Harpist, singer-songwriter and producer Laura Perrudin first came to the limelight in 2015 with the release of her first album Impressions, prompting reviews in Le Monde, the BBC, FiP and Les Inrocks. Poisons & Antidotes followed in 2017 – a pop phenomenon blending soul music with electronica and experimental folk, based on the original use of the electric chromatic harp, an instrument created just for her. Using her unique voice to delve into all kinds of research and electronic manipulations, Laura’s very personal universe materializes wonderfully during concerts where her "perfect geek" panoply swells to higher effects using pedals, laptop and multitrack looper to boost both her harp and voice.
She has performed for the french and international live circuits, attending indie events for groundbreaking artists (Transmusicales de Rennes, Eurosonic Noorderslag - Groningen, PopKultur Festival - Berlin, The Great Escape - Brighton, MaMA - Paris…) and taking on the most prestigious jazz scenes (Antique Jazz Theater in Vienne, Winterjazz Fest NYC, EFG London Jazz fest, Jazz à la Villette, Paris Jazz Festival...).
Perspectives & Avatars, her new album, was released in October 2020. In it, she is digging deeper into pop, soul, electric and danceable music. Her direct, straightforward poetry is like a role play, enabling her to switch points of view and put on a variety of masks. With her subjective camera in hand, Laura relates the existential considerations and obsessions of a wolf, a cloud, a song, a satisfaction survey or even a witch about to be burned alive.
Perspectives & Avatars is an album of songs featuring such prestigious guests as Philippe Katerine, Mélissa Laveaux, Becca Stevens, Emel Mathlouthi, drummer Ian Chang (Son Lux, Moses Sumney). It is based on a simple concept, whereby each song is a character – an avatar.
Brought up on a diet of jazz, Laura Perrudin studied classical music from an early age. Her wide ranging interests also include electronic music, soul and hip-hop. She trained alongside musicians from her native Brittany before her personal journey took her to other fruitful encounters in Paris and New York. Seeking to increase the possibilities of the harp and find a richer harmonic language, she found an opening in 2008, when luthier Philippe Volant built her a chromatic pedal-less harp with a single row of strings, enabling her to bring the sinuous harmonies of her compositions to life. She continued on her adventurous musical path with the electric chromatic harp, an instrument that was tailor-made for her. With it, she ventures into sound worlds evoking Amon Tobin, Björk and Flying Lotus, as well as the winding, impressionistic harmonies of Debussy, Ravel or Wayne Shorter.
On stage or in other unusual places, Laura Perrudin sings and arranges live orchestral music in which her harp and voice, processed from multiple sources, recorded and looped, create the widest of sound spectrums.
Played that way, her harp at times sounds like drums, a bass or a guitar, displaying her unique personal touch.
Away from pre-arranged, metronomic or quantized music, Laura Perrudin's live-looping virtuoso orchestrations juggle with the predictable forms which are an all too frequent staple of this type of technology.
Everything moves, evolves, and comes to life. Electronic music all to often equates automation. Perrudin’s music is just the opposite: it should be understood as human jest for the present moment.
"contemporary artists shun classical traditions and conjure future-facing stories from the intimidating instrument, playing around with genre and electronic processing, as well as championing subversive new techniques. French harpist and singer-songwriter Laura Perrudin teases unexpected sounds from her chromatic electric harp"
"Perrudin’s strong melodies and poetic imagery make each song uniquely compelling."
"A dreamy confection of electronica, neo soul and psychedelic folk, threaded with vocal experiments and multi-tracked harmonies that soar and soothe. An arresting work by an artist destined for greatness."
The Evening Standard
"This beautiful album brings together classical, folk, hip hop, rock and jazz: it’s a personal, original and highly musical vision."
London Jazz News
"Could we just say we LOVE the amazing Laura Perrudin and her superb album. Go listen!"
"The harp is like a texture box that Perrudin can make sound like a drum, a heart beat, a guitar... or a harp"
NPR - PRI's The World
"Music in the gray areas between the musical classifications by an artist who ignore the usual boundaries between genres"
"Laura Perrudin loops chanting vocals, percussive bars of beatboxing and layers of her custom-made chromatic harp to create enchanting experimental jazz and hip-hop"
The Line of Best Fit
"She mixes darkly magical, dream-inspired imagery with curious and slightly queasy sound design. Perrudin’s silky voice is the bow that wraps it all together, keeping it loosely tied to the surface while exploring the murky depths"
"she helps us to rediscover the harp, far from the clichés usually associated with it."
"It's rather as if Björk had chanced upon Herbie Hancock in a Dublin pub"
"Laura Perrudin ignores the stereotypes. It is stunning to listen to the thousand games of a tightrope artist, her cheerful and spontaneous radicalism, definitely modern"
"All combined: Laura Perrudin suggests a thought, a universe, a being."