Matt Wright is a composer, producer and sound designer based in Kent, UK.
His diverse output across avant electronics, chamber composition and collaborations with dance, theatre and film has been presented at the Sydney Opera House, Le Poisson Rouge (NYC), Muziekcentrum ann 't Ij (Amsterdam), Kim Ma Theatre (Hanoi), Palacio de Bellas Artes (Mexico City), Abbey Road Studios, The Barbican, Tate Britain, The National Theatre, The Queen Elizabeth Hall and Café OTO (London).
He has collaborated with some of the most dynamic artists in the contemporary sphere, including Evan Parker, Peter Evans, Ikue Mori, Claron McFadden, B’Rock Orchestra, Spring Heel Jack, Ensemble Klang, Neil Charles, Alexander Hawkins and Elaine Mitchener. He was musical director for Network at the National Theatre, starring Hollywood actor Bryan Cranston.
His work is often structured in intense, layered textures with a focus on rhythm and instrumental colour. The fuzz and energy of English electronica, the vibrancy of the Dutch and Belgian new music scenes and a quarter of a century of collaboration with a global network of contemporary musicians have all shaped his personal approach. His work is released on Relative Pitch Records (New York City); Psi, Migro and Extra Normal (UK); Ensemble Klang (The Hague) and Intakt (Zurich).
He studied contemporary and experimental music with Louis Andriessen, Martijn Padding and Richard Ayres at The Royal Conservatory of the Netherlands; with Richard Steinitz and Christopher Fox at the University of Huddersfield; with Roger Redgate at Goldsmiths and with Steve Martland in London. Matt is Professor of Composition and Sonic Art at Canterbury Christ Church University and an Associate Researcher at the Orpheus Institute, Ghent.
At Christ Church, he leads the Mmus course, supervises PhD students, co-runs the WinterSound festival and teaches undergraduate modules related to composition, sound art, live electronic performance and DJ culture.
Research and knowledge exchange
Matt is the co-founder of Trance Map, an ensemble with internationally-renowned saxophonist Evan Parker, regularly touring Europe and the USA.
He has recently founded Spheric Totemic, a flexible sound system ensemble featuring pianist Alexander Hawkins, bassists Neil Charles and Olie Brice, violinist Mandhira de Saram and drummer Stephen Davis.
Teaching and subject expertise
Turntablism and DJ Culture
Composition / Sonic Art / Improvisation
Workshop Leading / Creative Leadership
Senior Research Consultancy;
Panelist: REF2014 and REF2021
Critical Friend: Hong Kong Baptist University, The Royal Conservatoire of the Netherlands
"Inspired by a trek through the Gobi Desert, Wright used a turntable, a laptop computer and other effects to blend the recorded chanting and growling of Mongolian singers, pealing and scraping bell sounds, vinyl crackle and electronic rumble, all played through speakers positioned around the room. Even with synthetic sounds in the mix, the piece evoked a wind-swept, spirit-haunted expanse, an effect bolstered by Gobi images projected and altered on two video screens."
Steve Smith, New York Times
“Evan Parker and Matthew Wright’s intriguing collaboration edits layers of live performance into a shimmering mist of undulating and unbroken sonic textures [...] the result enthrals and soothes in equal measure.”
Mike Hobart, Financial Times
"It may not be jazz, but these artists are creating cutting edge music that ensures a unique aural experience, introducing new ways of dealing with composing/playing, fusing the familiar with the aesthetically challenging and taking the listener straight into the future. It's an entirely different excitement and something we really recommend to adventurous listeners!"
Publications and research outputs