Simon Belshaw

I have studied composition with Gavin Bryars, Andy Hugill and Philip Grange and gained a PhD from the University of
Hertfordshire in 2005 for my research into Generative Systems and Disruptive Processes in Musical Composition.


I have had pieces performed by the Schidlof Quartet, PM Ensemble, Gemini and Double Image (amongst others)
as well as providing music for video and television.


Although my background has been predominantly music based, I have always had an interest in work that is more than purely music.
This began with three music theatre pieces and, over the past four years, I have concentrated on more multimedia work.
This has included three fixed installations and one live piece written for string quartet, sound and video.


My work has for sometime been concerned with the combination of system and intuition and the constant and the random.
This can be seen in both of the two most recent installation works, ‘Transition’ and ‘Palingenesis’. ‘Transition’ was a collaboration
with visual artist Richard Jones in which 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.


‘Palingenesis’ was again a combination of film and sound and explored ideas of generation / regeneration and transformation; ideas
that are connected to the current physical transformation that is taking place in the redevelopment of  the Princesshay site in Exeter city
centre. 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, not as a before and after set of photographs but as a snapshot of the work in progress. By its nature it is a project both by
and for the community - it is both a record of the changes and an opportunity to reflect and assess the regeneration of the city as it
occurs. The film was a part of the whole installation which also included a series of still photographs. These photographs were taken
over a period of ten days, at approximately the same time each day, through the viewpoints in the hoardings that surrounded the site.
The installation  also included a comments book that gave the community the opportunity to comment on both the installation itself
and to add their reflections of the redevelopment. Finally, the work continues to exist following the end of the Festival as a historical
record of the changing city centre during the redevelopment period.


I have consistently attempted to site my work in venues or locations where it would be accessible to a wider audience rather than
employing a traditional concert or gallery space. For example, the Belshaw Band performed in festivals, pubs and restaurants.
‘Between the Moon and the Earth’ was part of a series of concerts of contemporary music performed in The Boston Tea Party
(a large tea shop / restaurant), ‘Transition’ was sited in Exeter Central Library and ‘Palingenesis’ at a training and development centre.

simon[at]simonbelshaw.co.uk

07759 814102

 

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