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Laura Misch


Singer, Saxophonist, Producer and the perfect example of a modern multi-hyphenate artist. Misch has become well known for her genre bending blend of electronic music and Jazz Sax — think Pauline Anna Strom meets Pharoah Sanders —all mixed up with some haunting vocal performances, and you are somewhere in the right ballpark. 

Her musical genealogy, unique as it is, can be traced back to her upbringing in the rich cultural landscape of South London, where the diverse sights and sounds permeated her consciousness from an early age. "South London has got a really diverse community and there was lots of West African and Jamaican influences sonically. We had carnival celebrations at my school growing up, which provided a whole wealth of inspiration rhythmically and melodically". These initial sprouts of inspiration were given further room to grow with her involvement in local community projects — “I also was part of Tomorrow’s warriors, which is a jazz charity that was responsible for groups like Ezra Collective” giving a small insight into how her burgeoning creative spirit was forged. 

Despite her start in music, "Sample The Sky", Laura’s debut album was released in late 2023, a long time in the making. Following the release of a couple of shorter projects, ("Playground" and "Lonely City") her first full length record represents a dramatic creative departure for the artist and can be seen as an intricate tapestry, displaying the full kaleidoscopic spectrum of the disparate influences that have shaped her sound and a living, breathing expression of the natural world around us. 

For Laura, her genesis as an artist has been defined by a sharp turn away from the digital production methods that defined her early EPs and towards the adoption of a more natural sonic palette. "It can be so disembodied when you're working on a laptop and you're creating from sample packs or finding sounds online; it’s an incredible archive and world of sound, but you can quite easily not engage with the outside world, or lose a connection with the creation of the sound or the context of it. For the album, I wanted to get out into the world, and particularly into naturally diverse spaces with different flora and fauna". 

Embracing the full spectrum of the environment, Misch began a period of experimentation that would eventually become the bedrock of her debut. "I was going on these little trips with a friend of mine who is a film maker and experimenting with filming, playing saxophone outside, composing, taking field recordings and making collages". These exercises also became central to the philosophical leanings of the project, that aims to put place and context at the heart of the record. "I'm more and more interested in how sounds are collected and the story of it, where it was and who was there and at what point in history. Just going out and finding the sounds out in the real world felt really important to keep a sense of narrative and emotional connection to the music". 

These real world sounds embedded within natural synthesis and carried by her buttery saxophone tones, make for a body of work that becomes more rewarding with every listen. Tracks such as the album opener “Hide To Seek” immediately envelopes with danceable grooves and its harmonised reverberations of luscious woodwind and as the distant chirp of birds can be heard as everything else fades away, you are immediately transported out of yourself and into Laura’s world. 

Considering the rich details and layers of the record, Misch explained that has the hope that people will fully immerse themselves within the project. "I do really want people to listen to it on home headphones or on a speaker system, not necessarily when they are on the go. I wanted it to be something that you could revisit and hear a lot more". 

With this intention, Misch also manages to expose one of the most pervasive problems within the industry at large for the modern artist. The corrosive impact that unfettered, immediate access to the entire annals of musical history has on its effectiveness as an immersive artform. "Sample The Sky" appears at once as a creative creed for Misch, putting her music in place, giving it context and time-stamping it in the moment but also as an encouraging reminder to the listener, extolling the delights of fixing our attention on the abundant beauty of the now. 

With the overhaul in her creative process that the creation of Sample The Sky brought about, what does the future hold for the Misch as we head into 2024? In one word, "Collaboration". "For me, it's going to have to be more about collaboration. Increasingly I'm just more interested in surrendering to what happens when two organisms come together". 

Laura Misch's Sample The Sky is not now.

Laura Misch

Words by Jordan Corrigan

Photography by Andrew Benge

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