Artmusic was formed in 1999 to promote collaborative work between artists from different disciplines and to foster new relationships between the arts and other spheres. The organisation continues to build a repertoire of installation and performance pieces and is committed to exploring new environments and addressing new audiences in the presentation of its work.

The first two works were developed as a research project with funding from South West Arts. Footprints, by artist Rowena Pearce, sound designer Alastair Goolden and composer Helen Ottaway, was the first of an ongoing series of installations which use the movement of the public around a space to generate and shape music and sound. Round & Round, a cycle of paintings and piano pieces by Barry Cooper and Helen Ottaway with video by Al Morrison was first performed at the Merlin Theatre, Frome.

Site specific installations form a large part of Artmusic’s output with works created for The National Review of Live Art in a subterranean corridor and for Salisbury Festival in the roof of Salisbury Cathedral. Thin Air, Helen Ottaway and Alastair Goolden’s site specific sound sculpture for cathedrals and other religious buildings is recreated for each new venue, using material linked to the building and its history and involving members of the community in the development process.

The creation of interactive environments, an essential element in Artmusic’s installation and site specific work, has been developed by Alastair Goolden and Helen Ottaway using Soundbeam. Soundbeam converts physical movement into sound using ultra-sonic sensors. The sensors send out streams of pulses of ultra-sound in invisible beams. Interruptions of the beam by movement cause ‘echoes’ of the ultra-sonic pulses to be reflected back to the sensor. In Artmusic’s work this information is interpreted by a sampler which will ‘play’ previously recorded individual fragments of music and ‘found sound’ according to the nuances of the detected movement.

In both the conception and the realisation Artmusic’s work includes much which is either random or intuitive or both. When two or more elements coexist and interact the results are often unpredictable. The product of the collaborative process is always more than the sum of its parts and there emerges another layer in the work which is indefinable and separate. This is the magical quality which draws people to the work time and time again.

Artmusic is a not-for-profit partnership supported by a voluntary advisory panel.

Helen Ottaway
Composer and artistic director of Artmusic since its formation. Previous administrative experience includes 3 or 4 Composers (with Melanie Pappenheim). Helen Ottaway is also a collaborating artist with Artmusic .

Steve Ehrlicher
Freelance administrator. Has worked with Artsadmin and clients for 20 years as well as Action on Disability and Development, Beaconsfield, Salisbury Festival and others. Formerly Finance Controller at Institute of Contemporary Arts (1986 to 1995), Administrator for Hesitate & Demonstrate (1984 -1986) and Natural Theatre Company (1979 to 1984).

Advisors (past and present)
Bill Gee
Independent Arts producer based in London.

Rowena Pearce
Fine artist and administrator of Shave Farm International Artists’ Workshop (reg. Charity) established 1991 in association with Robert Loder and Anthony Caro. Rowena Pearce is also a collaborating artist with Artmusic.

Mary Phillips
Academic researcher and teacher with extensive marketing experience.

Annette Ratuszniak
Museum and exhibition curator and art historian working since 1974 in Britain and Italy.

Funding and support

Arts Council England | The National Lottery | Awards for All | Cork2005 European Capital of Culture | Frome Community Learning Partnership | Frome Town Council | JUMPS | mac | Mendip District Council | Nottingham County Council | The London Borough of Tower Hamlets | The Odin Charitable Trust | The Ron Button Fund | The Trusthouse Charitable Foundation | Rowena Seddon | Somerset County Council |Somerset Music | Shawford Mill | @ok | Cuprinol | Hanson | Homebase | Laura Ashley | Shave Farm | Best Western Swan Hotel, Wells | Wells City Council | Bishop’s Palace & Gardens, Wells | Wells Museum | Oxford Contemporary Music | Dorchester Abbey | SOuthwell Minster | Norfolk & Norwich Festival | The Churches Preservation Trust | Salisbury Festival |BAC | Activate Performing Arts | Wadhurst Culture | Wadhurst Brass Band | St Peter and St Paul, Wadhurst |

National Review of Live Art | Nottinghamshire County Council | Salisbury Festival | Salisbury District Council | Cork 2005 European Capital of Culture | mac |The London Borough of Tower Hamlets | Wandsworth Borough Council | Inside Out Dorset | Wadhurst Culture | Oerol, The Netherlands |Step in Stone Somerset