Sarah Smout is a cellist-singer and activist, creating music and poetry deeply rooted in nature and place.
Her music has been played on BBC Radio 2, BBC Look North, and has been used for environmental campaigns by Greenpeace, COP26 and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. Prior to her solo career, she toured and recorded internationally with renowned artists such as Michael Chapman, Bridget St John, The Mediaeval Baebes, Gren Bartley, King Creostoe, The Magpies and many more. This led her to appear at many mainstream and folk festivals across the globe such as Primavera Sound, Shambala, Greenbelt, Cambridge, Green Man, Larmer Tree, and Folk Alliance International.
More recently, Sarah’s music video Atlas was featured at COP26 as part of the IUCN Peatland Pavilion, with the aim of creating awareness about Yorkshire’s fragile and important peat bogs. Atlas also received airplay on the BBC Radio 2 Folk Show (“deeply lovely” Mark Radcliffe), was featured on BBC Look North and COP26tv. Her collaborative work with environmental organisations has also seen her providing Greenpeace with a Save the Arctic anthem in 2017, and teaming up in 2021 with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust to create music videos in the wild for an ongoing project called Wild Music. This project will feature more single videos to be released in collaboration with YWT, filmed in different environments.
Further to this, in 2021 Sarah was commissioned by the Ensemble Team at Lancaster University to write a theme song for their Entangled Festival. Using their environmental research as inspiration, she wrote and recorded a song-poem called Sinking Sand, and filmed a music video at Heysham Head near Morecambe.
Sarah also draws inspiration from places that are remote and offer alternative lenses with which to view our connection to nature. In 2018 she travelled to Iceland by boat, via Orkney, Shetland and the Faroes, in order to collect natural sounds and songs from each island to make into a sound-map. These experiences have culminated in an entrancing solo show that explores human relationships with nature, climate change and sense of place through music, poetry and spoken word. Sarah’s solo performances are imbued with visceral story-telling, bristling with atmosphere created with looped cello, haunting melodies and deeply felt lyrics. Audience members are left feeling transported and mesmerised, with sounds and rhythms that are never too far from the sea.
In 2021 Sarah performed at Hinterlands Festival and at Manchester Folk Festival/English Folk Expo supporting Sam Lee at the RNCM. 2022 saw her perform at Timber Festival, Just So Festival and more.
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