“Laura Cannell conjures a sonic portal between the past and present.” – The Wire
Critically acclaimed instrumentalist Laura Cannell deconstructs her bow to produce haunting melodies from her violin and deconstructs our stuffy view on the recorder by blowing through two simultaneously and harmoniously with gusto. In doing so, she constructs a flourishing fragmental sonority heralding the ancient, traditional music of the instruments into the present through experimental improvisation.
Her sensitivity, emotiveness and wild flare will transport you into a new realm of tranquil solitude. 2016 saw the release of Laura’s third solo album Simultaneous Flight Movement to critical acclaim, appearing in numerous end of year lists.
Where did she come from? Based in rural East Anglia, Laura Cannell’s work draws on the emotional influences of the landscape whilst simultaneously breathing new life into lost and forgotten melodies from the 5th – 14th centuries.
Long self-taught sessions alongside dedicated training gave Laura a foundation to build upon, but it is her fearless strive to break away from rules and tradition and her thirst for collaboration and experimentation that elevates her body of work to courageous peaks.
“At school, I used to play for medieval banquets in a haunted pub in Bungay. But I just get bored of there being rules, I don’t like being told what to do. And I’m really anti-twee. People think: ‘Recorders, how lovely!’ But they’ve got balls and energy – they can really bite.”
For more on the Woman blowing Recorder prejudice away click [here]
With longstanding time spent in the highly regarded Horses Brawl duo as well as her Early Music missions, Laura then went on to pastures new. She has since collaborated with electronic musician Hoofus, plays in new trio Oscilanz with Ralph Cumbers (aka Bass Clef) and has worked with renowned drummer Charles Hayward (This Heat) to name but a few. She even founded her own record label Brawl Records in 2005.
“She is uniquely able to fuse inspiration with interpretation, delivering scintillating, programmatic works in miniature based on everything from Homerically florid psalms to the pioneering music of the 12th century apothecary, scientist and theologist Hildegard von Bingen. Obscurity is no boundary here.” – The Quietus
For an interview with Laura from The Quietus click [here]
Laura’s dexterity, determination and devotion to seeking the new is culminated in her all encompassing 3 solo albums. Beginning with Quick Sparrows Over the Black Earth released in July 2014 where haunting chords move the heavy air of the church as fiddle drones drift across the flatlands of East Anglia in single-take atmospheric improvisations, she has continued this stylistic approach to recording.
Her latest release Simultaneous Flight Movement was recorded on the day of the EU referendum in single takes inside Southwold lighthouse.
“I went to the Methodist chapel round the corner to do my vote, and then stood in this enormous tower that looks out over the sea, playing fragments of music from all over Europe. Thinking about it going up through the tower, going out past the prism in the top, I just thought about all these ridiculous borders we’re putting up between each other. I was standing there, firmly planted, thinking, ‘Please don’t go!’”
“As soon as something begins to sound like a genre, I begin to lose interest.”
This March sees the launch of a new performance series at Cafe Oto [Modern Ritual] exploring ideas of ritual through music and words, evoking real and fictional landscapes. Featuring solo sets from Charles Hayward, Laura Cannell and Hoofus and a new collaboration between Laura & Charles. More info [here]
Then this June, Laura Cannell graces us with her glorious sound at Supersonic Festival – a performance not to be missed!