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Singer, songwriter and performer Kelsey Michael began her singing career in theatre and dance work, collaborating with many different companies and individuals both nationally and internationally.

Kelsey has sung live and on recordings with Sean O'Hagan's High Llamas, featuring on albums: Hawaii, Cold and Bouncy, Beet Maize and Corn, Buzzlebee and most recently Radum calls, Radum calls. She sings on Jocelyn Pook's soundtrack for Stanley Kubrick's film Eyes Wide Shut, and on Jocelyn's 1999 album for Virgin records The Flood.

In 1988 Kelsey toured Scandinavia, Holland and Germany with pop group The The singing backing vocals and duetting with Matt Johnson on 'Slow train to dawn'.

In 2003 Kelsey performed live with jazz pianist and composer Liam Noble, singing with Christine Tobin for a commission performed live at CSBO in Birmingham. She has guested a number of times with Tom Bancroft's anarchic Scottish big band Orchestra Interrupto during the 1990s at venues including Purcell rooms London, Queens hall Edinburgh and Bath jazz Festival.

In 1997 Kelsey formed Minnow, an 'exploratory pop' octet and began writing the harmony filled piano songs which have become her trade mark. Gathering players from the free-improvisation circuit in London allowed her to compose intricate structures and arrangements but still keep a raw spontaneity in the music. 'Threatening to rip the song apart, they create a delicious tension." Mike Barnes WIRE review. Minnow's line up included Mark Sanders drums, John Edwards acoustic bass, Liam Noble keyboards, Dean Brodrick keyboards/accordian, Gail Brand trombone, John Telfer sax, Kay Charlton flugel horn, Richard Sanderson electronics and toys. 

Minnow recorded live EP Minnow in 2000 released on Kelsey's own label Oddo. A second EP Out of the woods was released in 2002 on Sterolab's label Duophonic Super 45s. Reviews here.

During the same period Kelsey was part of improvising ensemble Ticklish with bassist Kev Hopper, violinist Phil Durrant and Richard Sanderson on electronics. 


After studying theatre at Lancaster University and dance at Laban Centre of Movement and Dance, Kelsey became a core member of Insomniac Productions, contributing to the company from 1988 to 1995 as a deviser, performer and singer. Her dynamic vocal range and theatrical sensibility combined with composer Jocelyn Pook's adventurous compositions and the lyrics of Claire Macdonald. Insomniac's director Pete Brooks was previously a member of the seminal Impact Theatre.


Insomniac shows in which Kelsey performed included:

1989 The Fall of Lucas Fortune The Place theatre, London, Festival of Live art at Glasgow Third Eye centre and national tour,

1992 - 1994 L'Ascensore, a Polverigi Festival commission performed in Italy, UK, France, Belgium, Holland and at Hong Kong and Perth festivals. 

1992: A Cursed Place - an adaption of Buchner's Woyzek for nine women performed at the ICA London.

1995 Sangre, a collaborative production in Santiago de Chile for which Kelsey sang compositions by Jeremy Peyton Jones (plus live concert for radio 3). 1994, Clair de Luz  Kelsey composed and sang 'Crane song' for the soundtrack.

Other credits as a performer and singer:

1997, Kelsey contributed vocals and physical performance, singing music by Jocelyn Pook in O Vertigo's Deluge at Queen Elizabeth Hall, London. 

1997 singer, performer and deviser in Christine Entwisle's Missing Jesus, Old Vic Studio Theatre London and Arnolfini Bristol. 

2003 Kelsey composed the music and created a soundtrack  for Hoodwink's theatre piece An adventure in time, commissioned by and perfromed at Poole Arts Centre

From 1989 - 1994 Kelsey produced performance work crossing mediums using her skills as a singer, theatre maker and dancer.

Life on the Planet Surface was a collaborative project co-created by Kelsey and jazz drummer and composer Tom Bancroft. The piece explored relationships between jazz musicians and dancers through free improvisation with humour, beauty, dressing up and lots of rhythm. Performances happened at Chisenhale Dance Space, Glasgow jazz festival, ICA London, and Edinburgh Jazz Festival. Kelsey's solo pieces Theory of loose parts featuring live vocal and dance improvisation with four track tape recorder and Dead Singer were performed at Chinsenhale Dance Space and London ICA.

In 2011 Kelsey and her partner set designer Neil Robson created Dusk to Dark a contemporary musical theatre show telling the story of feuding Cornish neighbours whose hatred turns to love over the washing line. Performed outside over the dusk hour and seen through a velvet curtained proscenium arch framing the dramatic locations of Bosavern Community Farm, Botallack and Sennen Village Hall, Lands End. it was a piece of work dedicated to marrying the magic of theatrical illusion with the awe inspiring natural change of light from twilight to darkness. Kelsey composed new songs for Dusk to Dark which formed part of an ambient soundtrack chiming in with the live sounds of the night and the local wildlife. 

In her West Cornwall Kelsey is a regular performer at Penzance's Golowan and Montol Festivals, and Lafrowda Festival in St Just all of which draw revellers from across the country. She leads community carol choir Hearts of the Night and offered weekly Land and Sea rural singing groups from 2012-2021. Kelsey also dances and sings with anarchic apalaichian troupe Shindig Cloggers. Curator of the sellout Fruit Tree Songwriters' Nights at Penzance's Acorn Theatre, she has done much to stimulate new risk-taking songwriting in Cornwall.

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