“… there was something much more beautiful (and perhaps more emotionally charged) about a sustained square wave than any guitar solo. Soon I began to search out and replay sections of music which dropped to a single sound – these for some reason were the best.” – Mark Fell, UL8 liner notes
A multidisciplinary artist based out of Sheffield, UK, Mark Fell studied experimental film and video art before placing his focus on computational technology and music.
Through both his solo work as well as his esteemed audiovisual SND project with Matt Steel, Fell exhibits intricate and deep explorations of process music, that is, of music that results when control is taken away from the composer and is instead created by algorithms and programmed systems. Such forms of music can often surprise creator and listener by creating novel compositional forms and new logic. Fell’s latest string of albums, two full-lenghts on Editions Mego (“UL8” (2010) and “Periodic Orbits Of A Dynamic System Related To A Knot” (2011), as well as 2010’s “Multistability” (Raster-Noton), exemplify such processes.
Active since the late 1990s, the tireless experimenter has also produced many more releases on other respected experimental labels such as Line and Alku. In addition to recorded works and live performances, Fell also produces installation pieces. Often using multispatial speaker technologies, his installation work favours ‘non illusion-based’ approaches, conjuring spatial sound environments devoid of narrative or recognizable sounds. He has presented his installations in prestigious institutions such as the MACBA in Barcelona, and at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Contemporary Art Gallery (Vienna).
With the digital era now in a stage where CDs are retro, glitch music has continued to evolve through explorations such as Fell’s, where the artist no longer tests the limits of digital music via the medium (sounds of skipping, clipping, glitches, background noise), but instead manipulates pure digital sound through a variety of programs and platforms. By exploring the relationship between the creator and process, Fell’s music thus continues to inform current trends such as the DIY phenomenon, chopped-up mashups, and distorted samples used by so many new generation artists.
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