My life-long musical career started with a piano recital at the age of 9, continued with drumming in my older brother’s prog rock band and blossomed into international touring as a guitarist with renowned rock & tradtional artists.
I have composed and produced a broad range of music for award winning TV, film, theatre & dance, and am currently focusing on exploring the power of music and sound to transform our emotional perception of spaces. Using found sounds from the space itself rather than conventional instruments, I create site specific, generative pieces that are quickly familiar yet constantly changing.
Generative Music 1999-2019
Gentle Machines is a collection of 4 excerpts from generative pieces made over a 20 year period from 1999 to 2019. Generative music is ever-different & changing, created by a system. Once started, the system can play music over an extended period of time, or indefinitely. Although there is always a certain distinctive sound and/or repeating motifs, it is unlikely that exactly the same passage or combination of sounds will ever repeat, however long it runs. I like to use generative music to transform the mood of spaces, to animate static rooms, complement other artforms or as an aid to calm restless thoughts.
Click image to listen & buy on Bandcamp
‘Traces’ features photographs of trace fossils found in split sandstone roof tiles at Green Croft, on Hadrian’s Wall. They are the marks made by invertebrates as they foraged in the sand around 300 million years ago – over 30 million years before dinosaurs existed. This was the Carboniferous period, when huge amounts of carbon dioxide were locked away in the swamps that eventually became coal. Framed without context and lit as if discovered underground, the ancient marks layered with more recent weathering resemble aerial photographs, cave paintings or archaeology. The music is created exclusively from the sounds of the stones in the pictures. They were recorded using both conventional and contact mics, then digitally manipulated using sampling and granular synthesis. The resulting sustained sounds are remarkably organ-like, in a rough, sandstoney way. To reflect the trace fossils, the original sounds have been silenced in the mix, leaving only their echoes.
100 Stars was a light and sound installation at Green Croft On The Wall. The installation of star lanterns was created by Amanda Drago, featuring stars made by the young people of Gilsland and Haltwhistle Youth Clubs brought to life by reflective, durational music made be me. The installation reflected on Winter Solstice and a welcome return to light and was installed between Christmas & New Year 2019 as both a destination and a respite for walkers.
Fall Of Iron
Inspired by an ancient, but still functioning wrought iron latch & keep on one of the barn doors, Fall Of Iron was a piece of generative music created especially for the barn in which it was heard. It was made entirely using sounds found in the barn itself, some from the fabric of the building, others by objects found in the barn, like a scythe and a stoneware bottle. The sounds were stretched, compressed and distressed to varying degrees, then layered like archaeological strata to reflect the long history of both the barn and its locale.
Presented in the barn at Green Croft on the Wall alongside Meto by Imogen Cloët, summer 2018.
Song at The Bowes Museum
Originally commissioned as part of the #Untitled10 exhibition in 2018, Song has now been re-worked for permanent installation in the Music Room at Bowes. I was allowed unprecedented access to the collection of seldom heard 18th & 19th century instruments, using their fragile sounds as field recordings rather than playing them conventionally. The music room in which the instruments are displayed as static antiquities has become animated by their voices as if in strange conversation with each other.
"Piano music installation is stunning, simple, effective and adds so much to the room" - Bowes Museum visitors book
"I was aware of the limitations of the instruments, in that they are old, fragile, and probably out of tune because they are these days simply museum exhibits, and are not normally played at all. I was therefore very impressed by Kit Haigh’s ability to find a limited range of playable notes from four different instruments (or five, if the harmonium owned by Josephine Bowes is included – it is in another room), and blend them into a ‘conversation’. I am in no doubt that this demanded considerable technical skill, as well as imagination and creativity. " - Caroline Peacock, Bowes Museum Trustee
I can also be found drumming with Vintage jazz swingers House Of The Black Gardenia
Photo - Jazzy Lemon
From The Archives...
2008 - Maddy Prior 'Jock O' Hazeldean' from a 90 minute BBC Electric Proms special.
1989 - Zoom 'Big Screen Kiss'. Video filmed and broadcast by Tyne Tees Television.
Recording produced by me using a borrowed 8 track tape machine.