Sensing the Planet: Shifa + Elaine Mitchener

An atmospheric double bill in the Great Hall


Friday 29 October, 8pm-late


Great Hall, Dartington Trust, South Devon


£20 (or £10 when you buy a ticket to the Sensing the Planet Symposium, Session 3)

About this event

Join us in our beautiful Great Hall for what promises to be a very special double bill of live music featuring Shifa and Elaine Mitchener.

This event is part of Black Atlantic, a new decolonial cultural project at the intersections of race, art, ecology and climate justice.

about the artists

Shifa, from the Arabic word for healing, is a new trio (Pat Thomas, Rachel Musson and Mark Sanders) born out of old musical partnerships from the ever shifting sands of the UK improvised music scene.

Pat Thomas studied classical piano from aged 8 and started playing Jazz from the age of 16. He has since gone on to develop an utterly unique style – embracing improvisation, jazz and new music. He has played with Derek Bailey in Company Week, with Tony Oxley’s Quartet and Celebration Orchestra, and in Duo with Lol Coxhill. Pat is a co-founder of Black Top with Orphy Robinson, their collective explores their Afro-Caribbean roots with a spontaneity and daring rooted in experimental free-jazz. Pat has many more projects and bands including Ism and Ahmed.

Mark Sanders has worked with a host of renowned musicians including Derek Bailey, Henry Grimes, Mathew Shipp, Evan Parker, Roswell Rudd, in duo and quartets with Wadada Leo Smith, trios with Charles Gayle with Sirone and William Parker and duo with Nicole M Mitchell.

In situations using composition Mark works in a number of projects including Christian Marclay’s Everyday for film and live music and and John Butcher’s Tarab Cuts – both projects have performed at major festivals throughout Europe and Brazil.

“ubiquitous, diverse and constantly creative, drummer Mark Sanders always outdoes himself, whether playing with restraint or erupting like a dynamo.” Bruce L Gallenter, Downtown Music Gallery. NY

Rachel Musson is a saxophonist, improviser and composer living in London, UK. She is involved with a variety of improvisation projects, and works regularly with Mark Sanders, Pat Thomas, Hannah Marshall, Julie Kjaer, Corey Mwamba, Olie Brice, Alex Ward, Alex Hawkins amongst others. She features on several releases, including a nonet featuring her composition ‘I Went This Way’ (577 Records), two with Shifa, feat. Pat Thomas and Mark Sanders, (577 Records), one with Mark Sanders and John Edwards (Two Rivers Records), trio with Liam Noble and Mark Sanders (Babel), and Corey Mwamba (Takuroku).

“A free-improviser sensitive to melody-like narrative and dramatic pacing” – John Fordham, The Guardian

watch: shifa live at cafe oto

Elaine Mitchener is an experimental vocalist, movement artist and composer, whose work encompasses improvisation, contemporary music theatre and performance art.

Born in East London to Jamaican parents, Elaine studied voice at Trinity College of Music, London and currently studies with Jacqueline Bremar.

She has worked and performed in a wide variety of contexts with an array of leading musicians, composers, directors and visual artists including Moor Mother (Camae Ayewa), Mark Padmore, The Otolith Group, Deborah Warner, Christian Marclay, Apartment House, Steve Beresford, Pat Thomas and Jason Yarde.

Her production company Elaine Mitchener Projects has researched, developed, produced and toured or staged a number of projects including Industrialising Intimacy, The Nude Voice, Vocal Classics of the Black Avantgarde, and SWEET TOOTH in partnership with Bluecoat Liverpool, Stuart Hall Foundation and the International Slavery Museum. Premiered in Nov 2017, SWEET TOOTH has been described as ‘a vital black British addition to those seminal creative statements of resistance and defiance from the African Diaspora’, and was subsequently broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s Hear and Now programme (Dec 2017).

Mitchener is one of 50 selected exhibiting artists featured in the British Art Show 9 touring exhibition 21/22 and is a Wigmore Hall Associate Artist.

elaine mitchener

This event is presented in collaboration with OTO Projects.

about black atlantic

Black Atlantic is a new decolonial arts partnership, co-established by UCL Sarah Parker Remond Centre, Serpentine Galleries, Royal Court Theatre and Dartington Trust that aims to strengthen the role of arts and culture in advancing social and climate justice. Additional partners include Cafe OTO/OTO Projects, Verso, Lawrence & Wishart Books, LUMA Arles and the Stuart Hall Foundation.


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