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CELEBRATING THE ART OF CONTEPORARY MUSIC COMPOSITION

COMPOSER PROFILE

  • Anna Meredith

    Anna Meredith

    Composer Biography

    Anna Meredith is a composer, producer and performer of both acoustic and electronic music. Her sound is frequently described as ‘maximalist’ ‘uncategorisable’ and ‘genre-hopping’ and straddles the different worlds of contemporary classical, avant pop, electronica and experimental rock.

    Her music has been performed everywhere from the BBC Last Night of the Proms to flashmob body-percussion performances in the M6 Services, PRADA fashion campaigns, numerous films, installations and documentaries, pop festivals, clubs and classical concert halls worldwide and broadcast on Radio 1, 2, 3, 4 & 6.

    She is also a regular TV and Radio guest, judge and panel member on numerous shows including as Goldie’s mentor for the TV show ’Classic Goldie’.

    She has been Composer in Residence with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, RPS/PRS Composer in the House with Sinfonia ViVA, the classical music representative for the 2009 South Bank Show Breakthrough Award and winner of the 2010 Paul Hamlyn Award for Composers.

    Her ground-breaking body-percussion piece, Handsfree, was commissioned for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and performed by them at the BBC Proms in 2012. She followed it up with Connect It, for the BBC’s inaugural Ten Pieces project, reaching half the UK’s primary schoolchildren during 2015, as well as Anna leading broadcasts, workshops and performances including at Radio 2’s Proms in the Park to 40,000 people.

    Anna’s two EPs - Black Prince Fury and Jet Black Raider were released on Moshi Moshi Records to critical acclaim including Drowned in Sound’s Single of the Year.

    She performs with her band of classical musicians and a line up of Anna on clarinet and electronics plus two cellists, electric guitar, tuba and drums. They have performed everywhere from Latitude to Ether festivals, la Gaîté Lyrique, Le Guess Who to classical music festivals and residencies.

    Recent projects have included collaborations with Laura Marling and The Stranglers for the first 6Music Prom, commissions for the Aurora Orchestra, Scottish Ensemble, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra and Living Earth Duo, Installations for Sleep-Pods in Singapore and Park Benches in Hong Kong and the world’s first Concerto for Beatboxer and Orchestra.

    Anna’s debut album Varmints was released to widespread acclaim on Moshi Moshi/PIAS in March 2016. Anna Meredith is published by Warp Publishing. Hire rights administered worldwide by Faber Music Ltd.


  • Shortlisted 2016
    Category Orchestral
    Work Smatter Hauler

    About this work

    Smatter Hauler: literally, hauler of smatter.

    Anna Meredith borrowed the name for this new Proms commission from a Sherlock Holmes novel – it’s a Victorian term for a gang of handkerchief thieves. ‘Think less about the snotters,’ she suggests, ‘more about the skulduggery and the looting.’ Groups of musicians snatch material from each other across the stage. Performed from memory, the music provides hooks, glitches and patterns to keep its performers on track: there are melodic shapes to jog the memory but mostly the piece is rhythmic and chunky, with adjectives like ‘scrapy’ and ‘hard’ written into the parts. The unison beginning breaks apart into seven groups, each one teeming with distinct material – the composer calls it an ‘instant ant farm’ effect. Later there are bold panning effects that whoosh across the stage like a high-stakes street chase…

    Commissioned by BBC Proms Smatter Hauler received its UK premierep erformance on 2 August 2015. Performed by Aurora Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Collon as part of BBC Proms held at Royal Albert Hall, London.