Ashley Paul’s practice as a musician is underpinned by an interest in aspects of music that are commonly ‘edited’ away, a notion she coins as “beauty in failing”. She draws inspiration from the “brightness, ugliness and humour” in these unedited moments, such as the saxophone playing slightly out of tune, or the tension created when members of a rhythm section accidently go out of sync, then slowly reassimilate. Acknowledges that it can be difficult for some people to listen to, Paul says of her music that it “sometimes sounds as if it might completely fall apart.”
As ‘Featured Artist’, Paul was invited to perform her song cycle, Lost in Shadows at Glasgow’s Counterflows Festival in 2017. Having recently recorded Lost in Shadows during her FUGA residency (Spain, 2017), Paul rearranged the score for a quintet, developing her own notational style which incorporated traditional and graphic notation.
Musarc Artist Director Joseph Kohlmaier commissioned Paul in 2018 to recompose Buxtehude’s Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort, BuxWV 27 for choir, strings and herself. “Spacious and reflective”, the piece was performed at the London Contemporary Music Festival as part of Musarc’s Winter Konsert.