Read all about TONAL’s latest news

Edinburgh’s Calling!

Posted on Thursday, July 14th, 2016

A Tale of Two Cities: Blood for Blood we open at the Pleasance on the 3rd of August, it’s on every day during the Edinburgh Festival at 2.40pm. Here is a taster of ‘Carton’s’ music, featuring Francesca Simmons on musical saw.

Welcome Niki!

Posted on Tuesday, October 13th, 2015
Niki Smith

Niki Smith

A warm welcome to a new member of the tonal team. Niki Smith joined us in June and set up the tonal twitter account, please follow if you are on twitter! Niki will continue to work with us building our twitter account and is a content writer so will soon be contributing to this blog and my musician facebook page. Niki is also one of my oldest friends. She has always been a huge support and advocate of my/tonal’s work and music and I’m thrilled to now bring her on board as a colleague. Sarah x

Tonal is 10!

Posted on Monday, September 21st, 2015

Apologies for not updating this page  in a while. It’s been a busy time. Last summer  we launched a successful kick-starter campaign to create, record and produce a new album. We had a fantastic live launch in London this summer and brought more players into the ensemble. We can now announce it is officially launched across digital platforms and we have beautiful limited physical copies available to purchase if you prefer.

Tonal 10 Digital Release from Leah Llewellyn on Vimeo.

This album celebrates the 10th anniversary of Tonal and the culmination of a 6 year French/British collaboration between Sarah Llewellyn, Claire-Rose Barbier and the Tonal Ensemble. ’10’ now available through itunes, amazon, spotify and other online retailers. 10 album cover Visit the ’10’ page to see clips, listen to extracts and get more info. Pictures of rehearsal, recording and live launch will soon be available in the gallery. As well as some really special music, the album has been lovingly designed by Claire and Celine. They spent some serious time crafting the

packaging and creating the additional artwork to ensure 10 not only sounds beautiful, but looks amazing too. All physical orders come with a hand-printed thank-you card and while stocks last a signed photo. We are going to be launching our online shop over the next few weeks but you can just drop us email in the meantime.

“A great mid-winter chiller”

Posted on Sunday, January 12th, 2014

The Bells ImageSarah returns to the city of her youth, Liverpool, to work on a very original project, The Bells, a piece of 19th century psychological realism delving into the destructive power of a bad conscience.

It’s been a fascinating challenge for Sarah to bring such a play back to life, and the music plays a central role in this dramatisation. Deborah’s ground breaking adaptation places the band on stage throughout in full view of the audience with all the musicians also play acting roles.

To echo the play’s bizarre darkness, Sarah has introduced various percussive bits alongside conventional instruments, musical wine glasses, a wind machine and, of course, a wide range of bells.

Read more about the play here

Unity Theatre, Liverpool
Thu 23 – Sat 25 Jan | 8pm | £10 (£8 conc)
Click here to book tickets


A “Femmes Fantastique” nomination at the 11th London Short Film Festival

Posted on Monday, January 6th, 2014

11th London Short Film FestivalWe are extremely excited to announce that the Josephine Halbert’s film, “A Short Epic About Love” will make its World Premiere in London on 11th January 2014.

Book Tickets

Told in Pictures’ latest production, for which the music was written last year by Sarah and Karen, is about to make its World Premiere this month at the BAFTA affiliated 11th London Short Film Festival, the premiere UK showcase for cutting-edge UK independent film and is renowned for revealing the very best of the country’s raw talent.

Josephine Halbert’s film offers a unique and original take on the much spoken and much read about romance between Elizabeth Taylor and Tim Burton during the filming of Hollywood’s most glamorous epic, Cleoptra, by taking us backstage to discover “the other” love affair.

The film will be shown at 15h30 in Cinema 1 alongside nine other shorts.






The Mall, London


Read more about “A Short Epic About Love”

Visit the film’s website

And as the days get shorter…

Posted on Monday, October 7th, 2013

Following some creative days over the summer, some new pieces are ready to share with you, SL

Butterflys (S) – A magical, light place, fantasy, mystery land, electro-acoustic experiment using a fragment of music composed for the film A Short Epic About Love and combining that with percussion, electronics and effects


Frogs (S) – Lively, rhythmic playful dance for marimba and piano


Leaders Convene (S) – Epic, orchestral, thematic, sense of grandeur and forward momentum


Moneyscape (S) – Electroacoustic soundscape, Coin drops, running water, stamps, claps, tension build


To listen to more new music visit the library

A sound-fest mix at London’s Halo

Posted on Friday, May 3rd, 2013






Inside the FAMES Orchestra Studio, Macedonia

Inside the FAMES Orchestra Studio, Macedonia

The making of A Short Epic About Love, Josephine Halbert’s glamorous 1960s short about the other love story during the filming of “Cleopatra” has finally come to an end which took both Sarah and co-composer Karen Hutt from London all the way to Macedonia. Watch the trailer

Here are  a few words from the director:

“We shared our happy experience in the music-loving city of Skopje with Assistant Composer Karen Hutt and xFilm’s Chris Newcombe who filmed it for Veto Film’s Making of Documentary of the film which can be seen here on the film’s website

Inside HALO Studios in London, Short Epic About Love

Inside HALO Studios in London for A Short Epic About Love

An adventure for all leading to the final sound-fest mix at London’s Halo with the help of the excellent skills of both Michele Woods, Supervising Sound Editor and Howard Bargroff, Re-recording Mixer. A thanks also to David Tobin for his great work”.


A Short Epic About Love will be released onto the Festival Circuit and screened at various venues throughout 2013 and 2014.

For more music, photos or information about this film, please visit the films’ production page. CB

Semi-finalist in the UK’s Song Writing contest

Posted on Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

We are please to announce that we had 4 semi-finalist places for 2012 UK Songwriting Contest.

Music by Sarah Llewellyn  also with thanks to Karen Hutt and lyrics by Gaynor Winstanley & Kit-Hesketh Harvey

The UK Songwriting Contest attracts the best and most serious songwriters internationally, enabling artists to showcase their work to the UK music industry.  It is the only contest established with respected bodies such as The BRIT Trust and Music Aid International, with judges ranging from Sting’s producer Kipper Eldridge, Oasis’ legendary producer on Ellis and Paul McCartney’s producer and arranger Richard Niles.

Here are some extracts, enjoy! CB

The Saturday Book comes to life again

Posted on Friday, January 18th, 2013

As snowy days and cold spells bring us back to reality in the post-festive season, here is a little tingly treat to remind us of the summer gone by, when dazzling dancers still spun on their heads, young gentlemen gracefully gallivanted along tight wires to seduce their belles, Ethiopian jugglers nonchalantly juggled 12 magic clubs and cheeky Ukrainian beaux jaw-droppingly juggled each other! CB

Here is a marvelous little snippet of summer filmed and edited by Tonal’s talented Leah Llewellyn.

And for those pining for summer, all the music is available to buy on Itunes, Amazon and CD Baby!

If you missed the show last summer, find out more about The Saturday Book here.

The perfect stocking filler!

Posted on Monday, December 10th, 2012






As promised, the music from The Saturday Book, Giffords Circus’ latest show is finally available to buy on Amazon along with the jazzy Yasmine a Musical and the the epic War and Peace album!

You can also give the music as a present as a Gift Certificate that you can either deliver by hand or via email, thus enabling the lucky recipient to download the music themselves, directly onto their computer. Find out more

‘Perfect for Christmas!’ I hear you cry! Yes, there simply couldn’t be a better stocking filler!