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photo by Bill Wadman

” a phenomenally gifted cellist … [showcasing] bee-like inquisitiveness and ceaseless energy.”
– Fred Bouchard Boston Music Intelligencer (Aug. 4, 2016)

“her ethereal voice and sorrow-filled strings transcended the song’s original arrangement.”
-Thomas Dimopoulos Saratoga Grid (Feb. 24, 2016)

“Ashley Bathgate, the cellist and lead singer on “Breaker Boys”, served up her waifish solo with great charm in its raw cheekiness.”
– Lauri D. Goldenhersh Singerpreneur (Mar. 13, 2016)

“Bathgate is a glorious cellist”
– Anne Midgette The Washington Post (Jan. 31, 2016)

“Rolnick stepped away entirely and let her play the computer and cello at the same time, by means of foot controls that took phrases she played and continued to bounce them around her live music, sending her into duet with versions of herself as if she were a sun (with her warm, glowing melodic lines) surrounded by an ever-growing number of musical orbits, individual notes pinging and ponging around her. ”
– Anne Midgette The Washington Post (Jan. 31, 2016)

[ “In “Velvet,” inspired by depictions of cloth in Renaissance paintings, Ms. Bathgate’s smooth cello line unfolded over prerecorded tracks, the relative simplicity of her fractured gestures and long phrases contrasting with the multilayered complexity and rough edges of the recorded music.”

“The haunting, primordial arc of Ms. Bathgate’s cello line soared above the thick layers of eerie electronic sound, providing an enticing aural backdrop to Mr. Noguchi’s intriguing sculptures.” ]
– Vivien Schweitzer The New York Times (Sept. 16, 2015)

“a bright light on the new-music scene”
– Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim The New York Times (Sept. 9, 2015)

“She rode harmonies of thirds and fifths into cascading pristine labia of a nocturne. An ornamental casing. Striding and longing. Beautiful strife. Strong enough to know its beauty.”
– Trent Moorman The Stranger (Feb. 16, 2015)

[ ” She immersed herself in the music, inviting the audience to venture along for the ride. She swayed back and forth, her face growing stern as the piece swelled with intensity, then she relaxed into a contented smile as the music subsided.

But Bathgate’s ability to challenge people’s expectations is exactly why her collaboration with Lil Buck makes sense.” ]
– Diana Bell The Post and Courier (May 31, 2015)

[“And then Bathgate took the stage. Sitting before us, she held her cello with ease, smiled, and exploded. Seriously. I have never heard a piece of music like the one Bathgate created with her bow and cello. Perhaps that’s because she added another dimension: Reading music from an iPad and occasionally turning to her laptop, Bathgate became more than one instrument. She looped over herself, played with other soundtracks, and maintained a focus the likes of which I had never seen. I forgot, for a few minutes, that someone else was supposed to take the stage.

Bathgate’s face is so expressive when she plays, and you could see her concern: She wanted Myles to do well. She wanted to play with him — not for, or against him. He found his place in her music, and while his motions did not perfectly match her notes (how could they after such a short rehearsal?), they flowed together beautifully.

Bathgate and Myles were a team who came together at the last minute to show a crowd of skeptical attendees just how powerful music and dance can be. They were an organic explosion of the highest caliber. Lil Buck will be performing in the remainder of the shows, and I’m sure he’ll wow crowds and he and Bathgate will create something new and beautiful.

I don’t think, though, they’ll give anyone the show Bathgate and Myles gave last night. Some things are only truly special once, and I’m just glad I got to be a part of the magic.”]
– Connelley Hardaway Charleston City Paper (May 30, 2015)

[ “The show opened with Bathgate and Bathgate only — she came onto the stage, which was fitted out not with a music stand but an iPad stand and a table with a laptop, sat down, and played the contemporary piece “Arches” by Jacob Cooper. It was a rich, rolling composition, and showcased Bathgate’s beautiful and sensitive bowing.

But that’s not all it did. “Arches” also introduced us to the cellist’s interest in using technology in music. This piece, and several others she played throughout the concert, used looping, delays, and other technological tools to turn Bathgate’s single cello into several cellos — she’d play and record a phrase, then keep playing live while that phrase played behind her, and continue in that same pattern.”]
– Elizabeth Pandolfi Charleston City Paper (May 30, 2015)

[“It was, instead, a fascinating experience with an innovative cellist and a skilled dancer. Although I’d gone in expecting Lil’ Buck to be the main attraction, he and Bathgate shared that role fairly equally. He danced to only a few pieces, whereas Bathgate opened the show with a solo piece, “Arches” by Jacob Cooper, and played several other pieces on her own throughout the performance.

Bathgate boldly embraces the use of technology in music, and every contemporary piece she played used looping, delays, and other technological tools to turn her single cello into several — she’d play and record a phrase, then keep playing live while that phrase played behind her, and continue in that same pattern, or even use pre-recorded tracks that she’d play over.”]
– Elizabeth Pandolfi Charleston City Paper (June 3, 2015)

[ “Ms. Bathgate’s rich tone, fluid dynamics and imaginative phrasing captured the magic”

“Ms. Bathgate oversaw both a graceful, bright-hued cello line and a vigorous kick-drum part.”

“Ms. Bathgate wove supple lines around Ms. Bittova’s earthy vocal lines”

“eloquent new-music interpreter” ] – Allan Kozinn, The New York Times

“Bathgate is the kind of player who can enliven music, make it sparkle and radiate warmth” – Albany Times Union

“Bathgate has established herself as a rising star of the instrument ,”  – Albany Times Union  

“bittersweet lyricism along with ferocious chops” – Justin Davidson, New York Magazine

“terrifically present … in every detail of a deeply sensitive reading” – The New Haven Advocate

“Moore and cellist Ashley Bathgate give as much colour and meaning to the impassioned virtuoso outbursts in the final pages as they do to the central section’s rapid, subtly shifting arpeggios and the long-lined introduction. ”
– Jed Distler, Gramophone (January 1, 2015)

“The highlight of the concert was Lisa Moore and cellist Ashley Bathgate playing the world premiere of Dresher’s triptych Family Matters. Packed with dark chromatics and ominous passing tones, it was a study in contrasts, all of which eventually took on an aspect that ranged from funereal to downright macabre. The duo built subtly out of a dancing theme to a lively but equally agitated series of rises and falls throughout the first part. Then it fell to Moore to keep the steady, almost baroque rhythms going as the piece slowed down, Bathgate employing a viscerally aching vibrato and a chilling sense of longing and loss as its morose dance wound down. Moore took Mood Swings, a harrowing dirge, to a menacing, modal minuet at its peak, then Bathgate brought back a relentless, inconsolable angst with starkly resonant, stygian, sometimes microtonally-tinged lines that were nothing short of harrowing.”
– New York Music Daily (October 27, 2014)

“The cellist Ashley Bathgate’s chanting of children’s ditties had an impish ferocity to it ”
– Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, The New York Times (June 1, 2014)

“Ashley Bathgate being given a rare solo moment in the band’s set was exciting to see. To hear such a furiously-played amplified piece for electro-acoustic cello in an outdoor concert definitely made me think of Hendrix at Woodstock.” – Chris McGovern, The Glass (July 14, 2013)

” Written for cello with a small amplified ensemble of violin, viola, piano, percussion and bass, it owed much of its impact to the impassioned and charismatic performance of Ashley Bathgate, who was able to take the lead when the music demanded it, then recede back into the ensemble seamlessly.”
– Brian Schuth, The Boston Musical Intelligencer ( August 11, 2013)

“Starting with Michael Gordon’s “Industry,” a 1993 work for solo cello, was a gently flung gauntlet; from a placid, repeated three-note motto, the piece swells to roiling, distorted noise. As Ashley Bathgate played and passers-by gawked, the rumble of air traffic overhead complemented her instrument’s groans.”
– Steve Smith, The New York Times (July 14, 2013)

“The ethereal combination of Mark Stewart’s guitar and Ashley Bathgate’s cello created a dizzying siren.”
– Tom Huizenga, The Washington Post (January 27, 2013)

“Moore and Bathgate gave the new piece an appropriately stirring reading, with both artists shaping Bresnick’s phrases with the intensity of passionate human speech.”
– Bruce Hodges, Seen and Heard International (July 10 2012)

“As a Bang on a Can All-Star, Bathgate is hardly a stranger to Gordon’s music, and played this emotional gem with graceful animation. Her version was soft and subdued, contrasting the outwardly crying Reynolds recording with an introverted, contemplative take on the melody.” – Chris McGovern, The Glass (June 10 2012)

“A plaintively elegaic, part mininalist, part neoromantic work, as it expanded from a simple chromatic motif, a sense of longing became anguish and then descended to a brooding, defeated atmosphere, the cello and piano switching roles back and forth from murky hypnotics to bitterly rising phrases, with a particularly haunting solo passage from Bathgate. Yet what was even more impressive about her playing is how closely she communicates with her bandmates, Moore especially: the duo played as a singleminded voice.” – Lucid Culture (June 18, 2011)

“combined intelligence and keen musical instincts”
– Bruce Hodges, Seen and Heard International (January 4, 2011)

“Later that week, the Bang on a Can All-Stars and Trio Mediaeval assembled at Zankel Hall for the premier of Steel Hammer, composer Julia Wolfe’s flawed if musically absorbing stage production about the American folk ballad John Henry(21 November). The piece was a particularly noteworthy showcase for the All-Stars’ newest member, cellist Ashley Bathgate. The 2007 Yale University graduate approached Wolfe’s material with the right grit and rusticity while preserving a velvety sheen.” – Brian Wise, The Strad (February, 2010)

ACCOLADES

“I love working with Ashley. She’s an amazing cellist, she’s an amazing musician, so when you are writing for her, you know it’s going to have this vitality. It’s not just a question of notes and rhythms, what does she like to play or what does she play well, it’s this energy that’s remarkable.”  – composer Julia Wolfe

“the piece I wrote for Ashley is called Furtive Movements. She wants to explore new techniques in music. She wants to do something different and I really respect that in an artist.”
composer Ted Hearne