Ahead of Tuesday’s Drive I caught up with musician, composer, author, lecturer and Queen of Kingston University Stylophone Orchestra, Dr Leah Kardos. We talked about her work at Kingston University and Visconti Studio, how a car boot full of stylophones inspired their album and getting Tony Visconti involved to produce their version of Space Oddity. We also talked about Leah’s new book Blackstar Theory: The Last Works of David Bowie and how limitations can inspire creativity.
For the full interview click play in the box below or click here to listen online from 3:15pm Tuesday 15th February.
Stylophonika, the debut album from Kingston University Stylophone Orchestra is out now on Spun Out Of Control Records. For more information about Visconti Studio click here and to find out more about Dr Leah Kardos including more of her music and writing, click here.
An experiment in collective noise making, the Kingston University Stylophone Orchestra was created by Dr Leah Kardos in early 2019.
Through legendary producer Tony Visconti, Leah was introduced to Stylophone manufacturer Dubreq, who donated a collection of new and vintage instruments to Visconti Studio’s analogue instrument archive, based at the University. At the sight of a car boot full of Stylophones, Leah found herself wondering aloud if a musical ensemble using the unique electronic instruments might be possible.
A notice went up, and a handful of intrepid students showed up to a first rehearsal.
Though the musical palette of the Stylophone initially appeared limited, its restrictions quickly inspired creativity and ingenuity.
With the orchestra made up of current and ex students, plus staff from across the University, the instantly recognisable sound of the original Stylophone has been augmented by the full range of Dubreq instruments, mixed in with Theremin, Omnichord and Volca sequencers, as well as the members’ collective voices.
The Kingston University Stylophone Orchestra is believed to be the only ensemble of its kind in the world.
For more of Stewart’s shows, interviews, poems and reviews, to submit your music for airplay or to check out Stewart’s comedy and books visit www.stewartpink.com.