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Originally from Aberdeenshire, Annabel studied composition and piano at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

Drawn to the freedom of spontaneous composition and improvisation, Annabel later studied jazz harmony at St Andrews University. Her music combines a tonal language that melds influences of both contemporary classical and jazz idioms. As a younger composer her work has been performed at the Wigmore Hall, London’s South Bank, Aldeburgh Festival, Sound Festival Aberdeen and by the BBC SSO.   


Returning to her creative practice after having a family, she was part of the critically acclaimed Take On Mingus, a celebration of the bass player’s 100th birthday at the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival in 2022 and is currently part of the experimental multimedia trio Paracosm.   


As a passionate educator, Annabel worked as a teaching musician for Sistema Scotland within the Big Noise

Raploch orchestral programme and strongly advocates for the transformational impact of music on creating positive social change. She has worked on numerous creative music workshop projects both nationally (Roundhouse Studios / Dance Umbrella London, The London Festival / Architecture Foundation, Youth Music Initiative, Deveron Festival) and internationally in Italy and Spain (British Council).    


"Solar Licht for Chamber Choir"

It was such a pleasure to work with the Con Anima Chamber Choir in Aberdeen on this piece last year! The premiere, conducted by James Weeks, took place on 29th October 2022 in Aberdeen Art Gallery as part of the Sound Festival's series of spotlight concerts. 

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Approaching the Horizon for Symphony Orchestra

This work was performed by the BBC SSO & Big Noise Raploch Symphony Orchestra in Glasgow City Halls in March 2015 as part of the annual Side by Side collaboration between Sistema Scotland and the BBC SSO. It was such a privilege to work as a teaching musician with this organisation from 2014 until 2022 and this concert was a real highlight for me as a composer. 


With the brief of giving the young percussionists a feature and linking into pedagogical work at the time, exploring the theme of minimalism, this work uses repeated blocks of colour and ostinati to build towards a sense of arrival, gradually coming to rest in the stillness of harmonic resolution. 

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"I am interested in exploring elements of narrative and texture in my music.  As a composer, I enjoy the process of taking a broad overview of how these elements can interact, to contemplate the architecture of the journey to be taken from one musical space to another. As an improvisor, the challenge is to exist within the warp and weft of these elements and follow a course that forges a path through to a conclusion". - AK

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