Siobhan grew up in London with a father who was a renowned big band performer. She loved the excitement and rhythm of Big Band music but she was most enamoured by the expansive emotions, colours and textures of classical music.Her fascination with the stories and atmospheres classical music could create, led her to train as a classical flute player at the Royal Academy of Music in London. She went on to pursue a successful flute playing career, freelancing with London orchestras, working as a studio musician and playing West End shows.
Siobhan’s main love was performing chamber music and giving solo recitals. She performed all the major flute concertos for Richard Hickox at the St Endellion Music Festival and was the featured soloist on Richard Rodney Bennet’s ‘Jazz Calendar’,for the Royal Ballet.
In 1996 Siobhan embarked on an English and Theatre Arts degree at the University of London. This period of study led her to realise the potential for storytelling within music composition. After graduation she began to focus on working as a composer and has since written for dance, film/media, and concert projects of her own music.
Although a classical composer, with very much her own style, Siobhan has an understanding of many different types of music on which to draw. She is as comfortable writing for chamber ensemble, strings or choir as she is for a brass band or big band. Her music often has a strong sense of narrative, which draws together her many experiences of music as well as her love of literature.
In 2006 Siobhan was commissioned by Marsden International Jazz Festival to write ‘Meditations’.This is an acoustic piece with an evocative and explorative mix of different and distinctive sounds which is written to poems around the themes of Love, Loss, Hope, Joy, and Peace and celebrates landscape and sound. She was inspired by the desire to draw an improvised sound into a classical setting, and she wanted to create a room to pause and reflect and a space to explore silence and sound. In the piece she created the musical dialogue by weaving together the lines of a string quartet, a vocal group specialising in medieval chant, a harpist, a percussionist from the world music tradition, as well as for one section the pure sound of a children’s choir. The whole piece came to life with the interaction of the soloist trumpeter Gerard Presencer’s rich and moving improvisation.
The Guardian described Meditations as ‘unmissable’, ‘tantalising’ and ‘expansively beautiful’.Meditations was recorded in April 2008 at the Royal Academy of Music and was produced by Jeremy Summerly, director of Oxford Camerata.
In 2006 Siobhan composed the music for the children’s movie ‘Tom’s Christmas Tree’.
It has been screened in ten major cities in the USA, and in 2008 it was accepted for Santa Fe Film Festival. Film director/producer Robert Worley said of working with Siobhan
“From our first meeting I knew Siobhan was perfect for the project, she was exactly on our wavelength- her insistence on real musical instruments and nothing synthesised was just what I wanted to hear.The finished score absolutely transformed the film, and to me, one of the most thrilling parts in the entire project.”
In autumn 2009 Siobhan collaborated with timpanist Grahame King to create the Concerto for Timpani, Improvising Trumpet and Brass Band. This piece was performed at York University.
In the summer 2010 Siobhan composed ‘The Nightingale and the Rose’ which was commissioned by WDR and performed by the WDR Big Band and WDR Choir. Later in winter 2011 it was performed and broadcasted by Danish Radio Big Band and Danish Radio Choir. The piece is composed around a text by Oscar Wilde and it tells us a story about a nightingale that sacrifices its life for love. Siobhan Lamb wanted to present the classical expression of the choir with the rhythmical universe of the big band and the improvising tone of the trumpet. It was not about getting the sounds to melt together, but on the contrary about maintaining and celebrating the differences.
In spring 2011 Siobhan received a commission of new work for a new ensemble as a collaboration between the Hochschule Hanns Eisler fur Musik and the Jazz Institute of Berlin.The piece is based on The Seven Ages of man by William Shakespeare.
Siobhan has also been a composer for ‘Betrachten Dance’, a contemporary dance company, where she worked with profoundly deaf choreographer Joanna Dunbar and composed for ‘Fallen’ part of the ‘Cultural Shift Festival’ for East London Dance.
She has worked as a songwriter and lyricist for Sony BMG, was a string arranger for Randy Brecker project with the Danish Radio, and composes for educational projects and workshops. In her educational work she has given seminars at postgraduate level, most recently at the HFM Hanns Eisler Berlin.
The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music has asked Siobhan to write a piece for the “Spectrum” series which will be published in 2015.
Siobhan has recently agreed to work with Proprius Naxos on two releases in spring 2012 “Meditations” and “The Nightingale and the Rose”.