Witch ‘n’ Monk is the duo of Colombian rebel flautist Mauricio Velasierra and British soprano and guitarist Heidi Heidelberg. Pulling together a diverse range of instrumentation; traditional Latin American flutes, unconventional vocals, electric guitar and bespoke electronics, they create a sound that is defiantly their own. The duo have forged an uncompromising, new musical language of composition and improvisation that travels fluidly between forms. Radically manipulated flutes, anarchic soprano vocals and analogue electronics mix with a jazz-punk guitar/bass hybrid.
The essence of their collaboration is encapsulated in the name; dark and light, feminine and masculine, punk and romantic, free-form and intricately composed. Exploring extremes and creating contrast is fundamental to their work. Treading upon the edges of genre – Witch ‘n’ Monk are equally as celebrated in the jazz and contemporary classical spheres as well as DIY and underground circles.
Their latest album – 2020’s ‘Witch ’n’ Monk’ – was released by John Zorn’s label Tzadik Records and named ‘Contemporary Album of the Month’ by The Guardian. For this performance, the pair will be joined by Swiss drummer Nicolas Stocker, adding yet another dimension to an already potent brew.
“Hard to imagine that voice, guitar and flute could groove so hard and deliver so much. There’s real depth, emotional and spiritual heft to these songs. There’s nothing else around quite like Witch ‘n’ Monk.” – The Wire
“Thrashy guitar riffs are overlaid with Amazonian panpipe melodies and flashes of Bollywood strings; multi-tracked choirs are digitally mutilated with terrifying effect; Reich-ish minimalism mutates into ecstatic samba.” – The Guardian