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Kosmos Interview

Posted on 15 May 2008. © Copyright 2004-2020 Composition:Today

CT talks to string trio Kosmos, who explore the boundaries of Western Classical music with Eastern European, Gypsy, Balkan, Klezmer and Tango with contemporary influences.

Tell us something about your background.

We are all Classically trained. Laura and I studied together at the Royal academy of Music and Meg studied at Edinburgh university and Trinity College of Music

Tell us about the group, how it was formed, it's raison d'etre.

We are all really good friends with a love of diverse music traditions. We thought it would be fun to start playing together and to come up with original material inspired by these rich traditions.

Do you focus on playing specific types of music?

Meg - I studied Klezmer music ( the music of the Askenazy Jews, played traditionally, as it would have been around 100 years ago), Harriet learnt Gypsy music and the style from Roma friends of hers and has a lot of expereince playing contemporary music. As well as classical 'cello, Laura plays Afro-Peruvian percussion and also the ancient Cretan Lyra.

Harriet - All these sounds colour and influence Kosmos's sound. What we try to do is draw from a vast palette of traditions to produce pieces with their own twist and character.

How do you go about programming your concerts?

Harriet - We play whatever we are working on and are currently inspired by! We generally have a few really contemporary works in our programmes. We are lucky that Robert Fokkens, Ben Oliver, Nadja Gabriela Plien, Owen Bourne have all written and dedicated pieces to us. We try to have a good balance - a few Gyspy inspired pieces, a few Klezmer inspired pieces, some improvising, some metitative, some frantic, some Kosmos craziness and some fresh contemporary works.

Do you commission new work yourself?


Tell us about your current projects

Laura - We are working with Tango dancers Sophie Millner and Yohann Le Grand who are choreographing to our arrangements of Argentinian Tango.

We are also working on world premieres by Robert Fokkens and Ben Oliver to be performed on 27th June as well as Kosmos's own original material to be premiered then too!

What are your plans for the future?

Laura - We would love to collaborate with contemporary dancers and with a VJ and live art.

Meg - I have just started studying Arabic violin. It's an amazing tradition and I'm enjoying the different tuning and the quarter tones!

I'm looking forward to developling this and adding it to the Kosmos sound world

Harriet - To keep working on our own material - it=92s really rewarding to be creative with music we are passionate about. One of the challenges is coming up with new material - we always want to respect the different traditions and stay true to the roots and essence of the music but also to find unexpected and imaginative ways to progress with it.

How can people find out more about you?

Meg - Check out website -, or our myspace -
http://www.myspace/kosmosensemble, or come and see us at our next concert on

June 27th at Wiltons Music Hall, doors open 7.00pm, performance starts
7.45pm. Box office - 0207 2265647

Interview by Composition:Today © Copyright 2004-2020

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