, Most recent solo album ‘The Mind Is A Trap’ LISTEN
Born 1982 Serafina Steer trained as a harpist at Chetham’s School Of Music and Trinity Laban. A vocalist, classically trained harpist and keyboard player, Steer’s work resists categorisation, often arising through the juxtaposition of musical disciplines. Having used the harp as her principal tool for many years and three solo albums ( available on the LISTEN page – Cheap Demo Bad Science 2006, Static Caravan/ Change Is Good Change Is Good 2008,Static Caravan/ The Moths Are Real 2012, produced by Jarvis Cocker, Stolen Recordings)
In 2013 Steer decided to take her practice in a different direction and started learning the bass guitar by using it to write. She co-founded all female post-punk trio Bas Jan with contemporary classical leanings(for more info go to BAS JAN page) in 2016. In January 2018 their debut album ‘Yes I Jan‘ was released in February 2018 on independent Scottish label, Lost Map. This album featured the combined production skills of Capitol K, Leafcutter John and Leo Abrahams. “MESSY MAJESTY” said UNCUT a 9/10. “BEAUTIFULLY FRACTURED ART-POP” concurred MOJO, with an accompanying ★★★★’s. “DAY-TO-DAY STORIES FULL OF UNCANNY POP PUNK MAGIC” , THE QUIETUS. They also released a follow up ‘Instant Nostalgia’ EP in November 2018. The current Bas Jan line up is Rachel Horwood [drums & vocals], Charlie Stock [Electric violin], Emma Smith [bass guitar, recorder and violin and Steer. Their second full album ‘Baby U Know’ will be released on Lost Map late 2o21.
Much of 2018 was also spent developing material and performing with Jarvis Cocker’s new project ‘Jarv..is’ in which she plays electric harp, keyboards and sings. The new ensemble made a mini tour of caves in the UK, California and in Hong Kong. Their first full album ‘Beyond The Pale‘ came out on Rough Trade Records in 2020 to positive reviews. They made a film of a full album live performance in Peak Cavern, Edale. You can listen to ‘Must I Evolve‘ here .
Her 2o19 self-produced record fourth solo album- ‘The Mind Is A Trap’ features mainly instrumental compositions is now available via bandcamp and all streaming platforms. It was mixed by Amir Shoat. The album was released on Vitamin Concept Records, a label she co-runs with her partner graphic designer and musician Oliver Marchant/ RKB Vitesse. Reviews of the album –“Vivid left-field art-pop”&“Serafina Steer has displayed a hand-painted, individually numbered kind of songwriting talent” 4* Q Magazine.“Steer’s work is radical enough to take the music well away from what the mind imagines a harp to sound like.” “By showing her creativity and her vulnerability in this album, she has taken her expressive gifts to another level.” Music OMH. “The Mind Is A Trap isn’t her most immediate work, but there’s no getting away from it’s atmospheric lures””A meditative echo of Björk’s Vespertine.” “Stitching Arthur Russell with Bat For Lashes” Buzz Magazine.
Alongside these projects, being awarded the Paul Hamlyn Composer bursary in 2017 has enabled Steer to develop her production and arrangement skills for TV and film composition which is a creative world she is looking to explore as a composer in her own right. Playwright Afsanah Gray writes of Steer’s soundtrack for her 2017 play ‘Octopus’
”The Octopus soundtrack made the production – its anarchic musical mash-up put the audience in the world of the play before anyone had spoken a word”
in 2o16 she composed ‘Medea’, a 30 minute midi opera, in collaboration Natalie Sharp (aka Lone Taxidermist) as the central character based on Clare Pollard’s new translation of Ovid’s Heroides [published by Bloodaxe Books]. This project was semi-staged for a commission by Manchester International Woman’s Festival and Brighter Sound but was never been recorded.
With Bas Jan, Steer has performed at the BFI, Serpentine Summer Pavillion, Greenman, Wassermusick Festival (Berlin) and Supernormal Festivals, BBC 6 Music Live and Radio 3. Her solo performances include Café Oto, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Salle Pleyel, Paris, End Of The Road Festival, Greenman Festival, Sercret Garden Party. She has completed commissioned work for the Brighter Sound and the Brancage Film Festival. Apart from those mentioned already she has collaborated/recorded with Hannah Peel, Trashkit, Rozi Plain, Meilyr Jones, Chromehoof, John Foxx, Sean O’Hagan, John T.Gast, Cibelle, Patrick Wolf, Simon Bookish, Brains and Hunch. Her (second ever) remix of Teleman’s ‘Fun Destruction’ was released on Moshi Moshi in May 2019. Her second solo album ‘Change is good change is good’ was re-released on Static Caravan to coincide with the track ‘Day Glo’ being included on an compilation album of Jarvis Cocker’s favourite Sunday Service tracks, released by Ace Records September 29th 2019.
If you are interested in hearing Serafina’s soundtrack compositions please get in touch CONTACT