Amy May combines her work as a composer, arranger and songwriter with her work as a viola player and singer. She has arranged music for artists ranging from Jeff Beck to Muse and regularly performs with bands such as Elbow, The Killers and Snow Patrol and as an orchestral player for groups such as The Heritage Orchestra, as well as her own band, Paris Motel.
Born in 1978, she studied composition and later viola at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Leaving college marked the start of her interest in contemporary and popular music, when she began to work as a player, arranger and writer for different bands and singer songwriters. At this point she set up Paris Motel, a band with an ever-changing line-up of performers, to play her music. The band would appear on one night as a string quartet and on the next as a full symphony orchestra. To date Amy has written and recorded two albums and an EP for Paris Motel, to great critical acclaim:
“If there is a shortage of exquisite English chamber folk-pop in your collection, the delicious album from Paris Motel, In The Salpetriere, will fill the relevant gap – a gap I hadn’t even realised existed until I listened to it. It’s one of the most purely lovely things you’ll hear this year” – Michael Hann, Guardian
“..almost classical in its scope and beauty, [using] instruments that by rights belong in a museum…. Despite all of this it still manages to sound totally now – like Arcade Fire playing in an English country garden.” – NME
“An album that totally defies classification. Vainly trying to place it in some genre I got as far as orchestral trip-folk soundtrack music, then gave up and simply let the wonderful sound wash over me. The baby of viola-player Amy May, who also plays a vast array of other instruments on it, this labour of love echoes some long lost cinematic accompaniment to a 60’s arthouse movie delivered in a very proper English accent.” – Dave Essen, Express
Her forthcoming album, Songs of Innocence, is a collection of interpretations of songs her parents played her as a child, ranging from Laurie Anderson to Talking Heads, and will be released in Autumn 2010.
In The Salpêtrière LP
Paris Motel – LP