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. Listen to the podcast of the Late Junction (BBC Radio 3) show that broadcast their live performance (1 hour 2 minutes into the programme) and has Max Reinhardt‘s thoughtful intelligent comments afterwards here.
Neil’s music is marked out by his use of pre-recorded everyday sounds (industrial & commercial machinery, sirens, alarms, motor engines, church bells, tannoys, shopping malls, railway stations etc.) not merely for sound effects but, where possible, as actual pitched instruments of melody, harmony and texture playing against or alongside notated music. 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 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 assembled a talented Quintet (all Hemel Hempstead born) consisting of former Mainframe Keyboard & Technical Wizard John Molloy; highly experienced Cellist Mark Saxon and Mark’s two prodigiously talented sons Matthew Saxon (Flute & Keyboards) and James Saxon (Piano & Trumpet). With James only available during academic breaks the ensemble has now brought in Neil’s close friend and another prodigiously talented young pianist/composer Dilara Aydinn-Corbett.
Neil March has enjoyed strong radio support for his music. He has been a regular on Late Junction (BBC Radio 3) especially with Max Reinhardt, Fiona Talkington, Nick Luscombe and Anne Hilde Nesut and his works have featured on Freak Zone (BBC 6 Music) with Stuart Maconie; on Flomotion (Nick Luscombe), Hello Goodbye Show and The Clear Spot (Dan Ross) on Resonance FM and on Get Fresh for the Weekend (Marc Ainscough) on Radio Dacorum as well as numerous non-UK stations.
He has also had strong support from leading Internet Radio Stations including XTended Radio (Netherlands) Radio Wigwam (Wales) RNA (Scotland) and RKC (France).
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 before setting 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. Among his collaborators were musicians who went on to achieve commercial success with bands like Sleeper, The House of Love and Julian Cope. He also recorded a number of tracks with Alex Smith of Moving Pictures who had a number one single in Australia and appeared on the original Footloose soundtrack.
In 1997 Neil had been lined up to write and direct a solo album by Kofi Kari-Kari of Jamiroquai and Imagination but unhappy with the terms, he instead allowed his friends’ publishing company MSQ Music to have the rights to the songs leading to the formation of Acid Jazz band Junction 8 and the release of the West Skyline EP. During this period he also played Keyboards and was songwriter and musical director for the model-turned-singer Silhouette.
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 Music To Plan Towns By EP is the label’s newest release and represents a shift in direction away from albums and towards singles and individual tracks geared towards achieving royalties from streaming, broadcasting and performance.
Neil is an outspoken critic of elitism and rigid adherence to outdated models of contemporary music in Academia and has written various articles highlighting the failure of higher education music departments in achieving inclusiveness and opening their doors to a more diverse range of students.
Although primarily known for his recent work with combining industrial and 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.