Between the Moon and the Earth

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Between the Moon and the Earth was composed for Exeter Contemporary Sounds; it was first performed in November 2001 at the Boston Tea Party in Exeter in a concert that included pieces by Howard Skempton, Michael Nyman, Andrew Poppy and Graham Fitkin. The first performance of this work was played by a string quartet accompanied by a pre-recorded backing track. The quartet was amplified to achieve the balance between backing track and live instruments. On either side of the quartet two large television monitors displayed the film. The film and accompanying backing track use excepts from the recordings made by the crew of the Apollo 8 NASA mission that was the first to circumnavigate the moon.

On Monday 20th July 2009, to mark the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing, Exeter Contemporary Sounds performed the piece at Exeter Central Library, Castle Street, Exeter. It was performed three times at 3:30, 4:30 and 5:30, in between these performances the quartet played a number of more informal, themed pieces such as ‘Fly me to Moon’, ‘Moon River’ etc. The musicians were Catherine Hayek (violin), Julie Hill (violin), Andrew Gillett (viola) and Jane Pirie (cello).

click here to listen to Matt Woodley on BBC Radio Devon's Breakfast Show talking about the piece


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The installation is a combination of film and sound and explores ideas of generation/regeneration and transformation; ideas that are connected to the current physical transformation that is taking place in the redevelopment of Princesshay. The film charts the progress of a small area of the redevelopment over one day, the result is a record of the changes that have occurred but not as a before and after set of photographs but as a snapshot of the work in progress.

click here for more details of the Palingenesis installation

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Transition was a collaboration with visual artist Richard Jones to produce an installation of video and music for the Exeter Fringe Festival 2004. The development of this work followed discussions after an initial meeting during which we discovered many similarities between the work we had each created. We both had an interest in the idea of the constant and random, or consistency and change, although we approached this in different ways.

In Transition the music and film worked in tandem; I was interested in exploring the technique of making only small, slight changes to the sound and texture of the music. The film similarly explored, through the study of light and shadow, the theme of consistency and change. The moving image documented the subtle, but inevitable, movement of the sun over a period of fifteen minutes. These two components of the installation were presented as individual yet symbiotic bodies of work which together explored the relationship between sound and vision.

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Transition / Palingenesis cd

catalogue number sbcd 1005

click here to buy the cd

A three track cd featuring the music from the installation projects Transition and Palingenesis.

1. Transition (mp3 excerpt)

2. Palingenesis (with background sound) (mp3 excerpt)

3. Palingenesis (no background sound) (mp3 excerpt)

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Sometimes… was created as an installation piece and first displayed during the Exeter Fringe Festival 2002. The full installation consisted of four screens (two colour and two black and white) that showed the film and one small, central screen that showed images from a CCTV camera aimed at the viewers.

The use of the camera watching the viewer has connections with Orwell’s (and Channel Four’s) Big Brother. The practice of technology watching and listening to us throughout the day wherever we are, which is exemplified by shops, and even whole city centres, that have some type of surveillance system watching over us all. The film was shot on one day and features people who have no idea that they were being observed. This footage was intended to replicate a cctv camera that watches and records movements both inside and outside of the house. Similarly, the background audio track recorded what happened outside the house on a particular morning.

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