Aartwork started as Artwork, an acoustic offshoot of the Suffolk ceilidh band Workhouse, in 2008 with a gig at The Green Dragon Festival, in the mountains south of Granada, Spain. We quickly needed a band name, which came from a progression of bands that morphed from one to the other: Earthworks, Workhouse, Artwork and Aartwork.
Claire changed from electric bass to acoustic guitar with her rhythmic, jazzy style influenced by her bass playing.Art’s original tunes are mostly in the standard Celtic format of jigs, reels and hornpipes, quite often influenced by time spent working and living on or near the sea.
Aartwork has developed a unique style including the use of playing effects pedals, with the fiddle, as an instrumental break and also inter-weaving bluesy interludes into the tunes. The band can now perform in different formats: acoustic Celtic fusion, duo up to a quintet with electric bass and full drum kit. Aartwork also perform Celtic Folk Fusion ceilidhs with Jem calling the dances.
While playing pub, club and festivals (including Latitude and Folk East) Aartwork has appeared as support for Kal Lavelle, Fiona Bevan, HotFeet and toured with Kevin Pearce on his album launch tour in 2011.
Kevin Pearce recorded Artwork’s debut EP “First Draft” on tape, in October 2011.
Artwork changed to Aartwork in September 2012 to differentiate from other bands, including Artwork - the UK Dubstep producer/DJ.
Aartwork collaborates with NoiseofArt and BlueBusTour (see Contacts and Links page) and also collaborates with Jan Pulsford (keyboard player and co-writer with Cyndi Lauper and The Thompson Twins) in the making of a film which was shown at the new Ipswich Arts centre, Maritime Woodbridge Festival and Petta Fiesta 2015. Jan also acts as a stand in bass player - adding a jazzy dimension when playing bass on the keyboard.
Claire started writing lyrics and added live vocals and Phoebe added recorder to Aartworks performances in 2014. Merlyn Bruce joined Aartwork, playing cahon and drums in 2015 and Jon Dyvig also joined the line-up in 2015 playing electric bass, but due to other life commitments Oli Arditi was asked to step into the bass seat towards the end of 2015. Jan Pulsford stepped in to very successfully play bass keyboards for our 2015 NYE gig! Thanks Jan.
It is difficult to pigeon hole a genre for Aartwork: The music is a fusion of traditional, jazz, a bit dubby and can be described as Celtic Folk Fusion , Electo Folk, Psychedelic Folk, Acid Folk and is certainly Progressive Folk.
Aartwork History and Bio
Art Butler: Fiddle/LiveFX
Hebridean born Art, is a self-taught fiddler with an individual style coming from Celtic and blues influences.
As well as busking around Europe for three years in the early 80’s, Art has played fiddle with various bands, most notably fifteen years of playing with the reggae influenced ceilidh band Workhouse, recording the album “Tripping” with them in 1994.
Art started writing fiddle tunes in 1998. About 90% of Aartwork’s set is original music. Art plays fiddle using liveFX (mostly flange and digital delay) as instrumental breaks amongst the trad. style tunes, bringing a psychedelic, trancy feel to the Aartwork sound.
Art records and plays live with a self-designed and built magnetic pick-up
Phoebe Butler : Recorders
Phoebe is no stranger to music, being brought up in a musical family surrounded by classical early music and celtic folk music.
Phoebe excels in playing baroque, renaissance and medieval music on the recorder family. Phoebe performs in a number of baroque/early music ensembles: The Maritime Ensemble, Bergamsca and the Eisenach Ensemble. In a four year performance degree at Trinity Laban College, Greenwich, London Phoebe won an early music historic performance competition 2014 (performing with Bergamsca), the prize being a performance at the International Early Music Festival in London. Phoebe also won another Trinity prize in 2014 for her outstanding recorder playing. Phoebe’s virtuosic recorder playing adds a new dimension to Aartwork’s live sound.
Phoebeis currently doing a Master’s on the recorder at The Royal College of Music.
Merlyn Bruce: Cajon, Drums
Merlyn hails from Nashville, Tennessee and started playing with Aartwork in 2015.
Merlyn is a jazz drummer and orchestral percussionist, touring Japan with his orchestra.
Merlyn is a talented drummer and fine addition to Aartwork’s line-up!
Claire Cordeaux: Acoustic Guitar/Vocals/LiveFX
Claire is native to Suffolk but started playing guitar and singing in pubs in Bristol before moving to London and played bass guitar with 80’s band Heavens Gate.
After moving back to Suffolk, Claire played bass guitar with Workhouse for12 years.
Claire also played bass with the Cambridge based singer songwriter Heather McVey and the Peterborough based band Isiah, with whom she recorded the album “In The Wings”.
Claire started writing lyrics and adding ambient vocalsin 2014 adding a fantastic new dimension to Aartworks sound.
Oli Arditi: Bass Guitar
Finding himself constitutionally unsuited to real work, Oli turned to music in his mid-twenties, and studied the bass guitar full-time until he was completely unemployable. He is inspired by, but technically unable to emulate players such as Paul Jackson, Danny Thompson, Gary Willis, Dave Holland, Trevor Hutchinson and Steve Bailey, and has been bringing his uniquely opinionated style of groove and melodicism to music in many styles for several decades. He is now a librarian and aspiring writer, and is also obsessed with food, mountain-biking, post-structuralism, fantasy literature and the creative use of the semicolon.
Oli’s bass playing is a welcome addition to Aartwork giving the celtic groove depth and grunt!