Sound Art Portfolio - compositions for headphones and multichannel installation
Matthew is a Sound Designer and Sound Artist working across theatre, music, installation, podcast and film. Working primarily with field recordings and designed sounds, he seeks to compose works that encourage an increased engagement with our acoustic environment.
Made possible by public funding from Arts Council England National Lottery Project Grants and funding from Northumberland County Council and November Club.
The Rime is a sound art installation that explores what it means to live in close proximity with the sea. It blends field recordings of underwater and above water environments in and near Amble and Warkworth Harbour with original orchestral and choral music composed by Katie Doherty and performed by the Northumberland Orchestral Society and Amble Harbour Light’s Community Choir. It’s a deep dive into exploring the world around us through sound events, both imagined and experienced.
Click on the below images to visit the Digital Scrapbook, cataloguing the process from research & development in 2021 to the current life of the piece.
I was commissioned by The Auckland Project to create a sound art installation for their latest gallery acquisition, an 18th century Baroque créche known in Italian as a Presepe.
The Neapolitan Nativity scene, which measures 11ft tall and 15ft wide is one of the most impressive and important examples outside Italy and brings together classical and Christian mythology with the traditional folk culture of everyday Naples. Purchased by Zurburán Trust from the Porcini family’s private collection, the incredible display features 421 items including bawdy street-sellers, raucous musicians and boisterous children alongside the familiar wise men, angels and shepherds.
I worked with samples of baroque instruments recorded for me by early wind specialist and musician Sophie Matthews alongside other ambient source material to create a contemplative atmosphere to facilitate the audience experience of the installation.
This creative development project was supported using public funding by Arts Council England.
In January 2021, I was fortunate to spend some time in the Northumberland National Park making new field recordings. I was working in a range of formats, with a particular focus on incorporating binaural techniques into my creative practice.
Click on the below images for further information.
South Bend (05/06-20)
South Bend (05-06/20) is my debut EP consisting of four compositions of field recordings and minimalist synthesis. Each piece explores a different state of mind as experienced whilst living in lockdown.
The compositions include subtle sounds and generally have a wide frequency, dynamic and stereo range, so listening with headphones or full range speakers is encouraged.
You can listen to the album here and buy it on Bandcamp.
Suburban Drones (Dawn Chorus)
The first track to be composed and recorded for the EP.
Inspired by sounds that were removed from my acoustic environment during lockdown, and sounds that were consequently revealed.
A sonic rendering of a panic attack.
If there's one sound that instantly makes me reach for my recorder and microphones, it's rain.
There's nothing more comforting than a rain storm.
Two Dawns (Middle C)
Two solo's taken from two separate dawn choruses.
The first weeks of lockdown for me were characterised by less noise pollution.
This new found silence, and the provocation of May's International Dawn Chorus Day inspired hours of birdsong recordings.
Commissioned by Newcastle University's Oral History Unit and Collective
I was commissioned by Newcastle University's Oral History Unit and Collective to create a piece of Sound Art in response to their interviews with volunteers and clients at the West End Foodbank.
The piece was created by blending my own ambient location recordings at the foodbank, with the recorded interviews of foodbank clients and staff made by the oral history researchers.
This durational, harsh and often confusing soundscape is my personal response to visiting the foodbank and hearing the stories of its clients and staff.
I wrote a short blog post to accompany the piece which you can read here.
joey is a new play by sean burn and directed by Selma Dimitrijevic touring in June 2019
New Wolsey Theatre Testing Ground Commission, produced by gobscure in association with Greyscale
Performed in English and BSL
These are example cues taken from the performance to give an impression of the sonic world of the play.
The script regularly references punk music from the '80s and '90s, and so the entire soundscape is composed from recorded vinyl tracks referenced onstage, manipulated and abstracted throughout to create a holistic sonic register. There are a few exceptions however, most notably the recording of a stream at the end of the performance - providing a stark contrast in pace and tone.