I am a composer, songwriter, producer and
musicologist with particular interests in popular and experimental
musics, 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.