“A serious and thoughtful composer”. The Wire
Marvin Ayres is a British modern-classical composer, cellist, violinist, pianist and ambient producer. He has composed and recorded a diverse selection of minimalist albums, incorporating spatial soundscapes and psycho-acoustics and latterly 5.1 surround sound as well as producing a number of film soundtracks.
More recently Marvin produced the Curved Air live album entitled ‘Live Atmosphere.’ Two of Marvin’s productions are also featured on the Curved Air CD ‘Reborn.’
Harmogram Suite 2012
The Harmogram Suite is the sixth album from the British modern classical - ambient composer Marvin Ayres. This two-disc CD-and-DVD package, recorded in 5.1 surround-sound consistent with the holographic concept, is in the best tradition of his diverse back catalogue of minimalist albums incorporating special soundscapes and psycho-acoustics.
During the recording process, different playing techniques, recording set ups and textures were used to produce an authentic full live orchestral sound. The result is a unique, modern classical musical sound composition.
It was at a meeting towards the end of recording the album Harmogram Suites that Marvin met with Martyn Ware (Human League/Heaven 17). So enthusiastic was Martyn about the piece that he suggested to Marvin that the album should be mixed in 3D, with the intention of giving live performances, in combinations of players and 3D Sound System Orchestra.
The National Museum of the Royal Navy has commissioned Marvin to record a suite of four movements to reflect the Royal Navy on the sea, under the sea, in the air and on the land.
Each movement will be recorded in a significant Naval location, to reflect the four forces of the Royal Navy. The ‘On the Sea’ movement will be recorded on HMS Victory where Admiral Nelson lost his life during the Battle of Trafalgar.
The ‘Under the Sea’ movement will be recorded inside the WW2 submarine HMS Alliance at the Submarine Museum in Gosport.
The ‘In the Air’ movement will be recorded within the hangars of the Fleet Air Arm Museum in Yeovilton and the ‘On the Land’ movement will be recorded in the vaults of the Royal Marines Museum in Southsea.
The idea behind ‘Sacred Spaces’ is to use incongruous places for composition and performance and reawaken the inherent and/or dormant spirit residing in these unlikely locations.
His initial idea progressed from an unusual way of playing cello in the 'live' recording room: aiming towards being spiritual (in a non-religious sense), to discover how the randomly tuned cello “felt and breathed” with the player and the environment and responding to how the instrument played and resonated in the live room, with the criteria to create warm, beautiful and vibrational sound. Marvin states: “I found that by detuning my cello and improvising, it made the experience similar to playing a totally new instrument, enabling me to play with completely fresh ideas”.
Assisted by sound engineer Alex Siddall, Marvin’s instruments are randomly tuned to complement each environment and microphones used to pick up the full ambience of the space once excited by the cellos, violins and violas.