© Jann Wilken

„Wer ist Nelly Boyd? Als in Tennessee, Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts, einst das gewisse Fräulein Boyd den Farmer und Prediger Adolphus Cage mit den gemeinsamen Kindern sitzen lässt, bekommt dieser mit der schönen Charlotte Anna Green fünf weitere Kinder: der drittgeborene, Gustavus Williamson Cage, sollte der Großvater von John Milton Cage jr. werden. Wie wäre es wohl weitergegangen mit der Musik, wenn die Würfel anders gefallen und das gewisse Fräulein Boyd geblieben wäre? Wir spielen diese Musik, die Nelly gern hören würde….“ (Nelly Boyd manifesto, 2004/2005)

Nelly Boyd is an ensemble and composers’ collective from Hamburg, Germany founded in 2004. For more than 15 years it has maintained a calm but constant and formative presence in the music scene of Hamburg and beyond.

Nelly Boyd emerged from the need to break up formal academic structures, to explore different influences from classical composition, electro-acoustic music, rock, improvisation etc. and to search for its own sound – all of this in a non-hierarchical framework. On this base Nelly Boyd organizes concerts, performances and installations in clubs, galleries and other places of sub and high culture. Guest musicians are often invited, with an emphasis on collective working modes and integration of professional and non-professional performers.

This consistent search for the own sound has been continued to the present. Nelly Boyd is specialized on experimental and minimalist music and has worked with composers like Alvin Lucier, Christian Wolff, Rhys Chatham. The ensemble is known for its long-time collaboration with Phill Niblock and has performed several world premieres of his compositions. Works of Lois V Vierk, Terry Riley, La Monte Young, James Tenney, Morton Feldman and John Cage are also part of the repertoire.

The strong cohesion between the members has enabled intensive collaboration even under pandemic circumstances. Since 2020 an hour-length concert installation (Ultimate Loop Space) has been developed as well as a sophisticated system of collective composing (Whirligig).
Nelly Boyd performs regularly at the festivals Blurred Edges and klub katarakt in Hamburg. Other performances: Podewil (Berlin), Experimental Intermedia (New York), Serpentine Gallery (London), Rote Fabrik (Zurich), Westwerk (Hamburg), Église Saint-Merry (Paris), Issue Project Room (New York), Hangar Bicocca (Milan), Bozar (Brussels), MaerzMusik (Berlin), Bayerischer Rundfunk (Erlangen), Staatstheater Mannheim, Greatest Hits (Elbphilharmonie Hamburg).
Collaborations with eddie135 (Paris), Ensemble neoN (Oslo), Trio Scordatura (Amsterdam), Andrea Perkins (New York), Kommando Himmelfahrt (Berlin) and various ensembles from Hamburg like Stark Bewölkt, TonArt and Decoder.

In 2020 and 2021 the ensemble received grants from Kulturstiftung des Bundes, Musikfonds and Hamburgische Kulturstiftung.

Current line-up:
Moxi Beidenegl – vocals, electronics, percussion, electric guitar
Robert Engelbrecht – electric guitar, violoncello, electronics, percussion
Jan Feddersen – piano/keyborads, electric guitar, electronics, percussion
Johann Popp – percussion, plucked instruments, vocals, electronics