Miranda Sawyer, The Observer
“Beautiful rich melodies are never far away, summoned up by her skilled, gripping fingers. Man, I bet she could open a jar of pickles just by looking at it. Remarkable sonic textures rub up against each other to the extent that the instrument's true voice is unleashed - she makes her instrument speak in tongues”
Ed Pinsent, The Sound Projector
Bela Emerson is an innovative and prolific performer of electric cello, electronics, tenor viol and musical saw, who creates passionate, evocative and spontaneous music of no definable genre, influenced by her work in genres such as riot grrl punk, electronica, rock, avant garde, techno, jazz, Balkan folk & gypsy.
She has been performing solo since 2003; her first CD, Kissing Nettles, was broadcast on release in 2004 by Radio 3’s Mixing It. Since then she has performed extensive headline solo tours in the UK, North America & mainland Europe, plus at Supersonic, Glastonbury, Latitude, worldwide Ladyfests, Bestival & Big Chill festivals.
She has four solo releases (including 7” vinyl), the most recent of which, Hespera, a full-length studio album, was released on BiP_HOp.
In July 2011, Bela had a live set broadcast in full on BBC Radio 3's Late Junction, plus has had several tracks and sessions broadcast on BBC Radio, Resonance FM (including live broadcasts), many European national terrestrial radio stations, and countless times on the web.
In addition to her solo activities, Bela has worked with innumerable other musicians, such as Tim Exile, The Damned, British Sea Power, Rhodri Davies, Dead Voices on Air, Nick Pynn, Lianne Hall (including four John Peel sessions for Radio 1), and with Stomp’s Lost & Found Orchestra at Sydney Opera House & the Royal Festival Hall.
She also plays for dance, circus, and films live & recorded - recently for the award-winning Tereza Buskova & SchMovies - and in collaboration with Philippe Petit & Randall Frazier she featured on The Wire’s front cover giveaway CD in March 2010.
“If anyone really does live by those Things To Do Before You Die lists, slot 'see Bela Emerson live’ somewhere into the top 50”
Julian Owen, Venue magazine
“When the performance finished, the audience looked as if struggling to come back to the reality they had been beforehand. Truly, Bela manages to transcend the ordinary and offer a journey through sounds and music that most contemporary artists fail to achieve” LucidSawnDream
“A skilled and eclectically minded performer”
“Bela hurls her sampled electric cello virtuosity between two processors in a manner that could shatter protons in a head-on collision…a freewheeling engine of grinding physical energy”
Sonny Chaplin, Brighton Life
“Excellent!” Mark Russell, BBC Radio 3
RELEASES: Hespera (BiP_HOp 2008)
Laurasia (Drama Queen 2007)
Subaqua (Gruenrekorder 2006) - track on AudioArt03 compilation
Scythe 7" vinyl (The Slightly Off Kilter Label 2005)
Cables (Quiet Records 2004)
Kissing Nettles (Drama Queen 2003)
Bela Emerson’s tracks