One of the UK’s leading diatonic accordion players, Mel Biggs releases her debut album ‘From Darkness Comes Light’ this October. For this very special album launch gig, Mel will be joined by Jon Loomes (guitar, cittern, hurdy gurdy), Kat Biggs (piano accordion), Bridget Slater (fiddle, viola) and David Squirrell (mandolin, mandola, double bass).
As a Morris dancer, musician and highly-renowned melodeon teacher, Mel is a familiar face on the UK folk scene. In her professional career, Mel has risen from the EFDSS ‘Aspire’ program with Andy Cutting to perform with Moirai (with Jo Freya and Sarah Matthews), and Boxtet (with Owen Woods, Ollie King and Matt Quinn). She has performed on some of the biggest UK festival stages including Sidmouth, Musicport, Shrewsbury, Dartmoor, Whitby Folk Week, Broadstairs, and street theatre festivals Imagine Watford and Out There Arts.
Having created three albums with Moirai, this instrumental album sees Mel stepping out boldly in her own direction. Packed with original material, the twelve tracks span a year of moods set to music, shining a bright and positive light into the murky shadows of mental health. Being both neuro-diverse and a visual artist, Mel encounters sensory crossover (synaesthesia), experiencing sound as abstract shapes and colours. Using audio to narrate a visual – be it a memory, feeling, or place – adds great depth and intrigue to her arrangements. Whilst rooted in English Morris and Northern European folk dance music, there are reflections of Philip Glass, Yann Tiersen, Hans Zimmer and The Penguin Café Orchestra throughout.
The diatonic accordion, with its warm expressive qualities, is Mel’s tool of choice for channelling her experiences. She invites the listener to join her in this deeply personal, tangible world of sound and light, creating an immersive, almost cinematic sensory experience.
Mel and the band will be coming together in deepest darkest West Wales for the gig, and we couldn’t be more delighted to be welcoming them to launch this beautiful album into the world.
“For several years I have watched Mel develop and grow as a box player and musician. Listening to ‘From Darkness Comes Light’, her first solo record, gives me great pleasure. A strong body of work beautifully crafted and recorded”
Andy Cutting (Leveret, Blowzabella, Topette!!)
“’From Darkness Comes Light’ takes the listener on a wondrous, magical journey. Mel’s music is fresh, contemporary and melodious, rooted in tradition yet looking far beyond. A wonderfully skilled and sparkling debut.”
Annie Whitehead (The Penguin Café Orchestra)
“The overwhelming feeling was of someone who has carefully created, nurtured, and delivered a complete musical adventure from start to finish. I felt I was listening from inside Mel’s melodeon and her head simultaneously. The arrangements and production are exceptional… Truly a thing of beauty!!!”
Simon Care (Banter, Albion Band, Edward II)
“Filled with beautifully arranged and masterfully played tunes, this is an album rich with meaning.”
The Folk Forecast