Ground breaking cellist, Shannon Hayden, began playing cello at the age of 7 and over the next several years she studied and competed both nationally and internationally. Her playing attracted the attention of acclaimed cellists Janos Starker and Aldo Parisot, who invited her to enroll in the Yale School of Music at 18 to begin graduate studies. While there she concentrated primarily on 20th century music and had the opportunity to work with contemporary composers Ezra Laderman and David Lang. Interest in furthering the range and the future role of her instrument continued and even eclipsed her interest in traditional cello works. Reluctant to accept offers from recognized and established groups after graduation Shannon released her second album, Solid State Cello, combining both classical and pop elements.
Shannon Hayden's fourth album, Ancient Ways, walks a thin line between avant experimental and more accessible themes. Her sound has been described as an emotionally charged journey through surreal, sonic landscapes. She performs her own compositions around the world while also providing multi-instrumental work for the Asthmatic Kitty Records artist Lily and Madeleine, and world music group, Simrit.