I specialise in live laptop performance, songs and found sounds. I design a lot of the sound software I use, mostly in MaxMSP. (Software page coming soon.) Below is a selection of my Sound design and Live Improv work for performances, installations, films & animations.
I play laptop & sing in folktronica duo Solarference with Sarah Owen.
I write, produce & perform songs as Newton Disc.
I make electronic & other noises in improv group Domestic Sound Cupboard.
Contact me about any-old-thing: nick [at] solarference.com
Solo Set at Sound Cupboard Bristol
March 5th 2015
Performed 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
participatory sound improv
May 16th 2015
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 in a 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), designing sound interaction for Reflets, which involves movement-tracking and responsive projection onto audience and performers' bodies, either side of a semi-reflective window.
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
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) 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 - details on the Solarference website, here
Sound design for Animation - "Anorak" by Oliver Hamilton - http://hamhead.tumblr.com/
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.
AH POOK IS HERE
live art / theatre
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
dance / film
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 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.
Solarference, (myself and Sarah Owen) performed live sound & music from within the audience space, at times performing in scenes in the stage area. The music and sound was 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.
sculpture & sound installation
Headroom Pods was a community- and mental-health-focussed installation project with Amiee Lawn and Sarah Owen, designing and building sonically immersive sculptures as safe spaces for relaxation & alone time.
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 & performance
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.
sound for short film
Sound design for film taken from an installation by Kurt Hoerbst.
a walk with sound and spectacle
Site-specific processional theatre piece with The Cornelius Prout Newcombe Ensemble in Abney Park Cemetery, North London, inspired by the stories of the site and those laid to rest there.
Procession soundtrack composed by long-term collaborator Sarah Owen. I performed in the procession and composed this sound piece "Avians" for the procession's end in the cemetery chapel.
I made some compilation mix tapes.
There are 4 "sides"...
(Track list here)