A b o u t
Making architectural music to feel through your body as well as your ears.(image Francois Tousain)Awarded sound artist and composer Kaffe Matthews was born in Essex, England and lives and works in London. Since 1990 she has made and performed new electro-acoustic music worldwide with a variety of things and places such as violin, theremin, wild salmon, Scottish weather, NASA scientists, bicycles, hammerhead sharks, school children, desert stretched wires and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Currently she is researching interactive composition for outdoor enjoyment with sonic bicycles in Brussels and live diffusion instruments for spatialized performance.
In 2014, works made include three bicycle operas for Bonn, London and Houston, 43 channel installation ‘The lock shift songs’ and the establishment of ‘The Bicrophonic Research Institute(BRI)’ – an association that enables the creation of independent sonic bike hubs worldwide. Significant 2013 completions include ‘Opera FiXi’ , a bicycle opera for Porto – and an LP of cosmological songs & music ‘Yird, Muin, Starn,’ with three Sky Gazer chairs in the Galloway Forest, Scotland in a Vital Spark collaboration with Mandy McIntosh. In 2012 her Galapagos hammerhead research project completed in the 3D installation ‘You might come out of the water every time singing‘, and wild salmon project ‘Where are the wild ones?‘ with Laura Harrington, made a mid-stage performance with the Salmon Band, bass opera singer, choir, projected two screen score and live multichannel accompaniment, selling out at the Bridges festival, Newcastle. Her 2nd bicycle opera “The swamp that was….” also completed in Ghent, running for 3 months.
Acknowledged as a pioneer in the field of electronic improvisation and live composition, Kaffe has released 6 solo CD’s on the label Annette Works, and continues to direct vibratory interface design project music for bodies.
Other recent works include: Sonic bicycle work The Marja trio(2013), for Hailuoto island, Northern Finland, ‘Vitula physicata’ (2012) 16 channel violin work for vibrating giant violin, Audiorama, Stockholm; ‘You might come out of the water every time singing'(2012) – 3D audio hammerhead shark installation; The Empty Pot Fills,(2011) – 6 channel work for the Minka House, Kew Gardens; Where are the Wild Ones?(2010), 12 channel composition, The Sage, AV Festival 10; Fathers (2009), AV multi-channel opera with the Lappetites; In clean air we fly(2009), bicycle powered 8 channel installation for London’s Gillett Sq; The Marvelo Project(2008), Folkestone Sculpture Triennial; Sonic Bed_Marfa(2008), Texas; Sonic Bench_Mexico (2007), Laboratorio Arte Alameda Mexico City, 2007; Body Abiding, B BC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Glasgow ; Sonic Bed_Shanghai,(2006) Xuhui Art Museum, Shanghai, China, 2006; This is for you,(2005) work for chaise longue, Arnolfini, Bristol, 2005; Three Crosses of Queensbridge, work for bicycles + radios, Drawing Room, London, 2005; No-one here but us chickens, 2005 The Starr auditorium, TATE Modern, London, UK, 2005.
Her 2004 collaboration Weightless Animals was awarded a BAFTA, she received a NESTA Dreamtime Fellowship in 2005 and an Award of Distinction, Prix Ars Electronica 2006 for the work Sonic Bed_London. In February 2006 she was made an Honorary Professor of Music, Shanghai Music Conservatory, China and in 2009, a patron of the Galapagos shark conservation society. In 2014 she was awarded the Varèse Guest professorship at TU University Berlin to where she will take up residence in 2016.
Background. Playing classical violin from the age of 7, singing in one band but getting further with bass and drums in the next, in 1985 she discovered electricity and listening and with that, her current trajectory. Since then, acid house engineering, electrically reconstructing the violin, Distinction for a Masters in Music Technology, introducing and running a Performance Technology course at Dartington College of Arts, establishing label Annette Works and in 2009 launching the audio research lab, AudRey in London’s east End. She also set up a wholefood collective and did a Zoology Hons degree along the way.