Selected Exhibitions / Performances / Presentations

2017

ORE live on BBC Radio 3 and at Supernormal Festival

My doom tuba project ORE was reincarnated as a live band to play BBC Radio 3’s Exposure programme in Birmingham, and in the woods at Supernormal Festival; with Beck Baker on horns and Thomas Stone on contrabassoon.

Musical Instrument Building Workshop at Symphony Hall Birmingham

Design and delivery of a drop-in musical instrument making workshop, as part of Inside Out at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall. Four instrument designs, to suit all ages and skill levels…

Hosted Melt Banana Supersonic Kids Gig

Ideas, project management and hosting of the Melt Banana Kids Gig as part of Supersonic Festival 2017. Including group activities, musical instrument design and dancing!

Ear Candy at Cheltenham Jazz Festival

Commission to design and build 250 handmade musical instruments that would fit inside vending machines capsules, for purchase at the festival. I was responsible for the project concept, management and delivery…as well as checking and maintaining the machines on-site. Much fun!

We Are The Music Makers

I was commissioned to write an article on musical instrument building for the January edition of WIRE Magazine.

2016

My artistic output in 2016 has been more sporadic than usual; affected both practically and emotionally by the death of my father in 2015. It has been a year of relatively few public appearances / artworks but much work and re-structuring behind-the-scenes.

Dance How You Like

After much planning and preparation, I downed tools towards the end of 2016 to work on a charity campaign I had devised – Dance How You Like. It raised over £400 for the nominated charity and served to promote tolerance. I wrote about why I took a break from making art to do this here.

Fort Process

I was invited by artist Graham Dunning to attend Fort Process festival as part of his Mechanical Laboratory of Antimatter. Due to the nautical nature of the setting, I decided to spend the day hand-making signalling horns. These were demonstrated in the evening and an impromptu group performance took place.

Supernormal Residency

I was one of six artists in residence at this year’s Supernormal Festival. After an initial week-long residency, I worked with Sam Cook to form The Sam Sam Big Band. We performed a roaming live show and on the main stage as part of the festival, on our double-wheelbarrow musical instrument, the Barrow Pig. This also got airplay along with some of my field recordings taken as part of the residency on BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction show.

DunningWebsterUnderwood shows

Played a number of improvised live shows with the wonderful Graham Dunning and Colin Webster, including shows at Goldsmiths, Silver Road and Cafe OTO. Some of these shows were subsequently released via independent labels.

Collective 43 gigs

I have played tuba in Collective 43 throughout the year, including gigs at Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Nozstock and Worcester Music Festival. Always a blast!

2015

2015 was a year fraught with challenges. My father was ill and died, which led to a limited – but focused – output; including the two most significant pieces of public art I have ever delivered…

CONTRA and Octavism at Sonica 2015

A MortonUnderwood residency, sound art installation and performance (for giant feedback pipes and tuba) as part of Sonica 2015. Plus a couple of performances of Pendulum Music for optical synthesisers and torches…

REVIEWS:
“The competing drones meet and harmonise, creating pulses and movement as well as viscous
walls of sound.”
The Quietus on MortonUnderwood’s CONTRA

“Refreshingly free of underpinning critical theory or concept – with a stated driving principal of
‘Bigger. Louder. Bassier’…an undulating soup of sub bass noise that speaks directly to your chest cavity.”
The Quietus on MortonUnderwood’s Octavism

Amplification at Millennium Point

A MortonUnderwood public sound art installation. An acoustic listening device where the audiecne could manipulate the stereo-field to alter their perception of the soundscape. Exhibition as part of Supersonic Festival / All Ears and Birmingham Made Me.

Check out the documentation video.

Slap Magazine – cover feature

Slap Magazine featured my work – and a picture of me on the cover – in their June 2015 edition. Have a read.

If Wet Events 2015

We delivered three special If Wet events in 2015.
If Wet at Maker Faire featuring Graham Dunning and Paul Granjon.
If Wet #22 – John Doran’s “Jolly Lad” Tour featuring John Doran, Arabrot, Sarah Angliss and Josephine Dickinson.
If Wet at Three Choirs Festival featuring Lydia Kavina and Emily Prosser.

If Wet Radio

A six-part radio series we researched and presented, featuring a different musical instrument or class of instrument each month – Info | Mixcloud

2014

Futuro Mantra Boxes

Distinctive sound art piece created for inclusion in the launch of Craig Barnes’ Futuro House; atop Matt’s Gallery.

View project blog post.

Longbridge Festival Of Light – light-responsive sound art

Developed four sound art / sonic graffiti pieces as part of the inaugural Longbridge Festival Of Light, using field recordings from Hannah Hull.

View project blog post.

Slap organs for Town Hall Symphony Hall Birmingham

I designed and built two distinctive slap organs, or thongaphones, for Town Hall Symphony Hall Birmingham. One featured as part of a garden-based sound installation in a Birmingham school – the pipes collected water for the garden – and one portable two-player slap organ for workshops.

View project blog post.

Descent

A MortonUnderwood sound art project, featuring a Descent [collective noun] of mechanical woodpeckers. These were controllable by visitors to both venues and would peck the surfaces on which they were mounted, to reveal the sound within. A joint commission by Warwick Arts and Supersonic Festival.

If Wet Season #2

Including events at Flatpack Festival, Southbank Centre, Supersonic Festival, a two-weekend tour [1/2], Worcester Music Festival, and monthly events in our village hall. PHEW!

MortonUnderwood Giant Feedback Organ at Southbank Centre

Our Giant Feedback Organ featured in the Wondrous Machines exhibition and performances as part of Pull Out All The Stops at Southbank Centre.

Sonic Graffiti at Monomania

Installed six Sonic Graffiti pieces and three Active Listening instructions around Cambridge, as a commission for the inaugural Monomania festival.

ORE at Cafe OTO, London

The five player line-up of ORE + tenor horn, cello and great highland bagpipes reforms for our performance as part of the Full of Noises residency at Cafe OTO.

2013

ORE at Intersect, London

ORE play at Intersect at Servant Jazz, Dalston, with a five player line-up including tenor horn, cello and great highland bagpipes – Review

If Wet – Season #1 Finale and fundraiser

A successful and fitting end to our first season of If Wet. See what we got up to in Season #1: documentation

ORE support OM

…again, at their request, at the Rainbow Warehouse in Birmingham.

Sonic Photo Walk

I provided the audio stimuli, listening equipment and guidance for a sonic photo walk, commissioned by photographer Pete Ashton.

At Your Own Risk

Performed as part of an improvising ensemble, who met for the first time on stage, at the Town Hall in Birmingham – Info

ORE at FON

ORE perform with trombone player Gail Brand at Full of Noises in Barrow. Plus a further performance of a Lauren Redhead piece as part of the Saturday programme.

Inaugural If Wet event

Our new monthly event of sonic exploration, in my village hall (April 2013): If Wet

ORE on the Cerys Matthews Show

On Sunday the 14th April ORE featured in the Curiosity Shop section of the Cerys Matthews Show on BBC Radio 6 Music. We were interviewed and performed Sugar Man by Rodriguez live in the studio.

THSH Artist Residency

In April 2013, I was appointed (Sound) Artist in Residence at the Town Hall Symphony Hall Birmingham.

ORE performance, SoundKitchen, Birmingham
Sonic Graffiti and Active Listening Workshop, The Junction, Cambridge

Delivered a workshop for Bad Timing at The Junction in Cambridge on Sonic Graffiti and Active Listening. Participants built a selection of microphones and then accompanied me on a Sonic Stroll – Info

Appeared on the Wire Salon panel, Cafe OTO, London

Appeared alongside Tom Bugs, Leafcutter John and Kirsten Reynolds to discuss The Ways Of The HackerInfo

Artist Residency at iShed, Bristol

A summary of my work with Tim Atack and the team at iShed to develop my Sonic Graffiti project:
Studio Residencies / Artists Talk / Residency Film

Two-day Noise Box Workshop, Bedford College

A workshop for 12 students to explore electronics and each build a noise box synth – Blogged here

ORE support Anna Meredith, Servant Jazz Quarters

Delighted to support Anna Meredith at this Moshi Moshi night in London – Info

2012

Performances at Supersonic and Oxbow Orchestra tour

A series of ORE concerts and a short tour as part of the Oxbow Orchestra – Blogged here

Supersonic Noise Boxes

A batch of 10 hand-painted, hand-built Noise Box synthesizers, made as a present to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Supersonic Festival – more info here

Guest Composer at EMS Stockholm

Delighted to be appointed Guest Composer status at EMS in Stockholm

One Water instrument and performance

Commission by composer Jonas Asplund to design, build and perform in Stockholm with our unique One Water instrument – Blogged here

ORE play in support of OM

Rainbow Warehouse, Birmingham – review

Beyond Tree and Stone, debut ORE EP released

My tuba band ORE have released our debut EP Beyond Tree and Stonehere

Noise Box Workshop and Glatze gig, The Old Hairdressers, Glasgow

A day of supervised building and performances for people wishing to build their version of my Noise Box synth.

Ideas for Breakfast, talk hosted by W Hotel, London

A great fun and well received talk about my Sonic Graffiti project and the concept of Active Listening – i.e. enjoying the sounds around you that you might otherwise filter out.

My sabbatical comes to an end

Read about the outcomes here.

TOYBOX, Trove, Birmingham

An early circuit-bent phone-doll hybrid of mine was included in this toy exhibition.

SORBET SPACE, sound art installation, BEAM Festival, Brunel University

Two early prototypes of our 12-string water instruments debut at BEAM Festival, powered by four sustainer transducers – further info.

Theremin Day, Digital Media Centre, South Hill Park, Bracknell

A return visit to South Hill Park to run a workshop for people wishing to build their version of my Noise Box synth.

New Music Incubator, Piteå, Sweden

Second intensive music exploration workshop and concert, with 19 other musicians selected to be on the PRSF 2011-12 New Music Incubator Programme.

Sonic Weekend 8, La Roche a Vent, France

Collaborative, international music workshop, my sixth to date. We wrote and recorded a triple album over six days.
sonicweekend.wordpress.com
www.mrunderwood.co.uk/news/sw8

Sonic Graffiti for 48SHEET

Sonic Graffiti piece installed in Birmingham as part of a collaboration with photographer Candice Smith. The piece was inspired by her work as part of the wonderful 48SHEET project. More information on the Sonic Graffiti micro-site.

Noise box workshop, Octopus Collective, Barrow-in-Furness

A day of introducing people to circuit building in Barrow. Read about it here. Video footage here.

ORE welcomes Alex Sramek

A week of sonic exploration, recording and performances with contrabass clarinettist, Alex Sramek – who visited us from LA. We documented each day separately on the ORE blog.

2011

Noise box workshop and lectures, Culture Yard, Helsingor, Denmark

As part of my on-going work with Centrifuge, I delivered a workshop to build a noise box synth from scratch. Additional activities included a lecture detailing my practice. More information here.

Sonic Graffiti

Joint commission by VIVID and Capsule saw my Sonic Graffiti pieces secreted throughout Digbeth, Birmingham. As seen on The BBC Culture Show. View the Sonic Graffiti micro-site for further details.

PRS Foundation – “Guest of the Month”

I was the PRS Foundation “Guest of the Month” for October 2011.

ORE – Debut performance at Supersonic Festival 2011

Our drone doom tuba band debuts at Supersonic. Find out more about the project here.

New Music Incubator, Brunel University, Uxbridge

An intensive weeklong music exploration workshop, with 19 other musicians selected to be on the PRSF 2011-12 New Music Incubator Programme.

Pendulum Music, Scarborough

Performance of Steve Reich’s Pendulum Music, for Optical Theremins & torches, at HANDS OFF! Theremin Symposium in Scarborough.

Rocket Radio – electronic music workshop, Starbank Primary School, Birmingham

Organisation and running of a daylong sampling/looping workshop for kids to celebrate their amazing school radio station “Rocket Radio”

Electronic music fun day, St Thomas Children’s Centre, Birmingham

Organisation and running of a daylong circuit-bending and sampling/looping workshop for kids.
www.mrunderwood.co.uk/news/a-good-start-in-life

4am Project, Central Library, Birmingham

Audio recordings of the “dying breaths” of this soon to be demolished library.
www.mrunderwood.co.uk/news/sounds-of-a-dying-library

Sonic Weekend 7, Buxton, Derbyshire

Collaborative, international music workshop. My fifth to date.
www.wlmusic.co.uk/#/sonic-weekend/4543727368
www.mrunderwood.co.uk/creations/sonic-weekend-5-round-up (Images of Sonic Weekend 5)

Pecha Kucha 20×20, Bodenga, Birmingham

A “Pecha Kucha” style presentation focusing on projects I plan to complete during my sabbatical.
www.vimeo.com/19477253

Mr Underwood gig

Supporting Emeralds, Hare and Hounds, Birmingham

2010

Theremin Day, Digital Media Centre, Bracknell

A daylong workshop of building my six oscillator Noise Box synthesizer.
www.digitalmediacentre.org/wp/?p=1465
www.digitalmediacentre.org/wp/?p=1427 (Gene Pool interview)

Supersonic, The Custard Factory, Birmingham

Theremin Day workshop and improvised group performance with KK Null.
www.supersonicfestival.com/line-up/workshops/supersonic-noise-boxes
www.supersonicfestival.com/line-up/special-performances/lash-frenzy-vs-kk-null

Seeing Sound, VIVID, Birmingham

A performance of Steve Reich’s Pendulum Music for Optical Theremin & torch.
www.weareeastside.com/2010/10/seeing-sound-supersonic-festival/
www.mrunderwood.co.uk/projects/pendulum-music

Kids Gig – Big Sounds For Little People, mac, Birmingham

Workshop and midi-octopus performance to introduce 2-7 year olds to avant-garde music, produced by Capsule.
www.capsule.org.uk/blog/2010/09/22/supersonic-kids-gigs/

British Science Festival, Aston University, Birmingham

Workshop to build a step-sequenced, modular, mechanical instrument. Followed by debut midi-octopus performance.
www.midi-octopus.co.uk/latest/what-am-i-doing-at-the-british-science-festival/
www.midi-octopus.co.uk/latest/hello-world-2/
www.mixcloud.com/phantomcircuit/phantom-circuit-49-9th-oct-2010/

Theremin Day, The Edge, Birmingham

Afternoon workshop to build my Optical Theremins, followed by evening event and performances.
www.thereminday.co.uk

Glatze gigs

Whales EP Launch Party, Scruffy Murphy’s, Birmingham
Dirty Bristow Magazine Launch Party, The Edge, Birmingham
Bees are Strong, The Frog and Fiddle, Cheltenham

2009

Futuresonic, Manchester

Presentation and midi-octopus performance.
www.thecentrifuge.co.uk/_wp/tag/midi-octopus/

Glatze gigs

Supersonic, The Custard Factory, Birmingham
Supporting Melt Banana, The Rainbow, Birmingham
Milk Kitchen (charity gig), The Victoria, Birmingham
Centrifuge 2nd Birthday, Gramaphone, London
White Noise Music Festival, The Rainbow, Birmingham

2008

Plus International Design Expo, Fazeley Studios, Birmingham

www.stereographic.co.uk/index.php?/arts/wasted
www.youplusus.net/plus_international_design_expo_home.html

Glatze gigs

Lobotomy, Blueprint, Nottingham
The Centrifuge, Moog, Nottingham
The Centrifuge 1st Birthday, Blueprint, Nottingham

2007

Plus International Design Expo, The Wild Building, Birmingham

www.stereographic.co.uk/index.php?/arts/plus-07/
www.youplusus.net/plus_international_design_expo_pastevents_fest07.html

Glatze gigs

Debut at STFU, Forest Café, Edinburgh

Selected Musical Compositions / Releases

I have played guitar since the age of nine, including in a professional recording studio from age 14 – 18. I have since learned to play a variety of instruments. Most recently I started learning to play tuba. In 1999 I started to compose music using computers and electronics. I am now an accomplished studio producer. Here is a small selection of my recent compositions / releases.

2010

Glatze EP released on The Centrifuge

www.glatze.co.uk
www.thecentrifuge.co.uk/_wp/2010/07/cf048-glatze-glatze-ep-released/

2009

Score for “There Are No Others, There Is Only Us” by Marc Silver

www.mrunderwood.co.uk/news/there-are-no-others-there-is-only-usmr-underwood-score/

“Black Ship” composition for Resonance FM

www.mrunderwood.co.uk/creations/mrunderwood-on-resonancefm/

“Criplefinch” by Mr.Underwood released on Make Recordings

makerecordings.bandcamp.com/album/make-recordings-free-ep-1-2

2008

Jon Burgerman “Pens are my Friends” DVD soundtrack

www.kettlestudio.co.uk/Projects/Burgertown.aspx

Professional Experience

2012 – Present

Co-director and co-founder of MortonUnderwood. Full time musician and sound artist.

April 2011 – July 2012

On sabbatical to concentrate on music / arts practice

2006 – April 2011

Co-director of design duo Stereographic
www.stereographic.co.uk

1999 – 2006

Technical director and co-founder of design agency Elektonika

Education

1999 1st class BA (Hons) in Interactive Multimedia Communication
1995 A Level Photography

Additional

German speaker
Current CRB
Full, clean driving license