BIOGRAPHY  Laura Cannell – Performer/Composer/Improviser/Producer

Short Biography

Laura Cannell is an internationally recognised musician originally from Norfolk. She has performed solo at Queen Elizabeth Hall, The Barbican, Latitude Festival, Liverpool Philharmonic Music Room, Copenhagen Jazzhouse, Tate Liverpool. Tate Britain, Unsound Festival in Poland, Flow Festival in Helsinki, Brighton Early Music Festival, The Aldeburgh Festival and many more.

She has written commissions for Hampton Court Palace, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Amazon Audible Originals and her tv and film music has appeared on Netflix, BBC2, BBC Radio 4, BBC Wales, and internationally on films and programmes.

Collaborators include the cellist Lori Goldston (Nirvana / Earth), Stewart Lee (Comedian / Writer), Electronic Sound Artist and composer Mira Calix, Cellist – Kate Ellis (Ireland’s Crash Ensemble), Welsh Experimental Harpist Rhodri Davies, Jennifer Lucy Allan (The Guardian, The Quietus & The Wire Journalist & Presenter of BBC Radio 3 Late Junction) and many others.

Longer Biography 

Straddling the worlds of experimental, folk, chamber, early & medieval music, performer/composer Laura Cannell is a unique and important artist whose original and singular vision sets her apart from her contemporaries, whilst her music exists as a culturally vital exploration of the link between medieval, traditional and modern musical idioms.

As founder of the independent record label Brawl Records and creator/curator of the Modern Ritual performance series, Laura has built an impressive and nurturing platform for the release and performance of music that sits outside of the contemporary mainstream.

Now based in rural East Anglia, Laura’s semi-composed, semi-improvised compositions draw on the emotional influences of the landscape and explore the spaces between early and experimental music that is rooted in but not tethered to the past, but rather forges a new space for her minimalist chamber music.

Laura has released five albums since 2014, successfully carving out a unique path with her work, receiving critical acclaim from the contemporary music press and regularly being included in numerous Album of the Year lists (including The Guardian, MOJO, BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction, The Wire and The Quietus).

Laura first came to prominence with her debut album, the semi-improvised “Quick Sparrows Over The Black Earth” (2014). Recorded in single takes in a small medieval church in rural South Norfolk, UK, the album was inspired by the surrounding Norfolk marshes and broads; this was followed a year later by “Beneath Swooping Talons” (2015), a beautiful suite recorded with deconstructed bow and of double recorder that encompasses both wild animal calls and long forgotten liturgical chords.

Laura’s next album was 2016’s “Simultaneous Flight Movement” which was recorded live, in one take inside Southwold Lighthouse in Suffolk and moved away from formal structures to re-imagine a sonic landscape unrestricted by time or origin. 2017’s “Hunter Huntress Hawker” again recorded live in single takes and largely improvised, this time in the semi-ruined church of Covehithe which sits on a fast eroding cliff on the Suffolk Coast.

Laura’s fifth album is “The Sky Untuned” (2019) which represents a new musical phase for the composer & performer, moving away from the adoption of music from the past by embracing a completely untethered exploration of new spaces for her music.

Laura’s style has evolved out of long self-taught sessions alongside dedicated training as well as employing her very open approach to join the dots with contemporary music makers. Laura studied the recorder at London College of Music graduating with 1st class honours in Performance. She also has a Masters in Performance Studies.

Recent projects include creating music for film, broadcast work for BBC Radio 3, “Reckonings” (2018) a collaborative album with Andre Bosman, tours with the cellist Lori Goldston (Earth, Nirvana) & collaborations with This Heat drummer Charles Hayward & Mira Calix, as well as commissions for Hampton Court Palace, The Immix Ensemble, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra & The Zuckerman Museum of Contemporary Art (US).


Laura Cannell gratefully acknowledges support from PRS for Music Foundation
Laura Cannell is supported by PRS Foundation’s Women Make Music


Laura Cannell gratefully acknowledges the support of The Arts Council of England – Developing Your Creative Practice 2018-19Print


laurawoodsmallThe Re: Chord Air Project and Modern Ritual projects gratefully acknowledges the support of the Arts Council of England National Lottery Funding.