Sam Wilson is a percussionist, composer and vocalist based in London. Active in many genres of music and performance, his work takes him to concert halls, comedy clubs, stadiums and festivals around the world. He is an avid creator, taking a collaborative and compositional role in most of the work he does, and has undertaken numerous engagements of devising for television and radio.
Sam studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he graduated with the Lord Mayor’s Prize. During his study he was highly committed to new music performance, and the integration of theatre. He premiered works by Andrew Hamilton, Rolf Hind, Larry Goves, Tom Rose, Tim Cape and Peter Wiegold, and composed music for the play May 08 (directed by Richard Wilson and Dinah Stabb), which Sam also acted in. When being interviewed following his 12 year term as Principal of the Guildhall, Barry Ife gave Sam’s final recital performance of Georges Aperghis’ Le Corps A Corps as his highlight, stating “I have never been so profoundly affected and shocked by a performance in my entire life.”
Recent projects include a long-standing Boiler Room collaboration with the visionary producer Actress, (culminating in sold out performances at the Barbican and the Strelka Institute in Moscow), Terry Riley’s In C performed with the London Contemporary Orchestra and the composer himself in London, performances with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and English Chamber Orchestras, a Faster Than Sound project working with Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor, Mara Carlyle and Max De Wardener, concerts and masterclasses with the percussion quartet 4-Mality, and numerous soundtracks for film and television.
Alongside freestyler and comedian Rob Broderick, Sam makes up the hip hop comedy duo Abandoman. Sam began collaborating with Rob in 2011, and has gradually taken on a more central role; now devising and co-producing all of the material. Their 2014 show Hot Desk was declared the “Best Musical Show” of the Edinburgh Fringe by The Sunday Times, and their 2016 Fringe show Life + Rhymes sold a record run of 10,000 tickets this August. The last few years have seen them appear on British and Irish primetime television, perform at every major music festival in the country, tour to Australia, Europe and Asia, and support Ed Sheeran on his major UK tour.
Sam met composer and electronic artist Anna Meredith in 2010, and has since then performed in her band and helped create her live touring show. He shares writing credits on her album Varmints, (winner of the Scottish Album of the Year Award, ‘Best New Music’ on Pitchfork, and a mass of 5* reviews from the British and international press), and has co-devised solo/duo works with her including Brisk Widow for drum kits, lights and quad audio, and Gigue, for dance mat. The live band shows are intense and intricate mini-symphonies, in which Sam drums and sings. Writing on his combined performance in The Guardian, critic Maddy Costa describes a “luminous falsetto as delicate as his limbs are forceful and demanding elsewhere”. This year has included performances at Glastonbury, Latitude and numerous European shows including Pohoda Festival (Slovakia), Berghain (Berlin) and Iceland Airwaves Festival. 2017 will see them travel to the USA and record a follow-up to Varmints.