Nina Harries, a folk-punk mastress to make you think, laugh, cry and maybe even faint Barely at the beginning of her solo career, Nina Harries has been making waves with her genre-breaking show, incorporating comedy narrative songs with experimental improvisation all focussing around her life experience as a musician and the sometimes fraught relationship she has with her beloved instrument. Her extensive knowledge of classical harmony and instrumentation fuels her work, creating sound worlds rarely used in modern song-writing as she brings a century-long neglected instrument into the forefront of performance. Her first ever video, recorded live at The Preservation Room, went viral on Facebook, attracting over 70k views and more than 1K shares in a week.
Raised in Northampton in a family of musicians, music was the language of preference at home and instruments filled every room of the house like furniture. Having watched her father Tim Harries (bassist for Steeleye Span, Brian Eno, Katie Melua, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Hofesch Schecter Dance Company) play all over the world, there was always a special place in her heart for the Double Bass and despite qualms about her size, build and the intrinsic physical difficulties of the instrument itself, she knew from an early age that it was the only one for her.
Classically trained at the Royal College of Music by Enno Senft of the London Sinfoniettta, Nina is known for the diversity of her playing and her stage presence. She has a reputation as a formidable musician and is always in great demand with ensembles. She has played on almost every major UK concert hall stage with orchestras such as Women of the World orchestra and the RCM Symphony Orchestra, including the Royal
Albert Hall, the Royal Festival Hall and the Symphony Hall in Birmingham. When not playing solo, she plays for a host of artists including Symphonica Featuring DJ Switch, The Burning Glass, John Fairhurst Trio, London Electronic Orchestra with Kate Simco and Barbarella’s Bang Bang. In 2016 she also began a musician’s residency at the world-famous nightclub Cirque le Soir.
She is also resident Double Bassist for the contemporary opera company workshOpera, a founding member of contemporary classical music ensemble Echoshed and working with dancer and choreographer Chloe Alliyanni in her site-sensitive contemporary dance project Intersection.
Despite her busy lifestyle, calendar and an instrument that usually resigns its player to the back of the stage, Nina was born to be a soloist. Whilst at the RCM she worked with its composition students, commissioning pieces for Double Bass and Voice, and it was through this innovative time that she discovered a love for performing alone (but always accompanied by Nancy her Double Bass).
Nina will start 2017 with an appearance at Time Out’s Rising Stars of Folk and Roots at the Jazz Café, followed by a showcase at London Remixed Festival at Rich Mix. She will tour the UK and Europe in the spring.
“A clear winner for us – her inventive use of the double-bass and the distinctive clarity of her vocals coupled with the song’s slick production values mark her out as an impressive soloist” – Crack Magazine