) vinyl in the New Year on Feeding Tube Records.

Greywood Miniatures, by me and Delphine Dora. Been sitting on this for ages if I’m honest. There’s like another 13 tracks we should release at some point. Maybe we’ll do a part 2 in 2020.

I played 17 gigs this year, a few in new collaborations including a big jam with Gnod at Tor Festival, with Emmanuelle Parrenin at Cafe Oto, with Roy Claire Oto = SatNavTod and with new Vibra/ Slowest Lift spin off group (?) Caravan Comedown. Got the recordings of these as well knocking around. Lots of improvisation in structured and non structured ways has gone down.

I had an almost year long residency at Huddersfield Uni creating a piece for hcmf// (who I’ve ended up working for since, cheers guys!) and I put an insane amount of hours into creating ‘Intact’ which is a trombone/vocals piece for 66 speakers. The live playback reception was really great at hcmf//, full house there to hear my intrusive thoughts related to my situation with immediate family members. A problem shared? It was an amazing experience, would love to do more of this if anyone knows how to go about that…?? I’ve not put the track online anywhere yet because I’m not sure what to do with it. If you wanna hear it ask and I’ll send you a link. It got played on BBC Radio 3 which was a nice surprise!

Jake and I had our Composer / Curator residency with Sound and Music which has all gone very well. I had an interview with them about Tor Festival if you fancy a read here.

Oh I dunno, guess I’ll stop going on about myself and head to the Golden Lion v soon. Expect more solo guitar stuff from me and who knows what from The Slowest Lift in 2020. Plus tons of gigs in Todmorden.. intend to keep all this up. I did a survey of all the gigs I put on last year and 69% of the artists were women or non-binary which I’m proud of. I aimed for 50:50 so goes to show what you can do if you are mindful of a situation.

Enough, enough. Lots of love and hopefully see you in some way or another in 2020.

Sof x

photo taken just yesterday by Robin Smith: me and Dana hill




Greywood Miniatures

Greywood Miniatures is a new tape made by me and Delphine Dora. Our 4th release together! We recorded the bulk of this back in 2017 at Greywood Arts Centre in Co. Cork, Ireland during a residency there. We then took the recordings back to our homes and added extra bits and bobs to them and here are the results. This came out on a tape via The Dark Outside but sold out really quickly. Digital available whenever you want it. Enjoy x

The right kinda Libra

hey all,

Been meaning to do a blog update for a while but been so busy lately. All good though, it’s been a grand productive time.

What’s been happening? Well Tor Fest went really well! This was the first year we did it with any funding outside of beer and ticket sales so cheers to Sound and Music for putting their trust in us as part of their Composer Curator programme. I ended up performing twice over the weekend. As Nwando Ebizie’s back up dancer / trombone player / bubble blower and with Gnod on trombone. Both really amazing experiences. I didn’t get to see tons of stuff at the festival because I was mostly chained to the door handing out tickets but everything I saw was ace. Especially loved Space Afrika at the end of the night. Hopefully we’ll get Josh back in Tod again.

sof nwando

We put on a show for Richard Dawson last week on Jake’s birthday. Richard wanted to organise a charity show to raise money for RNIB and I’m happy to say we took £800 on the door as entrance fees and almost £200 in poster sales. Still got some of them left if you want one, get in touch if so. Would be great to hand a cool grand over to the charity at the end of this week! richardD

Next gig we have up is Tola Custy, Hawthonn and Birds & Ships at the lion next week. This is another of the Sound and Music sponsored events. Check out the event on the new West Yorkshire gig directory here – http://westyorksdiymusic.org/wp/event/tola-custy-hawthonn-birds-and-ships/


I’ve been playing some gigs as well. I performed with the amazing Roy Claire Potter a week or so ago under the name SatNavTod where we’re working with a mix of sound design and spoken word. The show went really well and it’d be ace to work with Roy again sometime.


I’ve been spending a lot of time on a new composition for hcmf// which will be premiered this year the festival on the 18th November. Check out the details here on the hcmf/// website. All the programme looks brilliant this year and I’m so excited to be a part of it as a composer and as part of the team working on the new Young Curator project.  It’s really wonderful to be working somewhere I really believe in. All this amazing music happening in Huddersfield is a really wild thing to be part of.

Next gig I’ve got will be at No Bounds Festival in Sheffield where I’ll be performing as part of an event curated by Sandhya Daengen http://noboundsfestival.co.uk/artists/sandhya-daemgen I’ll be performing a solo piece inspired by Laurie Anderson during the event. Kelly Jayne Jones will be there as well.

I’ll be performing with Kelly again in December on a new interpretation of a piece by Rebecca Lee. We’re revisiting the micro opera we were working on last year in Pendle, will post about all that nearer the time.

Plutonic Shine by The Slowest Lift is still available here on our bandcamp page https://theslowestlift.bandcamp.com/album/plutonic-shine and Julian has just sent off the artwork for the vinyl version so will be posting about that when I know the details soon! This time with lyric sheet so you can sit and read our brains at your leisure.

Ok that’ll do for now. Happy Libra everyone! My bday soon 🙂

Love, Sof x




Tor Festival 2019

Tor fest poster web

less than 3 weeks away..! This year’s amazing Tor Fest 🙂 Only a few weekend tickets left now so grab one quickly here – TICKET LINK 

Tor Festival returns to Todmorden, West Yorkshire once again for the sixth iteration of the eclectic underground music festival. This year to be held over three days at The Golden Lion from 30th August – 1st September.

Friday night will take place in the intimate live room with performances from experimental sound artist Lee Patterson, Afro futurist and winner of this years Oram award, Lady Vendredi and a special party set by Game_Program, the solo project of Jon Nash (Cowtown, Nope).

Saturday will be all day and held across two stages plus a special pop up space for the Mammoth Beat Organ led by Graham Dunning and Sam Underwood. Gnod will be bringing their usual brand of improvised psych and they’ll be inviting a group of special guests to join them on stage (Slomo, Aidan Baker, J.Charms & S.Cooper). French folk legend Emmanuelle Parrenin will be back at The Lion for another unforgettable performance. Natalie Sharp aka Lone Taxidermist will be performing her new piece ‘Body Vice’, her shows are always something to behold. Other highlights include drone doomers Nadja, an experimental bagpipe and electronics set from Vasco Alves, free folk explorations from Divil A’ Bit (Woven Skull / United Bible Studies), ambient synth voyages from Simon Fowler, stunning hypnotic viola by Ailbhe Nic Oireachtaigh, Exploratory electronic excursions from Helm, and a stack of amazing local performers- Dead Sea Apes, Marlo Eggplant, Plank, NikNak & Jo Kennedy all capped off with a DJ set from the awesome Space Afrika!

On Sunday we’ve invited Willie Stewart of Woven Skull to curate Floor Tom Fest, a day of pushing floor tom based music in new and weird directions, he’s invited a stellar cast of performers to drum their way through the day- Fritz Welch, Het Hek (Guttersnipe), Andrew Cheetham, Kathy Gray, Natalia Beylis, Graham Dunning and Sam Mcloughlin.

This years festival is in part sponsored by Sound & Music’s ‘Composer Curator’ Program.

Tickets available from Skiddle- https://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/Oldham/Golden-Lion-Hotel/Tor-Festival/13559292/

Weekend tickets- £30

Plutonic Shine ~ The Slowest Lift

New album out today! Listen to it on bandcamp or buy a tape 🙂

This is the third release from The Slowest Lift who are a West Yorkshire based band comprising of Sophie Cooper (Tor Festival) and Julian Bradley (Vibracathedral Orchestra).

This record is being self-released by The Slowest Lift on limited edition cassette and on digital download. There will be a vinyl version coming later released by Feeding Tube Records.

New album – Plutonic Shine, The Slowest Lift

Julian and I are self-releasing our latest The Slowest Lift album called ‘Plutonic Shine’. It’s available on pre-order at the moment so click on our bandcamp link above to purchase one. The record is due a vinyl release later on this year so keep your eyes open for that. There are 2 tracks you can hear now and the rest will be up on the 2nd August which gives us time to dub the tapes.

I’m still obsessed with The Slowest Lift and constantly blown away by what can be artistically achieved through working with another human on a project like this. I couldn’t do this without Julian, it’s so unique to our collaboration and that’s really a special thing to have going on. I encourage new collaborations constantly so I hope this is inspiring to read, find a like minded friend to make something new happen, it’s a wild process.

Bong and Sat Nav Tod


New incoming… 19th July

Last time I saw Bong play with Bridget Hayden the lads from Bad Guys were crowd surfing and that’s quite impressive when the music is really slow –

Bong with Bridget Hayden

Stoner Doom legends Bong will be joined by Bridget Hayden, this is a rare chance to see them play together! If you caught their collaboration at Supernormal a couple of years ago then you’ll know this is not to be missed! Bong will be bringing their own brand of heavy droned out doom with Bridget bringing her signature feedback infused fuzzy blues guitar and haunting vocals.

Sat Nav Tod

A new collaboration from Roy Claire Potter and Sophie Cooper, exploring themes around travel and place through improvised trombone and spoken word.

Tickets- https://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/Oldham/Golden-Lion-Hotel/Bong-with-Bridget-Hayden-Sat-Nav-Tod/13569515/

“New Weird Britain”

I wanted to wait until all the shows were available until I posted about my great friend Alannah Chance’s amazing achievement called New Weird Britain which is a 4 episode documentary series on BBC Radio 4. Alannah has worked really hard on this series which involved doing a ton of research into the UK DIY and contemporary music scenes today. The shows are only half an hour each so obviously not everything can be covered but I think these shows do a fantastic job capturing a bit about what’s happening out and about. I hope people listening will be encouraged to do a bit of research themselves after hearing them and will perhaps do something like visit us at Tor Festival in Todmorden, our little corner of this weird island, which is discussed in the second episode. Anyway, great job Alannah, keep at it!

Click hear to listen to all the shows.