Martin Green writes music and plays the accordion, and anything with knobs on that you can plug into the mains. The traditional music he grew up with is at the core of his approach, as is the use of live electronics. His interest is in taking the power he finds in traditional music into new contexts and settings. Ever motivated to discover sounds he has never heard before, Green finds his twin passions of tradition and experimentalism can be happy bed-fellows. Crows' Bones, a musical piece in a theatrical setting commissioned by Opera North in 2012, draws on this interest in the juxtaposition of traditional and collected material. In it, Green premieres a one-string instrument of his own design and creation made from a log and a 'cello string. Played with two violin bows, the effect is to create a sound that is archaic in nature yet paradoxically new. He has also recently developed the Sporkatron, an instrument that uses the conductivity of the human body to trigger samples via cutlery, which played a central role in the 2014 electro-musical for children /Songs from the Enchanted Garden/. This work, written by Green with words by Karine Polwart, was commissioned by Stirling Council and involved a choir of 150 children. Since moving to Scotland in 2004, he has become a mainstay of both the traditional music scene and Edinburgh's unique experimental music community. Much of his compositional output of the last few years has been with the award-winning folk trio Lau, with whom he has written works and performed with many collaborators including Northern Sinfonia, Elysian Quartet and Jack Bruce. Other career highlights have included world touring with Joan Baez, Eliza Carthy and Linda Thompson and free improvisation performances with Mats Gustafsson and Natsuki Tamura. With the other members of Lau, Martin co-curates the movable multi-genre music festival Lau-Land.
Martin Green | "This award is a remarkable opportunity for any composer, a chance to spend some time developing and improving is a very rare thing. I am flattered and extremely grateful, I am aware of some of the other composers nominated this year, and the standard of their work, which makes this whole situation all the more incredible to me. I can't wait to go and make some more music."