Musical CV: About me 2014

So, I’m a freelance presenter and music composer/hacker.  I do a lot for Click, the BBC’s tech show but I’ve also hosted BBC Orchestra events and most recently hosted my first Radio 3 show, which was great fun. I love doing projects where music and technology meet, so any excuse to do more is fallen upon with great joy.

These are the things I love.

1)     Music composition and performance –  I do a lot of classical piano and orchestral composition – including spontaneous classical piano composition in pretty much any style.  It just comes out like that, I can’t explain it, but I’m OK with showing it off now.  I really enjoy giving live recitals!  – recently performed at BBC NBH much to the surprise of some of my work colleagues…

Here’s an informal performance from a few weeks ago:


2)      As well as presenting on TV (hard work but lots of fun) I enjoy hosting live events – a few weeks back I had the fabulous experience of hosting a classical orchestral concert including the National Orchestra of Wales playing the Doctor Who Theme. I also give keynote speeches on technology and social trends. I grew the @BBCClick twitter account to nearly 2 million followers, so I used to give talks about how to do that until I realised it’s much more fun to talk about future trends, music innovation and host events instead.


3)      Music hacking – tech/music innovation  – I filmed a feature for the BBC in Boston which involved entering MusicTechFest‘s Hackathon competition and staying up for 24 hours – I won one of the top prizes!


4)      The two things I liked most about my music degree were composition and critical music analysis. I do like explaining why songs work and sound good…  music theory, but with a contemporary twist. Here’s a radio pilot I made a while back


5)      I recently gave a talk at TedXTokyo 2014 about a musical device I built with the aim of giving other people the chance to hear the world like I do.  I built the first iteration of the device in my room while sharing a tiny apartment with a bunch of other music obsessives – the process is ‘Glitching‘ – not a new technique, but certainly easier to do with today’s tech. I’ve augmented traditional glitching with musical inserts based on what key the world is in. People doing it report the practice as a pleasurable and slightly psychedelic auditory experience. More of the story is documented in the talk, and I’m working on an epic blog post which explains a lot more.  I love classical composing in the wild! I want to do ‘glitching’ concerts in cities around the world! 


6)      I’m very interested in new musical interfaces and software synthesisers too – these deserve their own blog post.


7)     And Finally…  here’s a link to even more BBC stuff I get up to and finally, here’s a link to loads of free Music I’ve composed.  


Music Recognition on the BBC!

My piece on Music Recognition for the Beeb went out this week – it’s available in the UK on the iPlayer, type Click in there (it’s the 18th July episode) or you can click on this click link by clicking this word: Click.

I am attempting to track down the link for the world version as we speak.

Tinkling the iVories on the iPlayer!

Tinkling the iVories on the iPlayer!

Here’s a pic of me at a big white grand piano – kindly provided by the players bar in Charing Cross  at about half a day’s notice.  Cue me turning up at 0900 with too much kit and not enough coffee.  They were nice to me, even in my kraken-like pre-caffeinated state.

The piano looked lovely, apart from 4 of the notes which weren’t quite there. 2 went plunk, one went baow and one went pffff, so I transposed some of the music. You shouldn’t hear any plunks, baows or pffffs :-).

There’s also an instrumental arrangement of Europe’s “The Final Countdown” in the piece which I played especially 🙂

More piccies below

plinky plunky

plinky plunky


Blah blah blah plinky blah blah

Blah blah blah plinky blah blah - my piece to camera


 Thanks to music recognition people Shazam, Midomi (from Melodis) and mHashup for letting me  interview them.
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