Leila Bordreuil is a Brooklyn-based cellist, composer and sound-artist from France. She accesses concepts as diverse as Noise, contemporary classical, free jazz, and experimental traditions but adheres to none of them. Her music mixes deep melancholia with harsh noise-walls at ear-bleeding levels, and was described by the New York Times as “steadily scathing music, favoring long and corrosive atonalities”.
Driven by a fierce interest in pure sound and inherent texture, Leila challenges conventional cello practice through extreme extended techniques and unorthodox amplification methods, to the extent she sometimes seems to be playing the P.A system rather than the cello. Her compositions frequently incorporate sound-spatialization by way of site-specific pieces and multichannel installations, and focus on neurological perception and our physiological relationship to sound and space. She creates psycho-acoustic effects through the manipulation of specific frequencies, amplitude levels, and careful speaker placement to provoke altered cognitive states.
The name drop:
Leila is also a dedicated improviser and “rising figure in New York’s improvised music scene” (The Chicago Reader).
As per the tradition of improvised music, she has maintained a very active concert schedule sharing the stage with a wide range of artists including Marina Rosenfeld, Eli Keszler, Anthony Coleman, Peter Evans, Thurston Moore, Nate Wooley, SENYAWA, C. Spencer Yeh, Toshimaru Nakamura, Tetuzi Akiyama, Susan Alcorn, Ingrid Laubrock, Zeena Parkins, Lee Ranaldo, Weasel Walter, Kim Gordon, Chris Corsano, Aki Onda and more.
Her collaborative projects are notoriously numerous and diverse, and include duos with Bill Nace (Body/Head), Japanoise artist Tamio Shiraishi (Fushitutsa), techno producer Bookworms, bassist Zach Rowden, sound-artist Julia Santoli, saxophonist Michael Foster, and a freely improvised trio with Sean Ali and Joanna Mattrey.
Her work has been showcased at notable venues such as The Whitney Museum, The Kitchen, MoMA PS1, Issue Project Room, Lincoln Center, the Stone, Roulette, Pioneer Works, Le Guess Who (Utrecht), Cafe Oto (London, UK), All Ears Festival (Oslo, NO), KRAAK Festival (Brussels), Sound of Stockholm Festival, BRDCST Festival (Brussels), Control Club (Bucharest), Ausland (Berlin, DE), Ftarri (Tokyo, JP), the Heresy Series for Women in Sound (Manila, PHL), and countless basements across the U.S.A.
Leila is a 2020 Artist in Residence at the GRM, Paris, and Exploring the Metropolis (NYC). Past residencies include EMS, Stockholm (2019), Les Brasseries Atlas, Brussels (2018), the MacDowell Colony (2017), Issue Project Room (2016) and the Atlantic Center for the Arts (2013).
Best Experimental Music of July 2019, Bandcamp
Feature, The Chicago Reader
Interview, National Sawdust the Log
Interview, New York Mag
Review of Piece for Cello and Double Bass Ensemble at The Kitchen, New York Music Daily
Review of Hollow, A Closer Listen