Red Carousel is a string quartet (Sue Lord and Ian Vorley, violins; Emma Hooper, viola; Beth Porter, cello), formed in 2005, who write and perform their own, original material.
From 2005-2016 they were known as The Stringbeans Quartet and specialised in collaborative session work. The quartet’s unique selling point was that they could do more than just accurately read and play parts given to them by clients, but could also collaboratively compose or improvise parts themselves to suit a given brief.
Examples of notable gigs include playing with Peter Gabriel at WOMAD for an audience of 30,000; recording and gigging with Newton Faulkner for his ‘Rebuilt by Humans’ album; recording and gigging with The Heavy on their album ‘The Glorious Dead’ which features on adverts for Pepsi, Guinness, major motion picture ‘Dallas Buyers Club’, and many more; recording with Jim Moray on MOJO Folk Album of the Year ‘Low Culture’; and filming an advert for BBC TV on a craggy Welsh cliff.
Now, after more than ten years of successfully composing bits and pieces for other people’s projects, the quartet have decided to focus on what they do best (and enjoy most): writing their own music. They’ve changed their name to Red Carousel to reflect this move from client work to their own artistic endeavour. Thus far, they have composed a full set of original, chamber-pop pieces that sit somewhere between The Penguin Café Orchestra and Nils Frahm; and have performed a preliminary set of gigs including Glastonbury festival, Colston Hall (Bristol), Bath Music Festival, and Dartmouth Festival. They’ve been featured on BBC radio, CBC radio (Canada), Arteles radio (Finland) and BCFM (Bristol).