Sarah Smout with cello on rooftop (black and white)

Sarah Smout

Renowned cellist Sarah Smout hails from Craven, Yorkshire and has toured the UK, Europe, New Zealand and America. She has worked with acts including Bella, Polly and The Magpies, Michael Chapman, Bridget St. John, The Mediaeval Baebes, Rachel Ries, King Creosote, Jess Morgan, and Gren Bartley. Sarah is a young artist who spins uniquely beautiful melodies on cello into her poetry-driven, landscape inspired lyrics, creating a truly original sound. 

Sarah’s session work has also appeared on dozens of critically acclaimed albums in the folk, acoustic, and singer-songwriter scenes. 2016 saw the release of her E.P. ‘Decision to Leave’ – songs with cello which are original, beautifully crafted and touching, spinning poetry driven lyrics inspired by landscape and sea, and exploring themes like home, land, love and climate change. She has also released a collection of nature poetry, a lovingly hand-made book using recycled paper. Most recently, her song ‘Arctic Ground’ was used by Greenpeace for a Save the Arctic campaign video, which depicts the tremendous efforts of protestors and native tribes against oil drilling. You can often find her playing in the Highlands and Hebrides on tour with Scottish born songwriter, Sophie Ramsay, focussing on the relationships we have with different landscapes; natural and psychological.

In summer 2018, they embarked on their most ambitious journey to date – a musical voyage over land and sea to Iceland, via Orkney, Shetland and the Faroes. This included a sail boat between Scalloway and Torshavn, a 36 hour journey across open sea. So often, music tours are about flying or tour-bussing in somewhere and leaving without knowing anything more. For Sophie and Sarah, it’s all about the journey – feeling the distances between places, meeting the people, seeing the shape of the land, walking on beaches, watching for wildlife.

They made this journey to listen and collect, to express their environmentalism, and to experience distance in a tangible way. They explored the islands, recorded natural sounds, and collected Old Norse words related to land and nature. Using this material, they intend to record a sound-map that explores connections to landscape through borrowed sounds, composed soundscapes and poetic lyrics.

“Startling good arrangements” – – FRUK Live Review – Wickham Festival