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Sarah Smout

Sarah is a cellist-singer and environmental artist, 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 public campaigns by Greenpeace, COP26 and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. She has appeared at many mainstream and folk festivals across the globe, and in 2023 sold out her performance at Hay Festival, followed by her successful debut solo tour of arts centres and venues across England.  

Water is the primary and essential need of every living organism. Yet, in one hand it is running out, and in another it threatens our existence. Through her unique combination of poetry, song and live-looping, Sarah takes us on a transportive journey through our changing relationships with water. From her own adventures by boat to Iceland, the Faroes, the Hebrides, Norway and other coastal waters, Sarah’s music is bristling with atmosphere carrying the stories of people, places and beings whose voices need to be heard.  

She captured this in her live film, Rooted, which was selected to be screened at the infamous Kendal Mountain Festival and Hinterlands Rural Film Festival in 2022. She returned to KMF in 2023 to perform alongside Simon Armitage, Robert MacFarlane, Sam Lee, and Elizabeth Jane-Burnett at the festival’s sold-out event “Music on Nature”. 

Alongside her performances, Sarah works in collaboration with environmental organisations and other artist researchers to add a musical voice to their campaigns and projects, and in 2023 received an Honorary Research Fellowship at the University of Cumbria for the Watershed project led by the Place Collective