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Folk-Roots Musician Marks Solo Debut with Songs Inspired by Voyage

Sarah Smout is pictured with her cello.

Folk-Roots Musician Marks Solo Debut with Songs Inspired by Voyage

Yorkshire singer, cellist and environmental activist Sarah Smout will perform at Ropetackle Arts Centre on 27th April at 8pm.

This show is part of her debut solo tour after a decade-long stint as a session cellist in the folk and roots scene. With just her cello, voice and loop pedal, Sarah creates a transportive and mesmerising solo show that explores our connections to place. Titled ‘Eyjar’ (Old Norse for ‘islands’), it is inspired by her month-long odyssey to Iceland by boat, via Orkney, Shetland and the Faroes, and interweaves poetry, looped soundscapes and deeply felt lyrics in perfect harmony, creating a truly unique sound. As an environmental activist, climate change lies at the heart of her work, and she presents it in a way that celebrates nature, whilst also posing urgent questions. She brings to you her experiences from remote islands, including local dialect words for nature, stories about species of birds from islanders she met, and even traditional tunes.

Sarah said: “I made the journey to Iceland to listen and collect – to travel slowly. So often tours are about covering as much ground as possible, without really experiencing any of the places. I think that when we slow down, we can uncover stories about place that are important and urgent, and even more profoundly, find our own place in nature. This connection to nature is something that helps me navigate an uncertain world, and by travelling in these remote islands, I got to experience something that was very special, and it made me even more determined to do what I can to protect nature and the future of all life upon this earth. I hope that my music can uplift, challenge and inspire change.”

Sarah’s music has been played on BBC Radio 2, BBC Look North, and has been used for 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, 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.

Yearning for adventure, and a tour that could go at a slower and more environmentally friendly pace, she embarked on a month-long odyssey to Iceland, travelling by boat via Orkney, Shetland and the Faroes. These experiences have inspired an entrancing and transportive solo show called Eyjar (Old Norse for ‘islands’) which explores our connections to place, the different lenses through which we view the land, and what that means for our relationship with nature. Sarah’s performances are imbued with visceral story-telling, bristling with atmosphere created with live-looped cello, haunting melodies and deeply felt lyrics that are never too far from the sea. Eyjar forms the backbone of the 2023 tour together with exceptional new material.

Tickets here.


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