I am a composer, songwriter, producer and musicologist with
particular interests in popular and experimental music, and the
possible links that might exist between them. Improvisation and the
accidental play a large part in shaping the direction of the music
I make. This interest was developed during the completion of my
doctoral composition portfolio, which I completed in 2004, centred
on the role and status of improvisation as part of the
composition-performance cycle (taking cues from British and
American experimentalists of the 1940s onwards). My current
compositional activity is probably more accurately described as
music production – the blurring of these two activities is
something I’m interested in exploring.
Since 2010, I have worked on the Nightports project exploring the
rich potential of limitation in making music that sits somewhere
between song and dark electronica. Nightports has two sides:
electronic and acoustic. For the electronic version, only sounds
made by a single vocalist can be used, though these can be passed
through an unlimited number of processes, transformations,
distortions and translations. This music has also been recorded as
an acoustic trio (voice, piano and guitar) – itself a process of
translation that brought challenges and opportunities in equal
measure. With a series of EP releases to date, Nightports has been
broadcast nationally (including BBC 6 Music) and internationally.
The title track from the second EP – Skywide – was
released as part of the Mercedes-Benz Mixed
Tape #54 in October 2013.
Between 2004 and 2012 I was part of Middlewood Sessions – a
studio project that produced a form of popular music that infused
the timbral aesthetics of jazz and orchestral music with the
rhythmic impetus of dance music. Singles were released on
London-based Brownswood Recordings and Wah Wah 45s. A full-scale
The Middlewood Sessions – featuring some 30 musicians was
released in February 2012, marking the culmination of the project.
This music received national and international radio play
(including BBC Radio 1 in the UK); the album was nominated for Jazz
Album of the Year 2012 on Radio 6 Soul & Jazz (Netherlands) and
was voted number 14 in Albums of 2012 on Rté Pulse in Ireland.
Both of these music projects fuel aspects of my current
research. I’m interested in how the elusive processes of musical
creativity, usually involving technologies of some kind, can be
captured and understood. This includes how people work together to
make music, what role technology has to play, how the creative
process spins out over time and how increasingly mobile music
technologies impact on the location of music-making practices.