Laonikos profile picture - playing shakuhachi amongst leaves photo by Sean Kelly


I am Laonikos (he/him), a shakuhachi player and wilderness guide based in London. I work as Creative Project Leader at Sound and Music and I am co-founder of artArctica. In my creative work I explore how, through arts and wilderness experiences, we can connect to ourselves, to each other, and to the world around us. In June 2022 I gave a graduation speech for the 2022 Sibelius Academy graduates which summarises my philosophy around my practice, ecology, and community.

My latest album loess was released on Slow Tone Collages in October 2022, and I was awarded a DYCP grant by Arts Council England to deepen my shakuhachi playing and making practice. Recent work includes a commission by We're All Bats for a series of livestreams in outdoor locations, and I take part in Soundcamp Reveil every spring. I study shakuhachi with Clive Bell and I am a Making Tracks 2020 Fellow. I hold a master's degree in Global Music studying with Nathan Riki Thomson and wrote my dissertation on Rewilding Music, and I previously studied composition with Paul Newland at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

I play shakuhachi, improvise, teach, and I am an accredited relational dynamics coach. If you'd like to work with me, get in touch.

You can drop me a message on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook - I'm @laonikoss pretty much everywhere.

Laonikos playing the shakuhachi on the banks of River Lea River Lea, East London, July 2021


For years I have been visiting the banks of River Lea - to sit still, to observe, to listen, to try and meld with the more-than-human that make up this place. Improvising on the shakuhachi and a small and portable live electronics setup, I explore my place on the banks and how I can blend in, creating long moments of birdsong, trains, wind, shakuhachi and technology.

The word “loess” (LOW-ess) refers to a type of sediment that is the result of wind depositing small amounts of dust on the same location over geological time. Visiting and recording in the same place over several years, this project has been about deepening my awareness of the place - my music when I retun each time is changed, each visit another layer deposited.

Limited edition of 50 printed copies only.


"...beyond these occasional foreground brushstrokes, there is just the distant sound of the motorway and the occasional train, or the footsteps of very eager dog walkers on the south banks of the river — a soft balance of sounds where human and the more-than-human coexist fairly peacefully, as residents of the land around River Lea.

"I double-check everything is connected. I exhale, take a deep breath and blow, doing my best to blend in and offer my own sounds in this morning’s dawn chorus."

BAMBOO Magazine, Autumn/Winter 2022 Issue