A B O U T
// MEATSHELL is the experimental-folk duo of Helen Svoboda (contrabass/voice) and Andrew Saragossi (tenor saxophone). With a shared curiosity for the subtle beauty of things, the pair cultivates unconventional sound worlds, transcending traditional song forms by emphasising the power of story telling through sound. Infused with elements of minimalism, contemporary jazz and free improvisation, the music is intimate, raw and unapologetically honest.
In their individual artistic careers to date, both Svoboda and Saragossi have been steadfast in their pursuit of challenging the orthodox sonic limitations of their instruments. After relocating to the Netherlands from their hometown of Brisbane, Australia in 2018, they formed MEATSHELL as an outlet for shared experimentation and collaborative composition. Inspired by fresh surroundings, the duo have since developed a unique identity and deeply personal approach to song writing and composition, embracing the oddities and expressive flare from their mutual backgrounds in jazz and the avant-garde and recontextualising them into something more holistic and deeply personal.
"Meatshell doesn’t need more than one spotlight to take the biggest stage by storm…Their uniqueness oozes out of their energetic and intense stage presence, charisma and musicality."
- Charlotte Haesen, AD Jazz Maastricht (NL)
MEATSHELL’s quirky songwriting style reflects their shared passion for the unorthodox, and aims to illustrate the full emotional spectrum of the human condition. Sincere, beautiful melodies and euphoric grooves are boldly juxtaposed with moments of mystery, desperation and screaming chaos. The music “does not fit comfortably into subgenre molds” (Scott Murphy, Heavy Blog is Heavy 2019), but rather sets out to challenge traditional instrumental roles; Svoboda explores soloistic and melodic approaches upon the double bass whilst Saragossi utilises both conventional and extended saxophone techniques to create density and harmonic richness in support of the often eclectic lyrical content.
MEATSHELL has been steadily building a reputation for their divergent musical thinking and were recently recognised as winners of the 2020 Maastricht Jazz Awards (NL), as well as being selected to participate in the finals of the 2020 B-Jazz Competition (Leuven, BE) and garnering a Highly Commended Award in the jazz category of the 2020 Queensland Music Awards for their debut album “Afar” (2019, MADE NOW MUSIC). The duo were also winners of the inaugural Award for Innovation in Music (2019 – Conservatorium Maastricht) for their debut immersive/ experimental theatre production “Peaceful Co-existence” which they wrote, directed, produced and performed in.
MEATSHELL released their second album “Since Subito” in March 2021 through Sydney label Earshift Music. This album serves as a sonic exploration of the concepts and principles underpinning the cubist art movement, with a particular focus on juxtaposition and simultaneous revealing of various, sometimes clashing perspectives of one idea. With a deeper focus on songwriting, this body of work makes a stark departure from their predominately homogenous and instrumentally oriented debut album "Afar" .