Photographer: Meg Nanna
Award-winning composer, singer, and performance artist Emily Lau (b.1984) fuses elements of ancient music with contemporary techniques to tell unique aural and visual stories. Through the process of music-making and sharing, she fosters social and personal conversations that inspire compassion and actions.
BBC Radio calls her contemporary compositions "haunting" and "emotional", Cleveland Classical Review praised her singing of medieval music "striking", and Boston Musical Intelligencer called the multi-media shows she produced and directed “magical” and “imaginative”. This Hong Kong-native has set up permanent camp in the strange and fascinating cultural landscape that is the USA with periodic encouragement by major institutions, in both classical and other popular genres. As a composer, she has written for GRAMMY-winning ensembles, network television shows, NPR, and more. As a singer and director, she has appeared on leading chamber and early music series and festivals both domestically and internationally. She has presented clinics and lectures at Wellesley College, Harvard University, ASU, University of Arizona, UCLA, and numerous high schools and community arts programs.
As a singer and director, her primary interest is medieval, renaissance, and contemporary music. As a social advocate, she has devoted herself to the causes of homeless children, inner-city sexual and reproductive education, LGBTQ rights, and expressive arts outreach in correctional facilities. Emily is most drawn to the communicative, explorative, and empathetic experiences that come out of the artistic process.
Emily is the founding artistic director of the eclectic chamber ensemble The Broken Consort, a founding member of the Disobedient Femmes, an award-winning performance art troupe, a board member of Early Music America, a collaborator in numerous artistic projects, a social advocate, an avid food and animal lover, a friend, a lover, and a person who cannot help but dream aloud. She holds an M.Mus. in Early Music Performance from Longy School of Music of Bard College, a B.A. in Music and Sociology from University of Miami, and multiple fellowships, scholarships, and residencies throughout her academic and professional career. Emily builds community and curates new projects in Portland as part of Big Mouth Society, an organization she founded to change the standard presentation and funding of the arts. She also serves on the voice faculty at Reed College.
Emily's singing can be heard on several major labels, including Dorian, Gothic, Reference, and Albany, amongst them the GRAMMY-winning project Far in the Heavens. Her compositions can be heard on Isle of Lucidity (2012), Isle of Majesty (2019), and Opus 1 & 2: Radical Softness & The Glorious Cuntata, and on various artists' new music albums.
Composer, singer, and performance artist Emily Lau (b. 1984) fuses elements of ancient music with contemporary techniques to tell unique aural and visual stories. Through the process of music-making and sharing, she fosters social and personal conversations that inspire compassion and actions, especially in the realms of homelessness, LGBTQ rights, gender issues, and prison reform.
Critics have described her compositions as "haunting" and "emotional" (BBC Radio), her singing as "striking" (Cleveland Classical), and the shows she has produced as "magical" and "imaginative" (BMI). As singer and director, she has toured domestically and internationally with various ensembles. Since 2011, her compositions have been heard on network TV shows, NPR, and concert series of GRAMMY-winning ensembles such as Conspirare and True Concord.
Emily is the founding artistic director of early music ensemble The Broken Consort, co-founder of Disobedient Femmes, and a board member of Early Music America. In Portland, she tours and records with Cappella Romana and directs chamber ensembles at Big Mouth Society. She holds an M.Mus. in Early Music Performance from Longy School of Music of Bard College.
Photographer: Meg Nanna