mat martin | Scratches

I occasionally compose music and make pieces of visual art. This was my main area of study (I studied under Edward Cowie and Alexander Goehr at Dartington College of Arts) and for me the two processes are very linked. They also represent for me a form of research or fieldwork and so form a part of a general interest which I can also serve through writing. These are not activities I actively pursue opportunities for so my output can be quite sporadic.

I have however sold a few pieces of art and composed commissioned work for the London Jazz Festival, for a few renowned performers of experimental music and for the British and International Bass Forum. My piece “Shadow Musics” put me on the SPNM (now Sound And Music) shortlist of emerging Bristish composers in 2007.

"A musical mind that knows exactly what it wants to say, and how to say it." - Edward Cowie

Visual Art: This work is made during the process of composing, which begins in observational sketchbooks during the early stages of a musical project. The finished pieces use charcoal, chalk or ink on imperfect surfaces such as handmade paper. All pieces are for sale unless marked.

Writing: The Small Clawhammer Banjo Book was published in 2011 and is available in ebook or paperback formats. The PhD thesis - On the Nature of Fieldwork is a bit big to put up here for download, so if for some reason you feel compelled to read it you'll have to email me. Many of the articles published by Spiral Earth have been victims of regular site refreshment but I occasionally put some scribblings up at the blog here, too.

Graphic Music


Various durations
Quartet (2008)
for Pete Wareham & The Final Terror
Commissioned by SPNM/SaM for London Jazz Festival 2008

Pebble Music
Indeterminate Duration
Solo Performer on any Instrument(s) (2005)

Orrery (Corvus/Corona Borealis)
Indeterminate Duration
Resonant Strings (Harp or Piano Interior) (2006)
for Rhodri Davies

Notated Music


Prelude (Totem I)
ca. 2’30”
Solo Bass Clarinet (Optional Drone) (2003)
for Christopher Cundy

Ancient Bone (Totem II)
ca. 8’30”
Quiet Patterns for Solo Bass Clarinet (2006)
for Christopher Cundy

Shadow Musics (18 chromatic heiropglyphs)
ca. 4’-4’30”
Four Nylon- or Steel- strung Guitars (2006)
Shortlisted by SPNM/SaM 2007

Single Stone
ca. 1’00”
Solo Contrabass (Optional Piano Accompaniment) (2006)
for the British & Internatonal Bass Forum

Indeterminate Duration
Solo Organ (2005)

Crumbs (A Page of Quiet Constellations)
ca. 2’00”
Amplified Flute & Electric Guitar (1 player) (2007)




A Small Clawhammer Banjo Book (2011)

On The Nature of Fieldwork: A Composer’s Interdisciplinary Theory and Practice
PhD Thesis (2010)

The Doctrine Magazine
Columns & articles for the online music magazine, first published in 2014.

Writings for Spiral Earth:

Letters from Canada – 2011
A selection of articles including letters on touring and performing, interviews with other musicians and reviews of shows.

Hobopop Editorship – 2010
A selection of articles from a variety of artists; written, curated and edited by Mat Martin.

Guitar Blog – 2010
Written for David Kushar’s series of articles on guitars and luthiers, discussing the instruments used in Kirsty McGee’s live shows.



Charcoal/Graphite Pieces
570 x 770 mm
450 x 770 mm

Ink Pieces
130 x 130 mm