Oliver Coates is a cellist, composer and producer based in London. His practice is centered in the juxtaposition of acoustic cello and digital manipulation of sounds and effects. It’s a deep exploration of the synthesis between the sounds Coates can tease from his cello and the sonic and rhythmic palette of electronic music.

In 2016, Coates released the solo record ‘Upstepping’ on PRAH and the collaborative record ‘Remain Calm’ with Mica Levi on Slip. Both albums share an experimental approach to the cello, which he records and processes digitally. Some of the melodic pitched sounds, even those that sound like keys, are actually samples of the tail of a cello harmonic. This underlines Coates’s classical skills of symphonic scope, which take the listener on a journey from otherworldly soundscapes to the dancefloor.

He works closely with Levi, London Contemporary Orchestra (with whom he has recorded for Radiohead, Frank Ocean and Actress), Elysia Crampton, Jonny Greenwood and the visual artist Lawrence Lek (for whom he scored the award-winning video pieces Unreal Estate and QE3). He has conceived and programmed the Southbank Centre’s long-running Harmonic Series and its first DEEP∞MINIMALISM festival in 2016, which featured Pauline Oliveros’ last public Tuning Meditation.

Resident Advisor
Upstepping album
Video for artist profile