Leo Chadburn


Leo Chadburn is a composer and performer from London (UK). His unpredictable work includes music for ensembles, solo performances that merge his voice with electronic music, and music for film and installation art. It has been broadcast on BBC Radio 1, 3 and 6 Music, Resonance FM and internationally.

He is also known as Simon Bookish, under which guise he released a sequence of albums of subversive, investigatory pop and numerous remixes for international artists.

His most recent album is Slower / Talker (2021), which comprises his distinctive, drifting music for ensembles and voices, written over the course of a decade. It follows 2020’s The Subject / The Object: two extended, intensely focussed spoken word and drone pieces.

Much of Leo’s work from the last decade is preoccupied with the ideas of ‘found text’ and the musicality/theatricality of speaking voices. These include The Indistinguishables (2014) for Quatour Bozzini, Five Loops for the Bathyscaphe (2017) for the Britten Sinfonia, ANTICLOCK (2019) for Decibel and RED & BLUE (2015), a solo performance based on the Cold War correspondence between Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.

He won a 2016 British Composer Award (The Ivors Composer Awards) for his piece Freezywater, written for Apartment House, and was nominated for a second award the following year for Affix Stamp Here written for the vocal ensemble EXAUDI.

His extensive collaborative work with visual artists includes Jennet Thomas’ film The Unspeakable Freedom Device (2015), Richard Grayson’s five screen video installation Nothing Can Stop Us Now (2014) and Cerith Wyn Evans’ performance work Imagination Dead Imagine (2013), for spaces including Matt’s Gallery, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Serpentine Gallery and the V&A.