About Leafcutter John

John’s first recordings reached the offices of Planet Mu Records in 1999 where its founder and Aphex Twin
collaborator Mike Paradinas encouraged John’s more experimental efforts. During this time, he acquired
the name Leafcutter John, suggested by a friend who compared his creativity and industriousness to that of a
leafcutter ant. Working with Planet Mu, John released three critically-acclaimed albums which culminated
in the release of The Housebound Spirit, an album which combined elements of music-concrete and
electro-acoustic music with voice and guitar work more commonly found in folk music. It won an Honorary
Mention at the 2004 Ars Electronica Awards, and was featured in The Wire’s top 50 records of 2003.

His fourth album The Forest and the Sea was nominated for Best Album (Qwartz Electronic Music
Awards 2007) and was toured extensively throughout Europe and Australia. Resurrection, released in
2015, marked another shift for John, building on his formidable reputation as an inventor of unusual
handmade electronic instruments and extraordinary music software. For the track Gulps, John used a
recursive software system to layer a recording of the North Sea 7.1 billion times, once for each human
alive on the planet.

For his latest (seventh) album, John is thrilled to team up with fellow stalwarts of idiosyncratic electronica
Border Community on the joyously upbeat Yes! Come Parade With Us. Weaving field recordings from the
Norfolk coastline together with layers of lyrical modular synth, it comprises seven bright-eyed anthems that
beam with positivity and a sense of place. An intensely personal project, John has also hand-drawn the
labyrinthine album art and animated his own suitably exuberant rainbow-hued video to accompany the
boundless enthusiasm of the restorative title track Yes! Come Parade With Us.

As part of his ongoing quest to create more expressive instruments with which to write and produce music
John has designed, built and developed a unique light controlled musical interface which is the heart of
his live show. Comprising a light sensitive controller and bespoke Max/MSP software which he plays
gesturally using handheld lights. He has performed with it throughout Europe and given talks and
workshops at various music and art schools, including the Royal College of Music. In 2012 he took this
system to Vietnam at the invitation of the British Council and in 2014 played it to a sold-out Roundhouse
in London supporting Imogen Heap. In 2015, the interface won the Qwartz Electronic Music Award for

Since 2004 John has been a key member of experimental jazz band Polar Bear, recording five albums
with them, touring extensively and picking up two prestigious Mercury Prize nominations. John has also
performed with Shabaka Hutchings, Talvin Singh and Imogen Heap, supported Matmos, Otomo
Yoshihide and Yo La Tengo and twice been part of Beck’s band at the Barbican, London. In 2007 he was
also invited to perform at Jarvis Cocker’s Meltdown Festival at London’s Southbank Centre, alongside
Beth Orton, Grace Jones, Nick Cave and Roisin Murphy.

Living up to his industrious artist name, John is also a prodigious producer and remixer. His production
credits include Bas Jan and Melt Yourself Down and he’s currently working with Ed Dowie on his second
solo album. And he’s been commissioned to provide scores for countless theatre, dance and poetry
luminaries, such as the Handspring Puppet Company and renowned choreographer Wayne McGregor.
John has also written custom software for artists including Jon Hopkins (as used on his 2018 album
Singularity) and experimental beat boxer Jason Singh.

“Alongside Aphex Twin and Bogdan Raczynski – he’s one of the UK’s most fearlessly inventive
electronicists” – Time Out London
“A musician who combines acoustic and electronic music with an irresistible compulsion to build Heath
Robinson- like inventions” -The Guardian
“One of the bourgeoning stars of post-electronica” – The Wire
“He has used the power available to him to push boundaries and concepts” – Future Music
“Leafcutter John brews up a particularly English blend of electronica” – Louder Than War
“A true, actual genius” – Jon Hopkins

Selected Discography
Leafcutter John :
“Yes! come parade with us” (album) border community 2019
“Resurrection” (album) desire path 2015
“Tunis” (album) tsuku boshi 2010
“The forest and the sea” (album) staubgold 2006
“The housebound spirit” (album) planet mu 2003
“Microcontact” (album) 2001
“Concourse EEP” (album) 2000

Polar Bear :
“Same as you” the leaf label 2015
“In each and every one” 2014
“Peepers” 2010
“Polar bear” tin angel 2008
“Held on the tips of fingers” babel 2005

Production & Mixing
Bas Jan, Yes I Jan (2018), Lost Map – co-produced with Capitol K and Leo Abrahams
Hello Skinny, Watermelon Sun (2017) Brownswood Recordings – additional production
United Vibrations, The Myth of The Golden Ratio (2016), Ubiquity – additional production
Melt Yourself Down, Last Evenings on Earth (2016), The Leaf Label – producer and mixer
Melt Yourself Down, Melt Yourself Down (2013), The Leaf Label – producer and mixer

Collaborations & Commissions
Bau.Haus.Klang. Eine Harmonielehre: Performance with Michael Wollney. Akademie der Künste, Germany
Video Jam x Basquiat: performance with Danalogue, featuring Sarathy Korwar, and Idris Rahman (2018)
Material Men Redux: commission to extend music for a dance piece by Shobana Jeyasingh Dance (UK
tour 2016/17)
The Reverse Collection: Guest musician at Tarek Atoui’s installation in the The Tanks, Tate Modern,
London. (2016)
Stowfest, London: commission inspired by the designs of William Morris and performed at the William
Morris Gallery in Walthamstow (2016)
Material Men: commission to write electronic music for a dance piece by Shobana Jeyasingh Dance (2015)
Vuong: commission to write music for dance piece for Wayne McGregor/Random Dance (2015)
Imogen Heap’s Reverb: production of robotic orchestra (2014)
Converse and Google pop-up workshop: created and ran a workshop on DIY audio electronics (2013)
Crow: score for large scale production by Handspring Puppet Company (2012)
New graphic score piece for Blank Canvass with London Sinfonietta (2011)
The Chekhov Challenge: commissioned by Between the Ears on BBC Radio 3 (2010)
Canal Music: commissioned by SoundUK (2009)
BBC Radio 3: commissioned by The Verb in collaboration with poet Jen Hadfield (2009)