Martin Parker


Martin Parker is a composer, improviser and sound artist. His sound-centric work ranges from theatre music and film to sound installations, instrumental works and site specific performance. His approach to music making is defined by an expectation of spontaneity and adjustability which means most of his projects feature an element of unpredictability.

Martin’s compositions have been performed by some of the world’s finest experimental performers, including Joby Burgess, Phil Minton, Anne La Berge, Peter Furniss, The Athelas Sinfonietta and New Noise London. He has made collaborative work with Evan Parker, Theatre Cryptic, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Music at the Brewhouse and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and his sound installations have been presented in places as diverse as the Klangturm, Austria and in the National Trust For Scotland’s abandoned library at Newhailes. In 2009, Martin began working with locative media and developed a series of works for headphones and special sites around the East Neuk in Fife, Scotland. “Playlist interludes” was premiered at Soundwaves in Brighton in July 2011, these are a series of short pieces designed to be accessed randomly amongst a listener’s playlist.

In 2010, Martin began a series of three operas for cinema, the first of which, “Songs for an airless room” toured the UK in Spring that year. The piece attempts to engage with some of the issues surrounding computer addiction and the resulting isolation this implies. 2011 saw the premiere of “ManHigh”, an audiovisual piece written in collaboration with composer Stephen Deazley and artist Andy McGregor. The work incorporates footage from Joseph Kittinger’s epic 1960 leap from space, weaving electronic and instrumental music around a real-time visual remix.

Current projects range from a multi-speaker protest piece “PR” dedicated to Pussy Riot, the completion of an album of recordings of configurable improvisation “GruntCount”, and the beginnings of a new opera for cinema called “Mezzanine” inspired by the book of the same name by Nicolson Baker.

Martin is programme director of the MSc Sound Design at the University of Edinburgh, artistic director of Dialogues Music Festival and a member of improvisation ensembles Lapslap and Edimpro. His published work can be found on and album releases are available from Ein Klang and Leo Records.

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