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Leland Gets To Know: Anna Meredith

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Leland Music catches up with the classically-trained composer turned recording artist

Leland Gets To Know: Anna Meredith

An artist we’ve been pretty obsessed with over the past eighteen months is classically-trained composer turned recording artist Anna Meredith. Her music is as visceral as it is intriguing, and since we’re nothing if not curious over here at Leland Music, we were keen to learn as much about her as possible.

In the first of a series of artist interviews, we caught up with Meredith to put to her all the questions we’ve been burning to ask ever since we heard the first horn blasts of ‘Nautilius’. Here’s what she had to say…

Q> How do you think a person listening to your music for the first time would describe what they heard? 

Anna Meredith> Hmmm, sadly I think it might depend on their background but I hope a sense of energy, bombast, with a dollop of irreverence and a love of a good build.

Q> What does your ideal writing day consist of? 

AM> Unfortunately I feel like 95% of my time is adminning – I very rarely get a solid writing day but sometimes (especially when the deadline is perilously close) I just get my head down and go for it, and it just flows.

Q> Are you happier in the studio or on stage? 

AM> Oooo! Good questions! This is tricky, as both are so different and I feel like both are evolving so much and so quickly at the moment. Sounds like a cop out but I’m just enjoying the adventure just now…

Q> Does any art form other than music ever influence / inform your composition process? 

AM> I’ve found that drawing on anything from any art form, including other bits of music doesn’t help me in my writing! I prefer to focus on my own sense of shape and pacing as I’ve found that (especially with music) when I’m drawing on someone else’s material I’d just make a weaker version of it! It’s a slightly different thing when you’re collaborating on a new thing with someone from a different art form or musical background and I enjoy that too, but I see it as a slightly different process.

Q> There’s been a significant reduction in stigma surrounding artist engagement with brands in recent times. With this in mind, do you have any specific brands you’d like to work with, and how would you like to see those brands engage with artists?

AM> Yeah, it’s been great to see so much inventive and creative content coming though all kinds of commercial mediums, and that brands are excited to be investing in music and art that takes risks!

The choreographer David Ogle - with whom I made my body percussion pieces, ‘HandsFree’ & ‘Connect It’ - and I actually have a (cough…) BRILLIANT idea that we think could work well in connection with a huge global brand (don’t we all?). Our hope is to pitch something that could be a creative commissioning process to someone massive and see if that’s something we could look at developing!


Q> What’s the last track you listened to and where were you when you heard it? 

AM> I listened to Olivia Chaney’s beautiful track ‘Blessed Instant’ while on the bus home form my studio. The sun was setting and it all felt pretty perfect (despite there being a box of old chicken on the floor next to me).

Q> What piece of music do you most wish you’d written and why?  

AM> Maybe Sibelius’ ‘7th Symphony’? Perfect pacing and a slow build which I feel I can always take something from!

Q> What other talent would you most like to have and how would you use it?

AM> I’d like to have a louder voice. I’ve come to terms with not having an amazing, powerful singing voice and feel it’s important to just be myself and sing as I can, but my speaking voice is really quiet too and means no-one can ever hear me in a pub…

Q> What does your favourite film score or soundtrack mean to you?   

AM> There are so many film scores that I love for their inventive or nostalgic or well-judged or unexpected sound. It was so exciting to see the Oscar nominations this year reflect a shift in film sound and see the brilliant Mica Levi & Hauschka represented.

Q> What’s your favourite sound and when would be the perfect moment to hear it? 

AM> Such a cliché but who doesn’t love the sound of a massive storm whilst all tucked up in bed…

Thanks so much to Anna for her open and honest answers! We’ll be over here with Varmints on repeat.

Anna Richmond is a Music Researcher at Leland Music. You can view more of their work at

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Genres: Music performance

Leland Music, Mon, 08 May 2017 09:04:47 GMT