"I might put a beat in it.

Get over it!" The composer Anna Meredith isn't big on artistic qualms. She writes unfussy music in primary colours, music that is upbeat and upfront. "I don't think I'm a brilliant craftsman," she says cheerfully, no hint of diffidence. "I don't get bogged down in masses of detail. I love big brushstrokes."

Born in Edinburgh in 1978, now based in London, Meredith flits between concert halls and club nights. She composes orchestral scores and electronic tracks. She has been Composer in Residence with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, has teamed up with indie star Laura Marling, has written music for MRI scanner and has stood behind a laptop in a muddy field at Latitude Festival, pumping out beats and glitches for a throng of boozy dancers. She is part of a generation of composers who blithely collide the sounds, conventions and references of pop and dance music with those of contemporary classical. And though she has met her share of sniffy comments along the way (one critic described a backbeat in an orchestral piece as 'a turgid march'), today she's inarguably one of the UK's most visible faces in new classical music. Of the works selected by the BBC for its inaugural Ten Pieces project last year, Meredith's Connect It sat alongside Mozart, Britten, Beethoven and Stravinsky. The only other living composer on the list is John Adams.

For a taste of Meredith's musical chutzpah, try her piece HandsFree, written for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and premiered at the 2012 Proms. If you missed it first time around there's a video on YouTube: the supremely talented NYO musicians concentrating like mad as they click, slap, stomp and shout out ten minutes of funky cross-rhythms. They don't even touch the instruments whose technique they've spent years perfecting, and at the end they're all aglow with the kind of giddy endorphins that come from dancing around to a good tune. Meredith bounces onto the stage to take her bow in a pink mini-dress, worlds away from the august bust of Henry Wood that presides over the Royal Albert Hall.

Now The Proms have announced that Meredith will be back this summer with a new work for the Aurora Orchestra. Called Smatter Hauler, it's a big commission - a partner piece to Beethoven's Sixth Symphony for a concert that will be played entirely by memory. "Such a cool idea," Meredith says, trying to gather her unruly black hair out of her face as she speaks. "Aurora did a memorised Prom last year and it was incredible - not having any music stands gave them this brilliant physical freedom that I'm really keen to work with. Having said that, I don't want to become just the novelty movement girl..."

We've met in London outside the Southbank Centre - she bounds up to introduce herself, a flash of bright jeans and high-top trainers. The Aurora commission is still in embryonic stages, but she brainstorms its shape out loud and at considerable pace throughout the interview: whether to move the players around, whether to include elements of body percussion, how much to attempt to play with the lighting in the Albert Hall. "If the musicians don't need to read music, maybe we could do the whole thing in the pitch dark - how fun would that be? Oh wait, BBC health and safety. Maybe not."

Behind all of Meredith's choreography and light play is an impulse to make music that is a genuinely physical experience - for players and listeners. "I love feeling stuff," she says. "If I'm really into something I can feel myself clench my fist. I'm off my seat. I'm always looking for that kind of power. It doesn't have to be because something is loud; it could be because something is so beautiful. I get frustrated when I feel like I'm listening to something from behind a screen. I need it to be visceral."

And that's a large part of why Meredith was drawn to making electronic music away from the concert hall. After two EPs - 2012's Black Prince Fury and 2013's Jet Black Raider - she is now ready to release her debut studio album. "It's not that I don't want to write orchestral music," she says by way of explaining why she chooses to make music with a laptop and a pop band, "and it's definitely not about putting something on in a club to make it cool. It's that I missed performing." Meredith grew up playing clarinet in youth orchestras. "Also I love volume, and I found I wasn't able to get as much dynamic impact in concert halls. Also I love electronic music because it's just there. It exists. There's not that horrible thing that you get in classical music: a piece that you bust your ass over and it's played once and never again. It is so hard to live with that. Also -" she's listing on her fingers now - "I love playing to a room of people who want to enjoy themselves. In a bar I feel like everyone is there to have a good time, whereas I remember looking around in concerts and realising that everyone else in the room was a composer. There was an element of arm-folding and, 'come on then, impress me.' That's just so much pressure."

What's striking about Meredith is how well she seems to know her mind. She acknowledges that she knows what kind of projects do and don't work for her, though says it took a while to get there. "At music college we were so conditioned to think about what music we should like. Meanwhile we were told to 'be true to yourself,' but it's so hard to know what that means. And it took me ages to realise that it doesn't help me to listen to a lot of other music when I'm trying to compose, which is most of the time. I get distracted and start trying to copy people. Instead I listen to a lot of Radio 4..." she laughs. "People always assume I must have a fascinating iPod. Actually it's 90 percent Queen."

Above all, Meredith is clear about the kind of responses she wants to prompt in her listeners: namely, the kind of physical, robust experiences she seeks out for herself. "Pacing of material is the most important thing," she says. "I think that's what I'm best at: writing a big build. I love not being too tricksy about it. Like, 'yeah, we're building - get on board! Let's go! Jump in!'" She's grinning as she says this, head is bopping and arms miming a steam train. "There's something really unifying about that transparency of process. When you watch people dancing and a big beat comes in? I love that. It's so basic, and it can work just as well in a piece for solo violin. It's about taking the reveal, whatever it might be, and pacing how it's going to happen. A moment of real beauty set up by something gnarly so that your shoulders drop. It works every time. Because if you don't feel music somewhere in your body, what's the point?"

Anna Meredith's Smatter Hauler will be premiered by Aurora Orchestra at the BBC Proms in London on August 2. Details of her debut album will be announced soon