The Quick of the Heart

by Quinta

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The latest record from London-based experimental composer and multi-instrumentalist Quinta.

Always richly inventive with sound, Quinta takes us piano adventuring in this new record. Discovering incredible variety in piano sounds during the record’s making, with instruments ranging from a Romberg character piano through a white-painted Co-operative Society ‘piano of the people’ to a Steinway Model A, Quinta worked first only with pianos, and then with keyboards more generally, both at home and away- even as far as Portland’s Old Church where on tour with Radiohead's Philip Selway, she recorded herself playing the venue’s resplendent pipe organ before soundcheck. She created numerous homemade sample sets for the record, including one made from the sounds of a piano tuner twanging one of her own instruments back to its full glory, and the album is lush with imaginative electronics and processing. Her trademark strings are in the mix too, and Quinta plays virtually all the instruments you hear on the record. With a steady intelligence in her story-telling lyrics, and a movingly unaffected singing voice, Quinta has created a sound world of extraordinarily powerful emotional resonance.

Praise for The Quick of the Heart:

"An utterly beautiful and magical album...full of gems from start to finish" Cast the Dice

"The kind of album that'll stop you in your tracks" [sic] Magazine

"So strikingly alien, yet brimming with such passion and humanity" Fresh on the Net

Praise for Quinta's first record, My Sister, Boudicca (Tartaruga, 2009):

“Wistful, sparse, and transportive; this record sparkles with a sense of play, of wilful originality and effortless grace.” Danny Wadeson, The 405.

“As the album comes to a close, you get the idea you’ve just been to the most peculiar recital you’re ever likely to experience. Quinta comes from a different place, and a different age. There aren’t enough albums these days that are genuinely fascinating. This one is. Cherish it.” Sam Shepherd, The Line of Best Fit.

“This is probably the strangest, most beguiling record I’ve heard in a long time. It’s hard to describe as it is so singular that comparisons are difficult and almost unhelpful. As a work of art it is wonderful: strange, beautiful and irresistibly unique.” Nick Lewis, God is in the TV.


released July 10, 2017

All songs written by Quinta 
All parts performed & recorded by Quinta except for drum kit on tracks 1, 2, 6 & 9 (Alex Thomas) and bass guitar on tracks 1 & 6 (TJ Allen)
Mixed by TJ Allen at Station 7
Mastered by Shawn Joseph at Optimum Mastering
Artwork by Felicity Hickson
Cover photography by Beth Crosland
For song info and lyrics, visit


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Quinta London, UK

Quinta is a London-based multi-instrumentalist performer, improviser and experimental composer.

She is one quarter of Collectress and works with a number of other artists.

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Track Name: The Morning After St Jude
Taking the long way round
Riding her bike along roads filled with sleepwalkers woken by lights in the sky they can't fathom
Great branches are down and the gutters and kerbs filled with pools of rainwater

This storm with a name which she yearned for has caught her
She's slightly undone as she thinks of the swirling wind brewing, and blowing her future wide open,
But she likes the view and in a way it feels new enough

Pedalling onward
Her gunmetal clouds fight with sunlight that blazes on brick walls and houses,
She knows that the waiting is over, the waiting is over, the time is October, the waiting is over
She's high now, and closer, impossible energies lifting her wheels and then floating her past all the rooftops the office blocks, bus stops and treetops, feels stars in her coat, no more fear in her throat
Track Name: Astragal (The Most Wonderful)
You are the most wonderful thing

Lift me
I can’t stand on that foot
I jumped from a height and cut myself
But I’m the 99 cents that buys the book
Trust me, I’ll make a midnight theft but I’ll get off the hook
I’ll meet you later, a cafe corner, did you get my letter?


Oh my lover, oh my lover
You know I’d die or kill for you
Dutiful guest, past undercover
You know I’ll just lie still for you
My liberty weighs heavy on me
I’d rather be inside, I’d rather me inside, I’d rather you inside me


You are the most wonderful thing
Track Name: Guido
Your hex plays an open hand
I see no tricks and coins
You map your music here
With five fingertips
And I just sing your tune

Do Re Mi Fa

May be I’ll remember
The way that things are still
May be I’ll know the song before
You feel the thrill

Do Re Mi Fa So La
Track Name: Blood
Telegraph high wire
Holds hundreds of tiny birds
All facing the sun

He drives to you
He drives to you smiling
Now four are five
He cannot wait to speak it
You made a sister
With your tiny fingers crossed

She drives with you
She ’s silently crying
Her red eyes melt
She almost cannot speak it
This autumn blue
It’s so nice to be home
You saved your sister
When you’d thought that all was lost

Your whole brain
Is filled with blood
When you love

Telegraph high wire
Holds hundreds of tiny birds
All facing the sun
Track Name: Morning Reckonings
Sometimes when we’re too tired to speak
And when it’s early morning
I hear you talking in your sleep
You think you guard the silence of the deep

And sometimes if it’s early morning
If it’s too dark to see your hands
I watch the dryness of your mouth
And know that nothing will come out

We feel each other change direction distantly
We’re breathing water in like swimmers lost at sea

Sometimes if it’s too dark for words
You wake from dreams that I have left you
If I can’t speak I say don’t cry don’t cry don’t cry it’s just the night

But then I scare myself with thinking quietly
That it’s my own silence I’m guarding carefully
That when your eyes are fully open
That when your hopes are broken
It’s you who’ll be the one to leave me
Track Name: Subsong
You are pale blue and I am white
I speak from the left and you from the right
I sing but think you’ll break my little fork in two

I hold the cup up, try to hear
And think of long strings making near
Our hearts and ears are made of threes
That’s how we beat the dinosaurs

I’m wasting air on empty flight
Not sure the gift will last the night
The hottest stars are blue
So why cold me and why cold you?

No vaster habitat could make
So small a view, so deep an ache
We’ve change the world you see,
But stayed the same, in you in me

We’ve changed the world
You’ve changed my world
But stayed the same, away from me
Track Name: An Elf Ring
There was a ring beneath a tree
Wherein a music charmed so easily

Around we danced, ran widdershin
Our hands held fast, we ventured deepest in

Consumed by light, we disappeared
And now can’t tell a moment from a year

Can’t break, can’t move this rock, this bed,
We are the dancing when we are the dead

Unseen to all but to each other
Caught in this light, in this cover
Tell me, are we made or maker
You’re my madness and my hunger

There was a ring beneath a tree
Wherein a music charmed so painfully

It’s now our feet that mark the grass
That the make the line we cannot seem to pass
Track Name: A Tutorial For Little Karen
Doctor Eric told me twice
A story with two different endings
Of a man who fought a storm
But just one ending saw him listening

Play for me please play for me
With lungs that never want for air
Once there is a fear of falling
There will be no freedom there

Before the bow must come a stick
To hold it is exaggeration
Strength is not just of one kind
Can just be catching of momentum

Little Karen, quarter size
Your fingers inching like an earthworm
Moving circles and elipses
Taking you from string to string.

Did Yehudi tell you Karen
Of the man who fought the weather?
Did Yehudi know my doctor
Did a storm bring them together

Give up to that motion that you study
that you’re cultivating
Throwing is one single impulse
Then the missile does the rest

Little Karen, though you’re small
You’ll find things are the way you tell them
Because your little space existed
You’ll have a concert just for one.

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