I'm a sound designer & musician, specialising in live laptop performance, songs and found sounds. I design a lot of my own performance software, mostly in MaxMSP.
Ongoing musicmaking strands over on the right - Solarference (Live vocal and laptop folktronica duo, with Sarah Owen) - Newton Disc (solo songwriting and producing).
Sound design for various performance / film / installation projects below.
Contact me about any-old-thing: nick [at] solarference.com
Thing coming up!
May 16th 2015 - Improvising at "HenDo"
I'm taking part in HenDo's evening of anarchic experiments at Cube Cinema, making up sound/musicscapes out of live-sampled vocal sounds, made by me and anyone who wants to have a go...
Gig coming up!
March 5th 2015 - Solo Set at "Sound Cupboard" Bristol
I'll be performing with laptop and vocals at monthly Bristol improv night The Sound Cupboard, at the Crofters' Rights on Stokes Croft, also featuring DSC and Stockholm's Sound Quartet, with visuals by Pete Janaway.
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. Less confusing pictures and video coming soon...
DOWN THE DRAIN
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.
DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE
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
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.
AH POOK IS HERE
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.
UNEXPECTED ANIMAL / KINDLING
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.
I'LL LET YOU GO NOW
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.
FIRST PERSON THEATRE
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.
A BAD DAY
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.