Late Junction Sessions
Sweet Billy Pilgrim & Adem
The third in a monthly series of collaborative studio sessions for BBC Radio 3's Late Junction brings together two figures from the world of experimental folktronica: Tim Elsenburg, of Sweet Billy Pilgrim, and Adem Ilhan, known as Adem, in a special one-off session broadcast on Thursday 9 April.
This unique experiment began as a file sharing project where the two artists took it in turns to develop the work before emailing it to the other. The finished piece was produced over the course of several months, with the two artists meeting only at the final mixing stage.
It was their intention to create a single long piece and the resulting 15 minutes is a dark and richly textured work. Elsenburg and Adem's vocals are underpinned by guitars, double bass, electronics and tuned percussion instruments including vibraphone, xylophone and glockenspiel. And that's not to mention the recorders, Appalachian dulcimer, suitcase and even a bin lid!
Sweet Billy Pilgrim
Tim Elsenburg's latest album with Sweet Billy Pilgrim, Twice Born Men, has just been released. In the years since the band's 2005 debut, We Just Did What Happened And No One Came, they've remixed David Sylvian, Steve Jensen and Steve Adey and toured to international acclaim, including a celebrated appearance at the Punkt Festival in both Norway and London. Sweet Billy Pilgrim comprises Tim Elsenburg on vocals, Anthony Bishop on bass and banjo and Alistair Hamer on drums.
"I think, for me, it's the first time I've collaborated with anyone (outside of doing remixes). I was a big fan of Adem... and it was really cool to work with him. The only thing we decided in advance... was that we wanted to do a long-form piece which, you know, has its risks!"
South Londoner Adem's debut solo album, Homesongs, appeared in 2004 to critical acclaim. In 2006, a second album, Love And Other Planets, was released to favorable reviews. As well as his work as a solo artist, Adem is also the bass guitarist in the post-rock band Fridge, alongside Kieran Hebden.
"I got an email out of the blue saying there's a great adventure ahead, do you want to be involved in it? And I thought this sounds like great fun! I like his music, I think we could work well together, let's see what happens! Just the idea of it happening was the most exciting thing. What's very interesting about working this way with someone else at a distance, removed, is that we both brought something very specific to the table... we can do whatever we want – that's a terrifying thought and a wonderful thought in equal measure!"
on radio 3
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