Call for Work – Fresh Yorkshire Aires

web_logoI’m looking for work from Yorkshire-based artists and composers for Fresh Yorkshire Aires, an online exhibition I’m curating of graphic scores and visual representations of sound by artists and composers based in Yorkshire. You can submit work any time between now and 08 April 2016.

As the online collection grows, selections will be released as limited edition print collections and explored in live performances around Yorkshire by musicians including Matthew Bourne and Philip Thomas. Check the Fresh Yorkshire Aires blog for updates.

Submit your work>>

Having recently taken up a lectureship at Leeds College of Music, I’m a new Yorkshire resident, so I’m looking to survey some of the diverse range of styles and approaches composers and visual artists take towards sound, and to showcase ongoing work in the Yorkshire region!

Any Yorkshire-based artists can apply to have their work included – if you’re an illustrator, painter, photographer, textile artist, or composer making graphic scores, intricate hand-drawn manuscripts, or other visual work that relates to sound, you can submit your work. Looking forward to hearing from you…

Collectives and Curiosities: Exchange Manchester

I’m looking forward to taking part in ~exchange, hosted by Gavin Osborn, at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation in Manchester, on 04 October at 18:45.

~exchange is a new bi-monthly forum bringing together composers and performers to exchange ideas, collaborate, workshop and perform. This first event showcases open-form work, with pieces by composers including Larry Goves, Matthew Shlomowitz and Rachel Graff, plus some classics by Cornelius Cardew and Pauline Oliveros.

I’m working with Michael Betteridge to present a new version of our Collectives and Curiosities Serenade project – a collection of single-page graphic and text scores begun in January 2014 (commissioned by the LSO).

Take a look at the score below, or check out a video of the first performance at LSO St Luke’s.

Minute of Listening (Sound and Music)

I’m pleased to say that I’ve been commissioned to write the words for Sound and Music’s third edition of ‘Minute of Listening’, an educational resource for primary school children in the UK. Each edition has 60 one-minute long excerpts of music and sound, with written explanations and discussions for each (I also wrote for edition 2).

Sound and Music have selected an amazingly varied set of recordings, ranging from birdsong, animal and weather sounds, to archival wax cylinder curiosities from the British Library, and work by jazz artists, contemporary composers and folk singers.

My contribution involves writing the words to encourage children to listen more deeply, and to imagine how their listening skills might be applied to the world outside the classroom.

You can find out more about Minute of Listening, and purchase packs 1 and 2 for schools, by visiting:

Listen/Here Film

Watch Darren Michael’s new film of Listen/Here, my final event for RE-Moulded, as Sound and Music Embedded Artist in Residence at Somerset House (September 2013 – January 2015). Filmed 29 January 2015, featuring performances from the Ligeti Quartet and CoMA, amongst others.

RE-Moulded was supported by the Sound and Music Embedded programme, funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, with support from Arts Council England. Full acknowledgements here.

Somerset House in Full Bloom (Download)

Somerset House in Full Bloom is now available for download. The album mixes together my field recordings made around Somerset House (February – November 2014), with realisations of my graphic score Somerset House in Full Bloom, performed by Paul Beckett (viola) and Zac Gvi (accordions, clarinet, farulliah).

The album is available as high-quality downloadable tracks for £5, and comes with a free pdf of the illustrated score.

This album was developed as part of the RE-Moulded project. Released 18 December 2014 | Supported by Sound and Music‘s New Voices 2014 and Embedded programmes. Created in collaboration with the performers: Paul Beckett and Zac Gvi.

Viola – Paul Beckett | Accordions, Clarinet, Farulliah – Zac Gvi
Original score, field recordings and production, Somerset House, London, by Jacob Thompson-Bell
Studio recording by Dick Hammett at Red Gables Studios, London

Somerset House: Listen/Here

On 29 January 2015, I presented Listen/Here, the culmination of my residency at Somerset House, and the final event of the RE-Moulded projectListen/Here took the form of a series of simultaneous live performances in various locations around Somerset House, running continuously throughout the evening. Audiences were led by guides through each of the performance locations, focusing on the sounds of Somerset House, as well as the ways I’ve collected and re-worked them into music.

My scores and illustrations, based on the sounds of Somerset House, were brought to life in performances by CoMA, the Ligeti Quartet and more, with music inspired by underground generators, rushing traffic, bustling cafes and other ambient sounds around the building.

RE-Moulded was supported by the Sound and Music Embedded programme, funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, with support from Arts Council England. Full acknowledgements here.

Hymns to a Fading Planet (London Sinfonietta)

My new solo cello piece, Hymns to a Fading Planet, was premiered on 10 December, by cellist Joely Koos, as part of London Sinfonietta’s Alternative Visions, 6:30 PM, at BFI Southbank, London.

Part of the BFI’s major season, Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder, Alternative Visions brought together music and film, featuring five new solo pieces of music, each brought to the screen by artists from Central St Martins. There was music by Christopher Mayo, Benjamin Oliver, Deborah Pritchard, Luke Styles and me.

Hymns to a Fading Planet presents two short drones using the open strings of the cello, offered as elegies to a planet at risk of destruction from within – a brief meditation on landscapes left behind, places to be revisited.

RE-Moulded @ Somerset House

Throughout this year, I’m working as the 2014 Sound and Music Embedded Composer in Residence with Somerset House. My project, RE-Moulded, explores the sonic environment of Somerset House (London) with the help of a microphone, sketchpad, and some fellow musicians and artists. I’m also engaging with Somerset House tenants and visitors to find out about their sonic experiences of the building.

Take a look at my composer sketchbook to find out more about my work on the project, and to read about upcoming events as part of the project. The sketchbook contains a mixture of audio, illustrations, text blogs and photographs related to my residency. You can also find out about which parts of the building I’m exploring.

More information about Sound and Music’s Embedded programme is available at:
Read more about Somerset House at:

RE-Moulded is supported by Sound and Music’s Embedded Composer in Residence programme with Somerset House. Read full acknowledgements here.

Museums at Night: 15 May 2014

As part of Somerset House’s Museums at Night exhibition on 15 May 2014, I presented In Memory, an evening-long installation of electronic drones and nostalgic recompositions of Bach’s Cello Suite in G major.

The performance included a live ‘incantation’, repeated three times throughout the night, by solo musicians in Seamen’s Hall (South Wing, Somerset House), interspersed with electronic drones.

Incantations were performed by a combination of viola , cello, Baroque viola, Baroque cello, five micro-cassette recorders, speaker, a selection of handbells, and other pre-recorded sounds.

Viola – Paul Beckett
Baroque viola – Emma Alter
Violoncello – Deborah Chandler
Baroque violoncello – Natasha Kraemer