Laonikos seen playing the shakuhachi amongst leaves photo by Sean Kelly

BIO

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 will be 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 repairing 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

ABNEY PARK BELLS

This is a single I released in 2022. This track was recorded at Abney Park Chapel in North London, in its final days before restoration works. The chapel has a peculiar history and unique surroundings. Abney Park Trust have previously used the space for performance, and with their permission I was able to access the space early one June morning to record with the unique and weird acoustics of the space.

This improvisation with shakuhachi and live electronics plays with the idea of change ringing, a technique in bell ringing which can follow strict patterns of alternating adjacent notes to create variation with a limited amount of material. Abney Park Chapel never had any bells; the shakuhachi is called a "bell" because its tone functioned like a meditation bell in the zen monasteries where it originated. I explored this bell/bell-less synergy in the improvisation.

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