Audible Audio: Kaffe Matthews

HOME: London.

Kaffe Matthews was born in Essex, England and lives and works in London.

Since 1990 she has been making and performing new electro-acoustic music with a variety of things and places such as violin, theremin, Scottish weather, desert stretched wires, NASA scientists, melting ice in Quebec and the BBC Scottish symphony orchestra. Currently she's exploring underwater vibrations through Hammerhead sharks in Galapagos and Atlantic salmon in Northumberland rivers. 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.

Often collaborating, her present project is with climate change activist fan band The Gluts and CafĂ© Carbon as well as ongoing sonic furniture project ‘music for bodies’.

Recent works include: The Marvelo Project(2008), Folkestone Sculpture Triennial; Sonic Bed_Marfa(2008), Texas; Sonic Bench_Mexico (2007), Laboratorio Arte Alameda Mexico City, 2007; Body Abiding, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Glasgow ; Sonic Bed_Shanghai, Xuhui Art Museum, Shanghai, China, 2006; This is for you, 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, 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.

Do you consider your audio work to be "music"?




Do you think about such things?

Never as an argument, as there isn't one.

Has anyone ever challenged you on whether or not your work was music?

More recently, reviewers have referred to it as sound. This could be because they might be being asked to lie down and feel it rather than sit on a chair watching someone (..me) and listen to it. I think they need to focus on the perceptive end of the listening experience a little more.

How would you defend your work as being "music" if you had to?

Its play and construction is purposeful and demands listening. Therefore it is music.

Or would you?

What are your favorite sorts of music?

Music that makes me listen.

And nonmusic?

I don't think there is nonmusic. Apart from some forms of classical music of course.

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