Soundtrap II: Leafcutter John

Beaconsfield Commissions 2007

13 June – 22 July 2007

Exhibition open Wednesday – Sunday 12-6pm
Preview Tuesday 12 June, 6-9pm
Free entry

One hundred and sixty years of history impregnates the wooden floorboards of the Upper Space at 22 Newport Street ­ the former Lambeth Ragged School ­ where London-based composer, artist and musician Leafcutter John is in residence. During June and July the old wooden floor will be symbiotically linked to software specially written to coax out sonic stories, old and new, re-told with the arrival of each visitor.

The second commission in the Soundtrap series — a portfolio scheme for new sonic works — includes a residency, a period of public activation, a concert, a limited edition CD, broadcasts on Resonance 104.4 FM and live web streaming, Wednesday – Sunday 12-6pm, also at

Download Soundtrap II MP3’s here:


Since his first release on Planet-Mu records in 2000, London-based Leafcutter John (aka John Burton) has developed a strong musical identity using processed instrumental and environmental recordings. His third album The Housebound Spirit (Planet-Mu, 2003) won an Honorary Mention at the 2004 Ars Electronica Awards and was featured on The Wire magazine’s top 50 records of 2003. His fourth album, The Forest And The Sea, was released by the Berlin-based Staubgold label in June 2006. Leafcutter John was trained as a fine artist and took off into experimental music. He is known for elegant sound constructions that swing between folk and experimental electronica and is currently a band member of the experimental jazz line-up Polar Bear.

Leafcutter John in concert Saturday 7 July

Performance 8pm.

“John Burton (aka Leafcutter John) is best known for his work with London avant jazzers Polar Bear and his own ear-warping experimental electronica, but his last album was a wonderful mix of sweetly melodic, mean and malevolent folk. Here, he plays a floor-based instrument (with guest accompaniment) specially created for this Soundtrap II project”

Time Out

A totally one-off evening of fresh work that has emerged from Soundtrap II and a rare chance to see Leafcutter’s creative process in action.

Video by Niky Lanos shows the performance in which Seb Rochford, Enrico Glerean, Joe Zeitlin and Leafcutter John attempt to play the floor of the Upper Gallery at Beaconsfield:

Friday 20 July at 7pm: Leafcutter in Concert broadcast on Resonance 104.4 FM.

Mondays at 16.30 from 2 July – 16 July: weekly sonic encounters between the public and Leafcutter’s dynamic architectural instrument broadcast on Resonance 104.4 FM.

Part of Architecture Week 2007.

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