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Laura Cannell's Modern Ritual XIII Feat. Stewart Lee


Sat 10 Jul

Laura Cannell's Modern Ritual XIII Feat. Stewart Lee


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‘The raw beauty of her melodies glimmer through prickly thickets of stark and dissonant chordal drones’ The Wire

‘this music feels ancient, it also feels brutally alive, as if a giant was waking from long slumbers, about to make its way in the world’ Guardian

Laura Cannell’s Modern Ritual is ancient, modern, experimental, real, fictional, personal, folkloric. Her evolving series has become a unique platform for premiering works that sit outside the contemporary mainstream.

With works and installations, the thirteenth Modern Ritual evokes real and fictional landscapes, as well as the inextricable link between human ritual and environmental threat.

Laura is excited to present an incredible line up including artists from the UK and the US, presenting premieres of brand new and highly-anticipated collaborations.


  • Luke Turner reads from his acclaimed memoir Out of the Woods accompanied by UK electronic artist and field recordist Spaceship. Modern Ritual will be summoned into the dank leaf mould and mysterious, sensual history of Epping Forest.
  • Writer and comedian Stewart Lee.

Please note, the original date for this event was Saturday 11 July 2020. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, this event had to be postponed. Read our full statement.

Laura Cannell at Kings Place

Laura Cannell

Straddling the worlds of experimental, folk, chamber, early & medieval music, performer/composer Laura Cannell is a unique and important artist whose singular vision sets her apart from her contemporaries, whilst her music exists as a culturally vital exploration of the link between medieval, traditional and modern musical idioms.

As founder of the independent record label Brawl Records and creator/curator of the Modern Ritual performance series, Laura has built an impressive and nurturing platform for the release and performance of music that sits outside of the contemporary mainstream.

Now based in rural East Anglia, Laura’s semi-composed, semi-improvised compositions draw on the emotional influences of the landscape and explore the spaces between early and experimental music that is rooted in but not tethered to the past, but rather forges a new space for her minimalist chamber music.

Luke Turner and Spaceship

Luke Turner‘s critically-acclaimed memoir Out of the Woods, a reflection on sexuality, masculinity and the relationship between humans and ‘nature’ is his first book. Out Of The Woods was shortlisted for the 2019 Wainwright Prize for nature writing, longlisted for the Polari Prize for first book by an LGBT+ writer, and Turner has been selected by Val McDiarmid as one of 10 most important LGBT+ writers for a British Council and National Centre for Writing initiative. In 2020 Turner co-curated a programme of arts events celebrating the landscape and people of Epping Forest as part of Waltham Forest’s stint as the first London Borough of Culture. He is co-founder and editor of The Quietus and writes for a variety of publications.

Spaceship is Mark Williamson, a musician and sound artist based in West Yorkshire working with field recordings, portable synthesizers and found sounds. He has previously released albums, digitally and on CD, through Apollolaan, Forged River Recordings, The Dark Outside and wiaiwya, and has contributed to compilations for A Year in the Country, Linear Obsessional and Woodford Halse. Williamson has also works with Luke Turner of the Quietus, providing field recordings to accompany readings from his book Out of the Woods. Williamson’s compositions have featured as part of Cities and Memories’ The Next Station and Sacred Spaces projects.

Stewart Lee

Stewart Lee is a writer and comedian and a long term fan of Laura Cannell, whom he once booked for a festival that then went into receivership.

About Luminate

In this open-ended series we shine a light into the crucible of new music creation today, revealing exhilarating cross-currents in sound and style through boundary-breaking, visceral performances.

From contemporary orchestral composition to shimmering electronic sound worlds, musical expression is becoming less defined by genre, more framed by its emotional and cultural contexts. Luminate taps into this bold, exploratory landscape in a series of shows that will provoke and inspire.

Date & start time:Sat 10 Jul – 7pm
Venue:Hall One


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