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Roxanna Albayati is an interdisciplinary artist, researcher and music educator. Her practice centres around combining experimental music with performance art and audio-visuals, exploring topics surrounding identity, sense of belonging and the body. Her music merges cross-cultural improvisation with Iranian classical music and the physicality of performance.  Although predominantly a cellist, Roxanna also uses her voice, ghaychak and her body to materialise and realise her experimentations, fascinated by the process and natural evolution of discovery. Roxanna explores the theme of self and the other, how these two interact, both internally and materially, whilst considering this through the perspective of Orientalist constructions and female place in society.  Her teaching, artistic and research practices often cross paths, where, through constantly embodying a/r/tographic principles, Roxanna places herself at the centre of inquiry, to strengthen and inform the basis for creative and educational practices. 


Roxanna works with a number of collaborators, including the multidiciplinary project Seh Khak (Three Lands), where three women’s intersection of Iranian identity is interrogated through interweaving of personal stories and the concept of homeland. The project will premier in 2024 (Porto, Portugal).

In 2024 she presented her multimedia project Shekare Azadi/Chasing Freedom as a re-comission from Zaratan Arte Contemporânea (Lisbon) for their performance cycle “VOLTAS”. Her book chapter ‘Unmuting the ‘other’: constructions and constrictions within an Iranian Dastgah and Western Art Music discourse’ is also set to be published by Routledge this year. 


She has performed and worked extensively across Europe, including at Cafe Oto (London, 2023), Northen Ballet (Leeds, 2023),  Halaqat - Goethe Institute (Brussels, 2022), METRIC IP (Tallinn, 2020), Casa das Artes/Sismógrafo (Porto, 2021), Sound Festival (Sound Scotland, 2021) and Abastan Factory (Armenia, 2023).

Roxanna also performs with her experimental improvisation duo ЯК, who won the Gladys Puttick Improvisatin Competition in 2019. She is a founding members of the New Maker Ensemble, a group dedicated to experimenting with various forms of new music and performance art, and has previously been the co-curator of ZANĀN, an experimental music and performance art collective, focusing on the expression of artistic ​identity of the Iranian diaspora.

She completed her BMus in Music at Goldsmiths, University of London, studying cello with Rebecca Turner. In 2020 she completed her MA in Performance and Music Education at Trinity Laban, achieving a distinction as well as the Directors Prize in Music Education, for outstanding work and contributions to the music education department and wider institution. She studied cello performance with Natalia Pavlutskaya, music education with Tim Palmer, improvisation with Douglas Finch and singing with Linda Hirst. In 2020, initially as part of a research project, Roxanna  begun Iranian classical music training - this training was supported by the Bert Jansch Foundation and Help Musicians. 

​Roxanna is currently working at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance as a graduate researcher and improvisation coach, looking into the inequalities which exist between different student groups in a conservatoire setting. The work specifically focuses on student learning experiences, sense of belonging and the role of student voice. She also is a guest improvisation tutor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.


image by Nuno Martins

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