As a solo performer using amplified cello and tape effects, Oliver Coates has toured as an opening act for Thom Yorke across Europe and the US. He has opened for Radiohead at Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester.
Oliver increasingly works as an ambient artist and releases music on RVNG Intl, exploring drone and drone metal techniques, a slime improvisation method with a viscous and melting approach to live sound, through digital loopers, distortion and chorus. He writes and records music for film, TV and theatre and moves continuously between roles of composer, performer, experimental musician and record producer. He performed a headline set at the 2019 Manchester International Festival as curated by David Lynch.
He has curated two editions of DEEP∞MINIMALISM at Southbank Centre in London, where he has also been an artist in residence, featuring the music of Éliane Radigue, Liz Harris, Pauline Oliveros, Hanne Darboven, Morton Feldman, Daphne Oram and Malibu.
A wide scope in his interpretation of classical and contemporary notated music brought him to prominence in the 2000s and he has been a principal cellist for Aurora Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Britten Sinfonia and London Contemporary Orchestra. Away from public concert life he has developed a language in electronic music through sequencing various forms of dance music.
He has collaborated with Mica Levi, Dean Blunt, Jonny Greenwood and Malibu on live and recorded music projects, Lawrence Lek and Marianna Simnett on video art projects, and Hannah Perry and Sam Yates on experimental theatre works. He conducted an orchestra performing his own electronic music for Karl Lagerfeld’s homecoming fashion show for Chanel in 2017 at the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie.
His full-length work for strings and pre-recorded sound, Shorelines, based on the North Sea Flood of 1953, commissioned by Cryptic, won a BASCA award for Best Stage Work 2018. His scores for films by the artist Lawrence Lek have been awarded the Converse x Dazed Emerging Art Award 2015 (for Unreal Estate) and the 2016 Vordemburge-Gildewart Artist Prize (for QE3, a Glasgow International commission). He received the Royal Philharmonic Society Breakthrough Award for Young Artist 2011.
…almost unspeakably beautiful, the kind of thing you might request to have played at your funeral or on your deathbed (Philip Sherburne, Pitchfork)
…the most alluring and hypnotising set yet… Coates managed to plummet the audience into an endless rabbit hole of musical beauty, a trance in which linear time and space ceased to exist (The Mancunion)
US press: RVNG Intl.
EU press: Dense Media
UK radio: Phantom Limb
US radio: RVNG Intl.
Film / TV: CAA
Management, licensing, booking: Southern Bird