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Matthew Lee Knowles / Bio

I completed my composition degree at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2008, under Richard Baker and Paul Newland. My final portfolio received the Frank Prindl Prize for the highest mark. Whilst there I performed many times, wrote several theatre scores and instigated exhibitions and collaborations.

I am a composer, poet, piano teacher, pianist and events organiser. I have also written articles, conducted interviews, directed and written for the theatre and travelled across the globe as a performance artist/musician.

Since I began composing, at the age of eleven I have written around 500 compositions. Since I began writing poetry five years ago I have written around 2000 poems and event scores. Since I began painting last year I have created around 100 paintings and sculptures.

In 2008 Anton Lukoszevieze chose me to perform Stockhausen’s extremely challenging Goldstaub which required me to live without thought or food in isolation for four days then play the piano to open the SAN/BBC Cut & Splice Festival. Other performances include: Kondo’s Metaphonesis for solo piano, Cage’s Music for Amplified Toy Pianos and Ligeti’s Poeme Symphonique (both at King’s Place).

My music has being heard on French radio (2010, arrangements of Welsh folk songs for SATB) and Channel 4 (Documentary, dir. Deborah Anzalone). I have written for and worked extensively with ARCO ensemble and premiered a new piece live on Resonance FM. General highlights have been improvising at the piano to an audience of over 1000 in India, composing for a National Theatre workshop, performing on home made instruments for dancers in Spain, performing my own score at the piano for Gut Girls (The Space, dir. Alex Crampton) and winning a young composers award and cash prize for my composition Instances (2006).

Along with composers Neil Luck and Joshua Kaye I formed KLK, a spokenwordmusic trio, dedicated to performing text works mainly by myself. KLK has performed in several galleries and at arts events and an album will be released toward the end of the year on Squib-Box Records.

I have performed, premiered and acted as composer-in-residence (along with Claudia Molitor) for Notations and The Voice and Nothing More, both curated by artist Sam Belinfante. I have collaborated recently with Brandon Labelle, Billie Maciunas, Mikhail Karikis, Elisabeth Rimmington, Catalina Niculescu, William Lane, Giorgio Sadotti and Adam de la Cour. Myself and Neil Luck jointly performed an eighty minute set, as a headline act at Miniere Sonore in Sardinia, which made headlines in international newspapers and television channels. A condensed version of the piece was performed in London a few months later at Nonclassical in Hoxton. I will be returning to Sardinia this summer as librettist for a new experimental opera.

In 2008 my global performance event six_events was introduced to 25 countries and in 2008 my follow up, sixty_six_events, a collaboration with Andy Ingamells, was performed in over 30 countries worldwide. In 2012 666_events will once again become a global performance.

I have curated and created several large scale happenings since 2007, the largest of which lasted three hours and involved 150 people at the Louise T Blouin Institute. Street Scenes took over a London street for a whole day, Around This House was performed in a library and For The Birds in a cemetery.

I recently spent a week in Zurich rehearsing a commission from Ensemble TaG, for eleven players, which received two performances and a further commission followed for solo piano which has already being premiered in London and will be premiered in Switzerland next month. Before that I spent a week in Germany for an arts festival, Atomino, where I performed several of my longer poems, from hand made booklets and collaborated with others artists and musicians.

I recently finished my first play, Kidnapped, and along with George Chambers, created my own art exhibition at Oxford University, Ejected Material.

Current projects include a collaboration with a dancer (Antonio J. de la Fe Guedes) and pianist (Yshani Perinpanayagam) to create a piece called Concerto For Piano and Dancer in 18 Parts. For Alan Turing, will be a six movement, epic piano-solo, several hours in duration. I have just started to write a collection of around 250 short pieces for clarinet and piano, called Underground.

I am continuing to research my interests in cosmology, quantum mechanics and evolutionary biology and over the next two years I will be teaching myself calculus and algebra. I am also coming to the end of a major architectural public art commission, which will see my poetry/text permanently covering an entire building in Marylebone.

General Info

Artist Name
Matthew Lee Knowles
Home Page
Classical / Experimental/conceptual / Contemporary

Contact Info

London, UK

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