Swan Songs Anil Sebastian

A glowing white and orange swan floats in the dark on Salford Quays.
Image: Chris Payne

A Submerge commission to design a new electronic soundtrack for 15 robot swans.

In January 2021 Submerge released an open call seeking an early career electronic musician or sound artist to arrange and perform a soundtrack of their adapted original material in response to Cygnus, a choreography of robot swans by Loomaland; international artists who use light, sound & sorcery to create art installations and performances.

In December 2021 the new commission was presented as part of Lightwaves Festival, which transformed Salford Quays for a spellbinding 10 days – transforming the outdoor spaces with a trail of illuminated works of art. In partnership with Goethe Institut London, Submerge brought the mesmerising installation “Cygnus” to the quays, featuring the newly commissioned soundtrack from Anil Sebastian which was performed live on the opening night and featured as the onboard sound for the installation for the 10-day run.

Watch the highlights video here, featuring Submerge artistic director Mike Pony and backing music by Anil:


Anil Sebastian is a multi-disciplinary artist, member of Icelandic band Hrím and the co-founder and director of London Contemporary Voices. Known for their unique voice and choral collaborations, Anil has worked with Alt-J, Manu Delago & Imogen Heap, as well as contributing three tracks to legendary Björk producer Guy Sigsworth’s debut album Stet.

For Swan Songs, Anil has created a unique sound world that is cinematic yet unpredictable, using extended vocal techniques with AI-app “trAnSition” built in partnership with Japanese coder and synthesist Cherif Hashizume.


Swan Songs was commissioned by Submerge (2021) for Lightwaves Festival.
Supported by Arts Council England and Goethe Institut London.