Laura Toxværd (b. 1977)

Laura Toxværd (b. 1977) is a Danish composer and saxophonist. Toxværd was brought up in the tradition of jazz music and she quickly developed an interests for avant-garde and free jazz, and eventually more contemporary music. Her music has been described as “geometric post-jazz” (The Wire 302, April 2009) with such divergent inspirations as Charlie Parker and 1990s grunge music added a bit of electronica. As a composer she often explores the realm of graphic notations. In this special working technique she brings together visual art and music. The graphic score “Cackle Cabin” is published in the book antology Notations21 (Ed. By Theresa Sauer, Mark Batty Publisher, NY). 

In 2009 Laura Toxværd was awarded the prestigious three-year working scholarship by the Danish Arts Council. The scholarship was given as a joint award by the committees for classical and popular music. The committees wrote in their statement: “In her lively musicianship as a saxophonist, Laura Toxværd combines graphic score composition, improvisation, electronic components, and sound production in an integrated practice that communicates in an energetically insistent language. Toxværd’s musical nerve manages to encompass references, not only to odd corners of free jazz history, but also to machinery and animal noises in an expression ranging from cabaret-light to heavy-electronica … and all on an alto sax!”

Laura Toxværd got her musical education from the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen. She studied saxophone with Sture Ericson and composition with Lotte Anker. During her studies she spent six months at Conservatoire Nationale Supérieur, Paris, and took classes with Barry Guy studying graphic notations.  In addition she has earned a Master of Arts (philosophy of music education) from Aarhus University, Denmark. Her compositions are released worldwide on 12 audio albums with John Tchicai, Marilyn Mazur, Carsten Dahl, Jacob Anderskov a.o. and performed in USA, Canada, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. She is a teacher at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory where she 2015-2016 worked as an adjunct lecturer on an artistic research project funded by the Committee of Artistic Research, Ministry of Culture, Denmark.

In 2016 she released the book "Compositions - 18 Graphic Scores". The book is available here.

Photo by Peter Gannushkin