‘WHAT MARKS NEIL MARCH’S MUSIC OUT FROM THAT OF OTHER CONTEMPORARY COMPOSERS IS THE COMBINATION OF HIS AVANT-GARDE TENDENCIES AND HIS POP SENSIBILITIES’
Max Reinhardt, Late Junction, BBC Radio 3
View Neil March’s page on Sound & Music‘s site here.
You can also visit Neil’s BBC Artist page here.
And The Music of Sound BBC Music page here.
Neil March & The Music of Sound’s single Water (1st Movement) was featured on Sunday 15th October 2017 on Freak Zone with Stuart Maconie on BBC 6 Music. Listen to the podcast here.
PHOTOS BY TANIA CAGNONI
This is the official web page for British Composer and Recording Artist Neil March. Neil was selected to play the BBC Introducing Stage @ Latitude 2017 where he performed with his ensemble The Music of Sound. Late Junction (BBC Radio 3) broadcast their live performance on 19th July 2017.
Neil’s music is marked out by his use of environmental sounds not for effects but as actual pitched instruments of melody, harmony and texture playing alongside live instruments. Unusually he shifts between different harmonic languages from atonal and modal based music to the more harmonically conventional and jazz-infused; a trait that becomes easier to understand when reading about his influences and inspirations.
Check out the video for Water (1st Movement) by Neil March & The Music of Sound, released by Demerara Records on 18th September 2017, here.
Check out the video for Music To Plan Towns By (1st Movement) here.
The Music To Plan Towns By EP has received generous airplay from BBC and Community Radio Stations and online channels. Neil has also given interviews to three BBC stations and to Radio Dacorum.
Neil has brought together a pool of musicians to perform his music including long-time friend and former Mainframe Keyboard & Technical Wizard John Molloy; talented young pianist composer and close friend Dilara Aydin-Corbett; another long-time friend and Cellist Mark Saxon and Mark’s prodigiously talented sons Matthew Saxon (Flute & Keyboards) and James Saxon (Piano & Trumpet). He is now looking to expand this pool to allow a more fluid and flexible line-up of London-based performers.
You can hear some of Neil’s music here.
You can also read about Neil March and find links to tracks videos news and information on his Facebook page here.
And you can follow Neil on Twitter here.
Neil March was born in Hemel Hempstead of Welsh and English parentage. He had been due to study for a degree in music composition at Dartington College of Music & Drama at age 18 but a series of events saw him turn his back on the classical world; instead throwing himself into popular music genres. His pop music career included recording deals with Unicorn Records, Bluebeat Records (then owned by Bad Manners vocalist Buster Bloodvessel) and others.
Among his collaborators were members of bands like Dexys Midnight Runners, Wham, Jamiroquai, Sleeper, Levitation, Julian Cope, Courtney Pine’s Jazz Warriors, James Last Orchestra, Ace, Ultimate Kaos, Jools Holland’s Millionaires, Helen & The Horns, The Kimbara Brothers and Moving Pictures.
In 1997 Neil’s Acid Jazz outfit Junction 8 released the West Skyline EP via MSQ Music. During this period he also played Keyboards and was songwriter and musical director for the model-turned-singer Silhouette.
Neil set up his own label Ravensbourne Records in 2002, launching the career of Kevin East and releasing a number of singles and albums over a five year period.
Neil would eventually return to classical study in the mid 2000s at Birkbeck, University of London where he studied initially with David Sutton-Anderson and Paul Sarcich. Encouraged by David and his wife Avril Anderson Neil moved on to Goldsmiths, University of London where he obtained a Masters (MMus) and PhD (Doctorate) in composition, studying with Roger Redgate.
Between 2009 and 2012 he gave a series of joint presentations with pianist and dancer Marilyn Wyers focusing on the correlation between their research interests and her use of his music in her own work. The venues included Cambridge University, University of Middlesex, Guildhall College of Music & Drama, the Barbican Centre, Senate House, St Catherines School (Athens, Greece) and Goldsmiths, University of London. The pair also curated an international conference about the relationship between sound and movement funded in part by the Institute of Music Research (IMR).
In 2013 Marilyn dedicated an entire chapter of her book Sound Music & the moving thinking body (Oxford University Press) to analysing Neil’s piano music in relation to his use of contrasting strands of movement and stasis to evoke images and behaviours reflective of his living and working environment. She has also performed his solo piano work Diversions at venues across Europe, the Americas and the Middle East.
In 2014 Neil launched the digital music label Demerara Records initially to release his solo set Urban Art Music before going on to curate and release the ground-breaking 3 hour long compilation This is Tomorrow Calling (showcasing works by 26 composers and a number of artists drawn from over 20 nationalities and 4 continents) in 2015 and then albums by a number of composers and artists including Guy Avern; Nicolas Horvath; Joshan Mahmud/Moda Trio and Jostein Fretland/Fivrel. Neil’s singles Water (1st Movement), his first to be recorded with his ensemble The Music of Sound and his Music To Plan Towns By EP are the label’s newest releases and represent a shift in direction away from albums and towards singles and individual tracks; a sign of how streaming and digital platforms have changed the game.
Neil’s Facebook page recently announced a deal with a well-known management company. However he eventually changed his mind about the deal and has chosen instead to sign with Sentric Music whose track record of securing sync deals is a priority as he looks to get music into a range of other media.
Although primarily known for his recent work combining environmental sounds with notated music Neil has written a large volume of solo and chamber instrumental works including Perspectives which has been performed in a number of venues by his friend and pianist/composer Helena Gascoyne and Cello/Anti-Cello written for and performed by Alex Eichenberger. Live recordings of both pieces can be heard at https://www.soundcloud.com/neilmarch.
Away from the contemporary art & experimental music field Neil is also one half of the BBC 6 Music featured Electronic Pop act Dreamscape City Sinfonia alongside singer/songwriter Dee Rose. He is also happily married with a teenage son and remains a passionate supporter of Watford FC!