Kaffe Matthews

Sound artist and composer Kaffe Matthews was born in Essex, England, and lives and works in Berlin, making electro-acoustic music with a variety of objects and locations.

Since 1990 Matthews has made and performed music with violin, theremin, wild salmon, Scottish weather, NASA scientists, bicycles, hammerhead sharks, school children, desert stretched wires and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Her 2004 collaboration Weightless Animals was awarded a BAFTA, and she received a NESTA Dreamtime Fellowship in 2005 and an Award of Distinction, Prix Ars Electronica 2006 for the work Sonic Bed_London. In February 2006 she was made an Honorary Professor of Music, Shanghai Music Conservatory, China, and in 2009 a patron of the Galapagos shark conservation society and in 2014 she was the first woman to receive the Edgar Varèse Guest professorship at TU University Berlin.

Other significant compositions include her 43-channel installation The lock shift songs, made for a trio of sonic beds from data gathered along an 85-mile UK canal walk, an LP of cosmological songs & music, Yird Muin Starn, and three Sky Gazer chairs in the Galloway Forest in collaboration with Mandy McIntosh. In 2014 Matthews established the Bicrophonic Research Institute (BRI) to develop interactive composition for outdoor enjoyment with bicycles. Since 2012 Matthews has made eleven sonic bike operas for Belgium, Portugal, Bonn, Houston, Finland, The Netherlands, Berlin, Dublin and the UK. Acknowledged as a pioneer in the field of electronic improvisation and live composition, Matthews has released 6 solo CDs on the label Annette Works, and continues to direct the vibratory interface design project, music for bodies. She will be making her seventh solo release on Annette Works Autumn 2017.

Photo: Poppy Berry