November Update


I’m in New York at Figure 8, working with my friend Shahzad Ismaily to finish off a couple of projects. One is a record of improvised guitar duets that Shahzad and I have been putting together whenever we find ourselves in the same city, and the other is more of a group effort based around Martin France and I, featuring Arve Henriksen, Matana Roberts, Tim Harries and Shahzad.

Last week Tom Rogerson of Three Trapped Tigers came to the studio. Improvisation is a large part of his approach, but we are also re-framing and redeveloping material that came about in earlier sessions.

I wrote a piece for this month’s Songlines magazine about the Roof Of The World Festival in Tajikistan.

Imogen Heap has released her soundtrack to Harry Potter And The Cursed Child – I’m on it, though I have no idea where.

Lastly I’ll be taking part in a live stream for Spitfire Audio on November 22nd, about my approach to playing guitar on film soundtracks. Check out their Facebook for updates.



It’s been a while since the last update – I’ve spent most of the time working on something that hasn’t been announced. But I can say that it will feature Stella Mozgawa from Warpaint, Josephine Stephenson, Benge, the Plus Pedal, and the Arp 2500. I’ve also been working on an improvised record with Martin France, which we hope to complete soon.


In the meantime there have been some new releases of stuff I worked on last year, including Jon Hopkins’ new record for which I arranged the choir; the soundtrack to Oceans 8 which also features Shahzad Ismaily, Kenny Wollesen and Tim Lefev; another single from Editors; and a couple of tracks from the forthcoming Tunng album.

I spent December and January producing Guster in Montreal and Calgary, and hopefully the first single will be out soon. In Calgary we recorded at Studio Bell, which has an incredible synth collection as well as the Trident consoles that were originally at Olympic Studios in Barnes. That place was a real find.


Soon I’ll be going to Tajikistan for a month to attend the Roof Of The World Festival in the Pamir mountains, and help a documentary team with their project about traditional musicians in that area. I’ve been passionate about this music ever since I first heard field recordings that my friend Lu Edmonds made, 15 years ago. I’m thrilled to finally be going.

When I get back I’ll be producing a record for the Ligeti Quartet, and getting to grips with these recent arrivals from the 1980s.



Guitar Moderne interview


A couple of weeks ago I had a wide-ranging conversation with Michael Ross, experimental guitarist and editor of the excellent Guitar Moderne. He’s written a lot of it up here.

Michael also posted some stuff from YouTube that I had no idea existed, including an early Amoral Avatar show in Russia and the entire Eno/Schwalm ‘Drawn From Life’ concert from 2002!

Amoral Avatar released today


We have already had some great support from BBC 6 Music – a play from Stuart Maconie during his Freak Zone episode focusing on Steve Reich, and a place on Tom Ravenscroft’s 6 Music Recommends!

A  M  O  R  A  L     A  V  A  T  A  R
L E O   A B R A H A M S  +  C H R I S   V A T A L A R O
R E L E A S E D   0 7 T H   O C T O B E R   2 0 1 6
A V A I L A B L E   F R O M   T R E S T L E  R E C.
Buy Now

An antidote to paralysis;
a corrective to procrastination.
Instinctive, elemental, irresponsible.
Amoral Avatar.

Trestle Records is pleased to present a new collaboration between guitarist Leo Abrahams and drummer Chris Vatalaro.

Featuring 18 improvised tracks displaying a concise and singular approach, the album was tracked in a single day. There is a distinctive sense of time and place – of a moment captured and refracted.

Raw and distorted, yet still strangely intimate, the record consistently challenges expectation. By turns aggressive, tender, abstract and melodic, it defies categorization – operating on the borders between post-rock and musique concrète, yet presenting an aesthetically coherent experience that rewards repeated listening.

Leo and Chris have worked together extensively over the years on projects for other artists, but their collaborative partnership was forged in 2014 across the 4000 mile Muzenergo tour of Southern Siberia. Both musicians are multifaceted, Vatalaro augmenting his drum kit with found objects, contact microphones and electronics, and Abrahams making use of an array of effects pedals and pitch-tracking devices. This is where their soundworlds intersect, at times impossible to discern who is doing what.

They share an interest in extremes – perfectionism and abandon, sincerity and satire,  the tactile and the virtual. All of these are evident in their collaboration.

Vatalaro has described the record as being “Two parts emergency music, one part  sculpture”, embodying “the virtues of knackered vhs”. In response, Abrahams has set every track of the record to found video, pairing the audio with early experiments in computer-generated imagery and the pioneering film studies of Hans Richter. These will be made available daily as an online ‘advent calendar’ over the 18 days leading up to the official release date.