Nick Janaway - Music and Sound Design

I'm a sound designer & musician, specialising in live laptop performance, song and found sounds. I design a lot of my own performance software, mostly in MaxMSP.

I play laptop and sing in folktronica duo Solarference, with Sarah Owen.
I write songs, produce and perform songs as Newton Disc.

Sound design and Live Improv projects below.

Contact me about any-old-thing: nick [at]

Solo Set at Sound Cupboard Bristol

Performed March 5th 2015, at Sound Cupboard (Crofters' Rights on Stokes Croft). Laptop and vocal sound improvisation set with almost no preparation, responding to visuals made by Pete Janaway. 4 minute highlights video.

"HenDo" at Cube Cinema
May 16th 2015 - participatory sound improv

I went along to HenDo's evening of anarchic live art experiments at Bristol's Cube Cinema, with some microphones and a max patch. I spent 4 hours making up sound/musicscapes out of live-sampled vocal sounds contributed by anyone who wanted to have a go... sounds were made and remade, a nice playful and participatory atmosphere - thank you Cubegoers!

Sound for projection/mirror installation

Recently I've been working with code artist Florent Berthaut at Bristol Interaction and Graphics group (Bristol University), making sounds for Reflets, which involves movement-tracked light projection on audience and performers' bodies, either side of a semi-reflective window.


Film by Pete Janaway of sculpture installation by Dandara Catete, soap and metal in water. Fully original sound design and music, using no location-recorded sounds.

live improv set 30/07/2014

Laptop performance (improvised textures and gestures and patterns, using various samples/recordings) at Bristol's monthly "Sound Cupboard" night at Clifton Fringe Bar - recorded with handheld device in audience.

live film soundtrack

Solarference (Sarah Owen and I) have devised a new, partly improvised, live soundtrack to this classic 1920 silent film, built around folk song and live-sampled, live-transformed soundscape.

We toured this live soundtrack show to arts centres in South West UK during Spring 2014 - tour details on the Solarference website, here


Sound design for Animation - "Anorak" by Oliver Hamilton -

Premiered at Klik Festival Amsterdam, August 2013.
Chosen for Vimeo's "Staff Picks" page in June 2014.


Short piece of original music for "Jeff" animation by Dan Templeton, 2013. Sequenced drums and composed dreamy cityscape, home-recorded instruments: me on piano, Asa on overdubbed horns.


I collaborated with movement and performance artist Joe Wild on this sound and lip-synch and movement piece, based on recordings of William Burroughs reading from an unfinished graphic novel, which explores themes of time travel, the apocalypse, greed and misuse of ancient wisdom.

Presented at The Gate (Notting Hill, London) and The Yard (Hackney Wick, London) in May/June 2013.


Working with a dance company in Cornwall, I composed sound and music for a 30 minute live piece and 15 minute dance film, exploring the real-life mother-son relationship between the two performers, Lois Taylor and Jake Taylor-Bruce. The piece toured arts venues around Cornwall in late 2013, as well as Chisenhale Dance, London, and Nightingale Theatre, Brighton.

circus theatre, live music and sound design


Circus Theatre piece devised in collaboration with circus/movement artist Laura Moy, looking at themes of neighborliness, shyness and social ritual, presented at Wales Millennium Centre as part of their Incling/Incubator program.

live sound and performance for theatre


"Siamber Wen" was an immersive theatre piece incorporating elements of dance, circus, video, live music and song, based on Welsh folktales. It explored themes of family history, dark secrets and patterns that repeat over time.

As one of five performers, I perform live sound from a laptop within the audience space, but at times perform in scenes in the stage area. The music and sound is based on Welsh folksongs, found sounds, and live electronic manipulation.

"Siamber Wen" was developed and presented in 2010 at Sherman Theatre Cardiff and Chapter Cardiff, with support from Arts Council of Wales.

installation - "Encrypt" at Southampton Bargate Gallery


First person Theatre was a group of sound artists and choreographers, making instruction-action-based headphone theatre. Our pieces usually involved more than one participant at a time, with synced-up headphone instructions leading them through interactions and different perspectives on joint experiences. This is an excerpt from one of our site-specific pieces at Southampton Bargate Gallery - video features Joe Wild and Ali Baybutt.


Sound design for "A Bad Day" animation by Hlín Davíðsdóttir.

I composed and realised the sound, working with a limited sonic palette consisting mainly of sounds made by balloons and the inside of a piano, in keeping with the minimal visual aesthetic and narrative.

Voice control research project (2007)

Final project from MSc, (Edinburgh University) using a MaxMSP patch that manipulates samples in response to sound input, designed for use with vocal improv. This is an improvisation with the patch, August 14th 2007.