Matthew Leigh Embleton

Contemporary Composer | Electronic Music Producer | What is Ambient? | Lute | Contact | Publishing Enquiries

Photo by Mike Embleton

Contemporary Composer

Mentioned on:

IMDB (Internet Movie Database)

Vimeo

Modern Lute Music project, hosted by Peter Croton

Modern and Contemporary Lute Music, A bibliography of lute music from c.1815 to today by Susan King

Compositions for Solo Lute:

Op 1 Journey in d-minor - A suite in three movements arranged for both Baroque Lute and Renaissance Lute. Published by The Lute Society.

Also published in the 'Rivista della Societa Del Liuto', Numero 5, Novembre 2012, ISSN 2280-9392.

Op 2 Nocturnes in d-minor & e-minor - Arranged for both Baroque Lute and Renaissance Lute. Published by The Lute Society.

Op 3 From Depth in a-minor - Arranged for both Baroque Lute and Renaissance Lute. Published by The Lute Society.

Op 4 Nocturnes in f-minor & g-minor - Quarterly Journal Volume 97 no 3 (Fall 2012). Published by the Lute Society of America.

Latest News:

06/10/2014 - Matthew Leigh Embleton - Music For Spaces 2 (Audio Fabrique)

Cover artwork by Mike Embleton

French Baroque Lute textures and samples by Susan King

"Another beautiful and dreamlike album from the sonic mastery of Matthew Leigh Embleton. This album hypnotizes, floats, seduces and massages the senses in a gentle harmonic journey that heals the troubled spirit and inspires the senses. Matthew has consistently composed and produced the most beautiful and inspiring music, with both with his own compositions and as producer with for example The Psychedelic Manifesto's sublimely beautiful Garden of Dreams album, his work is faultless in its execution, and Matthew is in every sense a true 'Zen master of the sonic art form'. For me one of the great qualities of Matthew’s work, is that one is always able to entirely loose oneself in his music, and be carried away and seduced by the sonic magic and beautiful soft gentle emotions that he conjures up, in his always perfect alchemy of sound. He is of course creating the most perfect soundtrack music, and it can surely not be too long before we see Matthew Leigh Embleton emerging from his comfortable self-induced 'hermitage' and becoming one of the major film soundtrack composers."

Chris Garland, (Audio Fabrique)

24/09/2014 - Kod Betlehema, arranged for Renaissance Lute, performed by Stuart Walsh, Renaissance Lute.

28/07/2014 - Matthew Leigh Embleton - Contemporary Works For Solo Lute (Audio Fabrique), Susan King and David Van Ooijen, Lutes

Cover artwork by Mike Embleton

01 Journey in d-minor - 1 Introduction, Piano con affetto

02 Journey in d-minor - 2 The Pursuit, Con affetto e un poco agitato

03 Journey in d-minor - 3 Looking Skyward, Con larghezza

04 From Depth in a-minor

05 Nocturne in d-minor, Piano molto e cantabile

06 Nocturne in e-minor, Piano molto e cantabile

07 Arpeggiata in a-minor, Adagio Andante e Piano

08 Extransience in d-minor, Affrettando con poco agitato

09 Victoria Park, December 2005 in e-minor, Piano molto e penseroso

10 Cloud Level in a-minor, Piano molto e penseroso

11 Tasmanian Lake in d-minor, Piano con affetto

12 Eternal Recurrence in a-minor, Piano molto con affetuoso

Susan King, French Baroque Lute

Tracks 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

David Van Ooijen, Baroque Lute

Tracks 4, 7

For more information about lutenist Susan King, click here.

For more information about lutenist David Van Ooijen, click here.

15/07/2014 - Matthew Leigh Embleton - Resonance FM 104.4 London, presented by Stephanie Feeney (aka 'Lady Lovely Lute')

Discussing modern Lute music and the Lute in Electronic and Ambient Music.

20/06/2014 - 'Spanish Voyage' (from 'Shades Of History') featured on 'Twilight Histories', Episode: 'Aztec Steel'.

Jordan Harbour's blog Twilight Histories features 'Spanish Voyage' in the Episode Aztec Steel.

"Aztec Steel takes place in a violent world fuelled by gold and hatred. When the Chinese discovered the Americas, they also discovered an advanced civilization–the Aztecs. A lucrative trade began, but this wasn’t to last. With the Chinese came crippling old world diseases that devastated the Aztecs. The Chinese were forced to colonize their lands, and the surviving Aztecs hated them for it.

Into the violent world have entered the Europeans. Your Spanish trading ship is quickly overrun and now you must survive, thousands of miles and an ocean away from home."

"I'd like to thank Matthew Embleton for his musical contribution to this episode. I heard Matthew's music on the podcast 'Ancient Rome Refocused', and contacted him to see if he had anything we could use, Matthew blew my mind by actually composing a piece of music specifically for this show. I've posted a link to Matthew's truly inspired music on the website at twilighthistories.com"

Jordan Harbour, Twilight Histories

18/05/2014 - Matthew Leigh Embleton - Music For Spaces (Audio Fabrique)

Cover artwork by Mike Embleton

Matthew plays a 7c Renaissance Lute in F made by Luke Emmet of Orlando Lutes, Bass Guitar, and electronics.

"Music For Spaces is another beautiful inspired ambient sonic masterpiece from Matthew Leigh Embleton. Limpid drops of sonic poetry undulating waves of liquid sound, float in a beautiful enraptured harmony of the senses. Free Your Mind. lay back and lose yourself in this intensely moving beautiful soundtrack for the mind & body. Soft soothing gentle waves of sound dissolve the negative energy of external life and internal conflict. Your Imagination and senses are set free, as you roam through sensual journeys of the mind. Film music for the mind, a soundtrack for the senses. Perfect, beautiful healing and uplifting."

Chris Garland, (Audio Fabrique)

18/05/2014 - Matthew Leigh Embleton - Shades of History (Audio Fabrique)

Cover artwork by Mike Embleton

Matthew plays a 7c Renaissance Lute in F made by Luke Emmet of Orlando Lutes and electronics.

"Matthew Leigh Embleton's 'Shades Of History' is a beautiful infinite soundtrack through the enveloping tissues of time and space. A soundtrack for the senses. Romantic visions abound. Close your eyes and you are you are in rennaisance Spain looking out to sea from as yet another galleon sails out to the new world, pennants flying and sails softly billowing in the quickening breeze. Or you are transported to a perfect balmy beautiful Tuscany or Florence, you sip your grapa,and gaze languidly out over the rolling sun kissed hills , shimmering rooftops and vineyards. This is an intensely beautiful album, an irresistible soundtrack for the mind and journey through the senses."

Chris Garland, (Audio Fabrique)

07/05/2014 - 'Small Floating Crafts - Conclusion' the musical score from the film 'Little Boats', a film written and directed by Mike Embleton, performed by Stuart Walsh, Renaissance Lute.

02/05/2014 - 'Small Floating Crafts - Introduction' the musical score from the film 'Little Boats', a film written and directed by Mike Embleton, performed by Stuart Walsh, Renaissance Lute.

07/04/2014 - 'Little Boats' a short film written and directed by Mike Embleton. Music by Matthew Leigh Embleton.

24/03/2014 - Matthew Leigh Embleton - Music For Lute And Laptop Volume 4 (Featuring David Van Ooijen, Lutes) (Alex Tronic Records / ATR Classical)

Cover artwork by Mike Embleton

David plays a 6c and 7c Renaissance Lute, and Baroque Lute

Listen to clips or download from:

Qobuz.com | Amazon.com |Amazon.de | Amazon.fr |Amazon.co.jp | Amazon.it |Amazon.es | Amazon.co.uk

09/02/2014 - Op 1 Journey in d-minor - 1 Introduction - Wezi Elliot, Baroque Lute

09/02/2014 - Op 1 Journey in d-minor - 2 The Pursuit - Wezi Elliot, Baroque Lute

09/02/2014 - Op 1 Journey in d-minor - 3 Looking Skyward - Wezi Elliot, Baroque Lute

03/11/2013 - Op 1 Journey in d-minor - Steve Metcalfe, Renaissance Lute

26/10/2013 - Op 2 No 2 Nocturne in e-minor - Steve Metcalfe, Archlute

23/10/2013 - Op 01 Journey in d minor - 1 Introduction - Wezi Elliot, Baroque Lute

01/09/2013 Music For Lute And Laptop - Live at the Internationale Luitdagen 2013, Utrecht

16:30 Contemporary music for lute, with discussion following

Susan King: Music by Janina Evangelou-Oost, Helen Morrison, Matthew Leigh Embleton (last composer is present) and others

David van Ooijen: Music by Gilbert Isbin and others

Although the repertoire expands gradually, new compositions for the lute appear only sparsely. Why is this new repertoire for the lute so limited in comparison with f.i. that for the recorder? Do lute players tend to be more conservative? Is the lute less accessible for modern composers? After the Susan King’s performance, a short, guided discussion occurs.

18/08/2013 - Op 3 From Depth in a-minor - Steve Metcalfe, Renaissance Lute

08/07/2013 - Matthew Leigh Embleton - Music For Lute And Laptop Volume 3 (Featuring David Van Ooijen, Lutes) (Alex Tronic Records / ATR Classical)

Cover artwork by Mike Embleton

David plays Archlute, Baroque Lute, and Theorbo

Mike Embleton plays provides electric guitar textures

David Van Ooijen

David Van Ooijen plays solo music and accompanies singers on various lutes, historical guitars and shamisen. He also plays continuo in several early music groups and orchestras. He appeared in the festivals of Utrecht, Flanders, Wratislawa, Osnabrück, Dubrovnik, Melk, Cambrils, Seviqc Brezice, Gijón, Berlin, Tehran and Nagasaki.

He recorded some 30 CDs and in 1991 BBC radio made solo recordings of him. In 1998 he won an early music prize in Holland and in 2000 and 2009 he was invited to spend a month in Hirado, Japan, as artist in residence. Here he has come to love traditional Japanese music and learned to play the shamisen. After making a CD with Japanese songs with soprano Chiyomi Yamada, accompanied on an original 19th century guitar, David has toured Japan three times in 2003 and 2008.

In 2012 David returned for concerts to Hirado. In 2004 and 2005 CDs with altus Sytse Buwalda reached the number one spot in the classical charts of the Dutch national radio and David’s CD with fellow lutenist Michiel Niessen, featuring the first recording of the complete lute duets of sixteenth century lute virtuoso Giovanni Antonio Terzi, received a raving review in the prestigious Early Music Magazine.

In 2007 David played during the baptism service of Princess Ariane, daughter of the Dutch Crown Prince Willem Alexander and his wife Máxima. In 2011 and 2012 he played concerts with lutenist Toyohiko Satoh in Spain and Japan.

"I use gut strings on my lutes and early guitars, because I strongly feel it is the right thing to do. Their warmth of tone colour and complexity of sound make them ideal to express my musicality."

For more information: David Van Ooijen's Website

Back to Contemporary Works For Solo Lute.

30/06/2013 - Journey in c-minor - Introduction, Stuart Walsh, Renaissance Lute

06/06/2013 - Cloud Level - Stuart Walsh, Renaissance Lute

27/05/2013 - 'Hymn To Mithras' (from 'Shades Of History') featured on 'Ancient Rome Refocused'

Rob Cain's blog Ancient Rome Refocused features 'Hymn To Mithras' in Episode 12, Season 2, Venus (the statue of the goddess) takes a journey across time.

Matthew Leigh Embleton plays a 10 string kinnor lyre, and Minnie Rogers provides haunting backing vocals for this ambient evocation of Ancient Rome.

15/05/2013 - Arpeggiata - David Van Ooijen, Baroque Lute

06/05/2013 - Matthew Leigh Embleton - Music For Lute And Laptop Volume 2 (Featuring Susan King, Lute) (Alex Tronic Records / ATR Classical)

Cover artwork by Mike Embleton

Susan King plays an 11 Course Baroque Lute by Michael Lowe, Oxford, UK. Recorded at Mt Nelson, Hobart, Tasmania on 22nd June 2012 by Tony Sayer of Megatone Productions (Megatoneproductions@netspace.net.au)

On 'Tasmanian Lake' Matthew Leigh Embleton plays a 13 Course Baroque Lute by the David Van Edwards Summer School 2011 (www.vanedwards.co.uk), courtesy of The Lute Society

01/05/2013 - Arpeggiata - Stuart Walsh, Renaissance Lute

16/04/2013 - Eternal Recurrence - Stuart Walsh, Renaissance Lute

04/03/2013 - Matthew Leigh Embleton - Music For Lute And Laptop Volume 1 (Featuring Susan King, Lute) (Alex Tronic Records / ATR Classical)

Cover artwork by Mike Embleton

Susan King plays an 11 Course Baroque Lute by Michael Lowe, Oxford, UK. Recorded at Mt Nelson, Hobart, Tasmania on 22nd June 2012 by Tony Sayer of Megatone Productions (Megatoneproductions@netspace.net.au)

The Laptop

In performances of modern art music, particularly Electro-Acoustic, Acousmatic, or Avant-Garde, the Laptop is listed as an instrument in its own right. The contribution that the Laptop makes to the overall sound depends entirely on the guidance from the composer, the interpretation of that guidance by the performer, and the software and how it is used to produce and / or modify sounds as part of the performance. In this project, the role of the Laptop is to provide gentle sonic treatments of the Lute and a harmonic ambient backdrop to the composition.

The Lute

The French Baroque Lute has a special tone quality, resonance and clarity of sound that speaks directly to the heart of the listener. It was developed in the first quarter of the 1600's by lutenists seeking a way to better express what they wanted to say in their music. They believed that the music of the lute was the voice of the gods. What they did was experimental and ground-breaking and paved the way for new directions in music. Today we carry on this tradition of innovation, allowing the voice of the lute and the technology available through the laptop to lead us forward to new horizons. The origin of the lute may be in the past, but this project shows that the lute is an instrument for our times and the future.

Susan King

Susan King (Jones) was born in Sydney, Australia on 8th January 1956. She gained her Bachelor of Music from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Never one to take the obvious pathway, Susan's life has been filled with interesting twists and turns. However in 2008 her love of the French Baroque Lute compelled her to move to Europe where she spent the next four years following her passion for lute playing across several continents.

She then returned to her home on the beautiful island of Tasmania where she directs the biennial Hobart Lute Festival.

Susan has always enjoyed working with composers in the creation of new music and loves exploring the possibilities this offers with the lute. In 1988, Australian composer Robert Allworth wrote the first concerto written in modern times for the French Baroque Lute for Susan.

"The music of this instrument speaks to me in a way that no other music does.

When I hold my lute, it is no longer just me and the lute it is neither of us but something else, something that demands to be heard, to speak, to move, to communicate. I play music because I must and I play the French Baroque Lute because it is the sound I desire.

When I play from the original handwritten 17th century manuscripts I feel connected to the composer. Across time and space, 400 years apart, we meet.

And when I work with living composers, I hear my lute in new ways, which deepens my understanding of the instrument. Working with Matthew has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for the lute, truly bringing it into the 21st century."

For more information: Susan King's Website

Back to Contemporary Works For Solo Lute.

01/02/2013 - Op 3 From Depth in a-minor - Stuart Walsh, Renaissance Lute

25/01/2013 - Op 3 From Depth in a-minor - David Van Ooijen, Baroque Lute

21/01/2013 - Matthew Leigh Embleton - Resonance FM 104.4 London, presented by Stephanie Feeney (aka 'Lady Lovely Lute')

Discussing modern Lute music and the Lute in Electronic and Ambient Music.

Track 01 - Journey in D Minor (Published by The Lute Society, played by Susan King, Stuart Walsh, and David Van Ooijen)

Track 02 - Becki Bardot (aka Rebecca Croan) - Summer of Love (Snakestyle's Ibiza Sunrise Mix, Alex Tronic Records)

Track 03 - Joan Ambrosio Dalza - Tastar De Corde #3

Track 04 - Snakestyle & Sweetleaf - Out Of Bounds (Alex Tronic Records)

Track 05 - Snakestyle - Late Night Improvisation (Alex Tronic Records)

05/01/2013 - Looking Skyward - Stuart Walsh, Renaissance Lute

15/12/2012 - Op 2 No 2 Nocturne in e-minor - Stuart Walsh, Renaissance Lute

05/10/2012 - Looking Skyward - Susan King, Baroque Lute

04/10/2012 - Extransience - Susan King, Baroque Lute

22/07/2012 - Cloud Level - Susan King, Baroque Lute

29/06/2012 - Bach - BWV999 Prelude In C Minor, Ambient Remix, David Van Ooijen, Archlute, Matthew Leigh Embleton, Ambient electronics.

27/05/2012 - Op 1 Journey in d-minor - David Van Ooijen, Baroque Lute

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What is Ambient?

The origins of Ambient music can be traced back to the early 20th century, notably the two art movements Futurism and Dadaism that encouraged experimentation with various musical and non-musical forms, while rejecting more traditional styles of expression. This included experimental and 'anti-music' musicians such as Francesco Balilla Pratella, Kurt Schwitters, Erwin Schulhoff.

These experiments were influential for the early 20th Century composer Erik Satie who created what he called Musique D'Ameublement (Furniture Music) to create a background atmosphere for an event or activity, rather than serving as the focus of attention.

Brian Eno is generally credited with coining the term 'Ambient music' in the mid-1970s to refer to music that can be either 'actively listened to with attention or as easily ignored, depending on the choice of the listener', and on the 'cusp between melody and texture'. He described his experiments in sound as 'treatments' rather than as traditional performances. He used the word 'Ambient' to describe music that creates an atmosphere that puts the listener into a different state of mind, from the Latin term 'ambire', 'to surround'.

"Ambient music must be able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting".

"Ambient music is intended to induce calm and a space to think."

With the increasingly availability of synthesisers, experimentation in timbral characteristics of sound became more possible. A whole genre of Electronic music also emerged with the synthesiser playing a dominant role. This was pioneered by artists from 'The Berlin School' such as Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, Cluster, Klaus Schulze, Ashra, Popol Vuh and others. This music was characterised by long compositions, synthesiser sequenced ostinatos or 'loops', improvised lead melodies, changing and evolving structure and timbre of sounds.

Other significant artists such as Mike Oldfield, Jean Michel Jarre, and Vangelis have all added to or directly influenced the evolution of Ambient and electronic music in their own way, and also works by groups such as Pink Floyd and Yes who experimented with technology and incorporated it into their music.

During the 1980s several albums that are now considered Ambient classics were produced, notably Brian Eno's 'Apollo' and 'Ambient 4' and collaborations with Harold Budd 'The Plateau of Mirror' and 'The Pearl', David Sylvian's 'Gone To Earth', and his collaborations with Holger Czukay 'Plight & Premonition' and 'Flux and Mutability'.

By the early 1990s the next generation of electronic musicians used this Ambient influence in their electronic music, such as Aphex Twin, Biosphere, Boards Of Canada, Future Sound Of London, Global Communication, Higher Intelligence Agency, KLF, and The Orb. This was an alternative to much harder and faster dance music scenes at the time such as 'Rave', 'Hardcore', 'Drum & Bass'. This more Ambient electronic music was in fact incorporated into the scene as 'Chillout', often being played in a dedicated 'Chillout room' at a rave event where people could relax and calm down after dancing or experiencing intense drug induced experiences.

Today the term Ambient is perhaps not as universally recognised, used, or understood as it once was, but the influences and principles of exploration and experimentation, and contemplative and meditative states of mind still live on in music, art, and film, and continue to provide calm and space to think, a sane antidote to the stresses of modern life.

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