Arkora is an electric consort dedicated to blurring the lines between chamber vocal, post-rock, jazz fusion, and ancient music. With music described as “an experience of deep and darkling beauty” (The Austin Chronicle), “simply beautiful” (newmusicbuff.com) “a deep unity of music and text” (Vital Weekly), and “the standout event of Vancouver’s spring music season” (The Vancouver Observer), the group has in its first five years quickly set a standard for next-level performances and innovative productions.
As the brainchild of directors Kathleen Allan and Benton Roark, the group was conceived in 2012 in Vancouver, BC at the premiere of Songs from the Rainshadow’s Edge, a production that came to symbolize the collective’s broad vision and distinct hybrid sound. Their official debut was in 2014 at Newfoundland’s Sound Symposium, and since they have offered performances in Brooklyn, Austin, and Vancouver in association with presenters Ear Heart Music, Church of the Friendly Ghost, and Redshift Music. Arkora’s debut CD, Songs from the Rainshadow’s Edge (“perfection…a mysterious landscape” The WholeNote), was released on the Vancouver label Redshift Records in 2015 and nominated for a 2016 Western Canadian Music Award for Composition of the Year.
Recent projects include Cloud Chamber – a collaborative video EP created by five of Arkora composer-performers and two experimental analogue filmmakers set for release in December 2021, and the launch of Transfigured Light, a project which explores microtonal vocal music of both the Renaissance and the present day. Featuring collaborations with theorists, instrument builders, and visual artists and seven new commissions by composers from the States, Canada, and China, this project was called a “seasonal benchmark” and “jaggedly, defiantly microtonal” by The Vancouver Observer and unfolded over two twilight concerts in Vancouver’s Mountain View Cemetery. A recording and tour of the project’s music is in the works for 2022.