Lara's career has been a mix of solo and collaborative work. Unifying these works are the central threads of equality, tradition, stories, songs and protests. Lara released her first solo album, 'Apple Tree' in 2010, then in 2011, 'The Alchemist’s Wardrobe' was founded as a duo, with Nikhil Patel, to combine the sounds of British folk with instruments from around the world. These include guitar, bodhran, dulcimer, electric slide sitar, didjeribone, tabla, darbuka and other percussion.
The new album, ‘Wild Water’, has contributions from a variety of artists including BBC Folk Award winner, Hannah Martin on violin, the acclaimed Indian Classical cellist, Asha McArthy, and The Deadeye Collective on handpan.
Last summer, The Alchemist’s Wardrobe performed a variety of concerts including Morocco’s international Sacred Music Festival in Fez, Buddhafield Festival, Mondomix World Music Festival (Isle-of-Wight), Stroud Sacred Music Festival and the international handpan festival, Hangout UK.
A fusion of Celtic inspired Nu-Folk with sensuous vocals, un-earthly cello and pulsating rhythms.
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Lara performs at the World Sacred Music Festival in Fes, Morocco 2016
Lara's songs cover a wide range of subject matter but consistently the values of femininity have found a voice right through to the third and latest album, 'Wild Water' to be released this year. The internationally renowned World Sacred Music Festival in Fes, Morocco is in it's 22nd year and has taken the theme "Femme Fondatrices" or "Women Founders". During the week long festival, Lara Conley & The Alchemist's Wardrobe performed songs from the new album to a great Moroccan reception at the American Language Centre & Arabic Language Institute of Fes Medina with the wonderful backdrop of photographer, Gwyneth Talley's exhibition 'Gunpowder Girls'.
Friday 6th May at ALIF Riad, Fes Medina.
Supporting Gwyneth Talley's photography exhibition, 'Gunpowder Girls', a project about an unusual group of women who compete in the dangerous "Gunpowder Games" also known as “tbourida” or “fantasia”, a performance and competition with roots deep in a centuries-old traditional cavalry manoeuvre.
Tuesday 10th May hosted by ALC & ALIF at ALIF Riad, Fes Medina.
Lara Conley & The Alchemist's Wardrobe in Concert - A performance of songs from both the second album 'Folk World Fusion' and the forthcoming album 'Wild Water'.
2016 saw The Alchemist's Wardrobe performing songs from Lara Conley's forthcoming album, 'Wild Water' in collaboration with 'The Dead Eye Masters', a folk ensemble featuring Rob Watkins and Kelly Hutchinson on the Handpans and Lee Sanderson on bass and also Harry and Josh West, a formidable pair of musical brothers. Lara has long been interested in musical arrangements that digress from the expected, using instruments from around the world to give a diverse and exciting backing to her English sounding songs.
The latest album is no exception, featuring performances on electric slide sitar, didjeridu, handpans, dulcimer, cello, hammond organ and bodhran to name a few. Lara has even been using her voice as an instrument, creating acoustic layered soundscapes.
The Alchemist's Wardrobe have performed at various world music festivals including The Gathering, Rhythm Tree, Elementary Didgeridoo Festival, Hangout UK and Exeter Respect Festival.