Martin Heslop is a writer, composer and sound artist based in Liverpool.  He collaborates across art forms, with poets, playwrights, film makers, visual artists, composers, actors and dramaturgs.  He has written words and music for publication, for release on record and for performance.

 

RECENT POSTS:

2/7/17 – THE LIGHTHOUSE INVITES THE STORM – LIVE AT THE BLUECOAT, LIVERPOOL AND MARINERS’ PARK, NEW BRIGHTON

The Lighthouse invites the Storm

Reconnecting Malcolm Lowry to his New Brighton birthplace, each side of the Mersey will play host to a new commission marking the seventieth anniversary of his seminal novel, and the sixtieth anniversary of his death.

The performance The Lighthouse Invites the Storm will encompass live music, film, spoken word and songs. Drawing on the stories of merchant seamen, Lowry’s sea-voyages, his journeys through the Liverpool night and the rise and fall of Mersey tides, this experimental cross art form composition will be performed at Mariners’ Park Care Home in New Brighton and the Bluecoat over two nights, Fri 28th July (Bluecoat) and Sat 29th July (Mariners’), alongside an exciting programme of events.

Commissioned by the Bluecoat and Liverpool John Moores University, artist Alan Dunn, composer Martin Heslop and writer Jeff Young have been working with retired seafarers at Mariners’ Park over the past six months, uncovering hidden stories and adventures which have inspired the work.

More info here and full programme of events here:  http://www.thelighthouseinvitesthestorm.com/

Tickets for the Bluecoat here:  https://uk.patronbase.com/_Bluecoat/Productions/4SR/Performances

Tickets for Mariners’ Park here:

https://uk.patronbase.com/_Bluecoat/Productions/4SR/Performances

 

2/7/17 – HORNY HANDED TONS OF SOIL – LIVE AT THE UNITY THEATRE, LIVERPOOL

HHTOS poster

The city is alive. Wandering the streets, The Child, The Poet and Death trace memories and map dreams onto a landscape shifting under the spell of time.

Inspired by the eclectic work of Adrian Henri in the 50th anniversary year of The Mersey Sound, ‘Horny Handed Tons of Soil’ fuses beat poetry with folk song; electronic composition with live brass and percussion; documentary film with theatrical storytelling.

Extract performed live on Front Row on Radio 4:

Book Tickets here: https://www.unitytheatreliverpool.co.uk/whats-on/hornyhanded-tons-of-soil.html

20/02/17 – UPCOMING: 3 NEW PROJECTS

The Lighthouse Invites the Storm will be a large scale installation and live performance by Alan Dunn, Martin Heslop & Jeff Young in collaboration with poet Helen Tookey, retired seafarers from the Wirral and sound artists from Mexico.

new-brighton-lighthouse

Fort Perch Rock & Lighthouse, New Brighton, 24-30 July.

More details to follow.

(Image copyright Hidden Wirral 2014)

 

Horny Handed Tons of Soil at Unity Theatre, Liverpool, 13th – 15th July 2017.

A theatrical collaboration combining poetry, live music, storytelling and film, exploring themes of  destruction, construction and memory within the stories of what has been lost and found in the re-sculpting of the Liverpool landscape over the last fifty years

toxteth-from-air

Written by Lizzie Nunnery, Martin Heslop and Vidar Norheim with Martin Smith.

Film and Video by Tim Brunsden.

Tickets and more info here: https://www.unitytheatreliverpool.co.uk/whats-on/hornyhanded-tons-of-soil.html#about

 

The Sum is a new play by Lizzie Nunnery, directed by Gemma Bodinetz, with live music from Vidar Norheim and Martin Heslop, at Liverpool Everyman, 6th – 20th May 2017

everyman

More details to follow – more info and tickets here:  https://www.everymanplayhouse.com/whats-on/the-sum

29/11/16 – LONDON ROAD – THE BALLAD OF RAY AND JULIE

rayjuliesept14originalinstallation1

Photo by Alan Dunn

To mark the last few months of RAY + JULIE, artist Alan Dunn, composer Martin Heslop and writer Jeff Young have produced a limited edition 7″ single LONDON ROAD ’66 + ’81. The record, with photography by Vesta Hex and design by Martyn Rainford, brings together two spoken word RAY + JULIE pieces from Electronic Voice Phenomena and Composers’ Laboratory at METAL.  With additional voice by Emma French, it is released in an edition of 300.

For more, and to listen to the tracks, see http://alandunn67.co.uk/londonroadtheballadofrayandjulienovember2016.html.

singlefront

24/11/16 – THIS THURSDAY LIVE AT THE EVERYMAN, LIVERPOOL

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15/9/16 – LIVE AT METAL WITH IMMIX ENSEMBLE

immix-poster

Immix Ensemble present Invisible Trains and other works, including A552 HEX by Martin Heslop and Jeff Young.

Metal, Edge Hill Station, Liverpool – 19.30

More on Immix here: http://immixensemble.co.uk/

Ticket info here: immixensemble.eventbrite.com

15/7/16 – LIVE AT PROTOHOME

New works being performed live from 18.30 – 20.00 – Protohome, Stepney Bank, Newcastle

Prothome 1

PROTOHOME is open to the public to visit and plays host to a programme of events including talks, exhibitions, public forums, film screenings, artist residencies, performances, workshops and more, examining the collaborative design/build process and wider issues concerning housing and homelessness in an austerity context, participatory alternatives and the politics of land and development.

See the website for more information, opening times and full details of the programme of events: www.protohome.co.uk // www.facebook.com/protohomenewcastle // info@protohome.co.uk

18/3/16 – LIVE AT THE PHILHARMONIC

Mount Street snowBootle Bomb Damage

First outing for a newly commissioned work, Liverpool, I Love Your Horny Handed Tons of Soil. Words by Lizzie Nunnery, Music by Martin Heslop and Vidar Norheim.

It will be premiered as part of Liverpool Acoustic Festival tonight 18th March at 19.05.  Find out more about the night here:

Phrased & Confused at Liverpool Acoustic Festival

Photos courtesy of Edward Chambre Hardman and Liverpool Records Office.

8/3/16 – A552 HEX

A552_Borough_Road

A552 HEX by Jeff Young and Martin Heslop for Translating the Street – Birkenhead, March 2016.  Listen to it in full here:

And an interview with Frank Cavanagh (cobbler) and Jeff Young (writer) here:

Images by Rept0n1x

4/3/16 – TRANSLATING THE STREET

New audio work A552 HEX by Jeff Young and Martin Heslop commissioned by Alternator Studio, Birkenhead, as part of Translating the Street, taking place on Sat 5th March, 10.30 – 17.00, in various shops around Oxton Road, Birkenhead.

Frank Cavanagh's

A552 HEX will begin at Frank Cavanagh’s Cobbler Shop, one of the last remaining businesses on Borough Road, Birkenhead. Frank has been a cobbler for over 60 years.

For more info:  https://www.facebook.com/events/976244515783695/

4/2/16 – SCHWITTERS

Dada Sounds

Two new sound works by Alan Dunn, Jeff Young and Martin Heslop.

Broadcast as part of CITIES AND MEMORY, to mark the centenary of the founding of the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich. curated by Stuart Fowkes, February 2016.

See post to listen to the pieces.

20/1/16 – FOUR WORDS

Four words image 1

Four Words – curated by Alan Dunn, Liverpool Media Wall, 3.00 – 4.00pm on Wednesday 20th January 2016, supported by Arts Council England, Seedbed, Metal Liverpool and Ocean Outdoor.

Four Words is one of the Liverpool Provocations, a series of four new public-realm artworks for Liverpool city centre taking place during the January sales season. The project has been developed by Metal Liverpool in conjunction with artist Alan Dunn.

Texts by:


Sam Ainsley / Hala Al Alaiwat / Sean Ashton / Clarisse Aubert / Shaista Aziz (writer and journalist) / Fiona Banner / Alex Bellos (broadcaster and author of ‘Alex’s Adventures in Numberland’) / Franco Bianchini (Professor of Cultural Policy and Planning, Leeds Beckett University) / Chris Bishop / Terry Boyle / Jessie Brennan / Pavel Büchler / Billy Cancel / Jayne Casey / Matthew Caygill (Senior Lecturer, Cultural Studies And Humanities, Leeds Beckett University) / Roger Cliffe-Thompson / Clinic / Sara Clowes (community gardener) / Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (author of ‘Gigi’ 1944) / Douglas Coupland / Shaun Curtis / DaDaFest / Alan Dunn / Zak Dunn-Jurack (aged 16) / Jason K. Dy, SJ (Filipino/Artist/Priest) / Nina Edge / Jack Ehlen / Chris Erskine / Damon Fairclough / David Fairclough (Liverpool FC 1975-83) / Steve Faragher (Kensington Vision CIC and Liverpool Community Radio) / Foreign Investment / Forest Swords / Miro Griffiths (DaDaFest) / Shanaz Gulzar / David Harding / Marion Harrison / Bethany Hermitt / Julia Heslop / Martin Heslop / Roger Hill / Stewart Home / Derek Horton / David Jacques / Philip Jeck / Nathan Jones / Brigitte Jurack / Rudy Kanhye / Kath Keith, Rob Keith (retired seafarer) / Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner (economist and journalist, authors of ‘Freakonomics’) / Jonathan Lindh (eco architect) / Ollie Longhurst (DaDaFest) / LUST3R / Luther Blissett High School / Elizabeth Flanagan McCormick / Harry Meadley / Nathaniel Mellors / Mark Melvin / MeYouAndUs / Paul Morley (music journalist and author) / Simon Morris / Julie Nugent (Young People’s Domestic Violence Advisor, Cumbria) / Harold Offeh / Julieann O’Malley / Joe Fletcher Orr / Samela Otovic / Bernadette O’Toole / Ben Parry / Captain Pengelly (retired seafarer) / PIES / Leo Plumb / Claire Potter / James Quin / Jamie Reid / Rachel Reupke / The Reverend Max Ripple / Gerhard Richter / Paul Rooney / SEEDS (support for the Eastern European and Roma communities in Liverpool) / Bryony Shakespeare-Smyth / Liu Shaojun / Dr Katy Shaw (Principal Lecturer in Contemporary Writings, Leeds Beckett University) / Eoin Shea / David Shrigley / Ross Sinclair / Yann Steunou-Murray (A-level student) / Michelle Stubbs (DaDaFest) / Paul Sullivan (Static) / Superflex / Dr Zoë Tew-Thompson (Senior Lecturer in Media, Communication, Cultures, Leeds Beckett University & New Media Geographies Students) / Alma Tischler Wood / James Treadell / Nandu Ullegaddi (Age UK Wirral) / Sam Wade (DaDaFest) / Harriet Walsh (Permaculture) / Andy Warhol / Esther Wilson / beate maria wörz / Jeff Young / Jess Young & Jennifer Conway

23/10/15 – LIVE AT THE BLUECOAT

Niamh O'Malley 2

Readings from acclaimed Dublin-born poet Tara Bergin and Liverpool-based poet and playwright Jeff Young in response to the work of Niamh O’Malley whose current exhibition Glasshouse is running at The Bluecoat. Also featuring brand new music by writer, composer and sound artist Martin Heslop.

Part of Liverpool Irish Festival  – See more at:

http://www.thebluecoat.org.uk/events/view/events/3101#sthash.7rVZU4QD.dpuf

See more about Niamh O’Malley here:  http://www.niamhomalley.com/

28/9/15 – ARTHUR DOOLEY’S BLACK CHRIST RESURRECTED

Black Christ 1

Arthur Dooley’s statue Black Christ is resurrected on the Princes Park Methodist Church in Toxteth after restoration work. A commemorative booklet is available to buy featuring poems by Martin Heslop and Jeff Young inspired by Arthur’s work.

There’s an article about the sculpture here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/liverpool/content/articles/2006/12/22/divine_art_dooley_sculpture_feature.shtml

And about its resurrection here: http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/liverpool-sculptor-arthur-dooleys-black-10143897#ICID

26/9/15 – 23 ENIGMA RELEASED

23 Enigma

Release of hand-sewn booklets with the text of 23 Enigma by Jeff Young alongside a live recording of the piece with music by Martin Heslop and Vidar Norheim on sale here:

http://www.stuplex.co.uk/product/stuplex-003-23-enigma-vortex-sutra-book-cd/

Link to article about it here: http://www.bidolito.co.uk/content/issue-60

15/9/15 – NARVIK REVIEWS

Martin with mandolin and beater

The Guardian – 4 stars – “…..But it is the music – a skein of electronically filtered shanties and ballads performed by Nunnery and her regular collaborators Vidar Norheim and Martin Heslop – that is used to most atmospheric effect. It’s almost a tease, as fragments of melody mysteriously appear and suddenly melt away, with the confidence of a writer who has talent to burn.”

See full review here: http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2015/sep/11/narvik-review-liverpool-playhouse-lizzie-nunnery

And other reviews here: http://boxoftrickstheatre.co.uk/news/narvik-reviews-round-up/

1/9/15 – NARVIK

Lizzie and Nina

Narvik is written by Lizzie Nunnery, music composed by Martin Heslop and Vidar Norheim, directed by Hannah Tyrell-Pinder, designed by Maeve Black. Produced by Box of Tricks and Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse.

It runs at Liverpool Playhouse from Tue 8th until Sat 19TH September. Tickets available here:  http://www.everymanplayhouse.com/whats-on/narvik

12/8/15 – STUPLEX OO2 RELEASED

IMG_4434

New story Rapt published in Stuplex 002 – a box full of writing, visual art and spoken word recordings on the theme of decadence.

Buy it here: http://www.stuplex.co.uk/shop/ 

1/10/14 – BRIGHT PHOENIX – PICTURES AND REVIEWS

Carl 4

The Guardian – 4 Stars:

“A plea on behalf of the liminal figures that give Liverpool its soul.”

“Serdar Bilis’s production provides a cascade of images, beautifully designed by Ti Green, to suggest a fault line running between the city’s derelict past and its shiny, regenerated future…….with nocturnal torch songs and aggressive punk outbursts by composer Martin Heslop forming an integral part of the action.”

Stage 1

Liverpool Echo– 4 Stars

“at times crazily beautiful”
“majestic”
“demented”
“trippy, dreamy, poetic”

The Times:

“Directed by Serdar Bilis, it’s both ragged and beautiful, melancholy and ecstatic, sordid and exultant”
“its audacity, swagger and reckless unpredictability keep you hooked on its intoxicating, fantastical night-flight”
“Martin Heslop’s achingly lovely live music”

What’s On Stage – 4 Stars

Skin and Bones

British Theatre Guide:

“a piece of work brimming with vitality, a theatrical firework that snaps, crackles and pops”
“Bright Phoenix roles along on adrenaline alone”
“intoxicatingly, seductive musical score”
“The humour is earthy, performances earnest and production hugely creative. It all adds up to a rather exotic blend of saturnalia”

Click Liverpool – 5 Stars:

Carl 3

1/10/14 – BRIGHT PHOENIX

Opens at the Everyman Theatre, Liverpool, 8th October. Written by Jeff Young. Music and songs by Martin  Heslop. Directed by Serdar Bilis. Designed by Ti Green. Video designer – Louis Price. Lighting designer – Chahine Yavroyan.

1/10/14 – SPIDER WEB CITY

A new video-work presented at Uncharted Festival in Porto Palermo Castle in the south of Albania from 8th-11th August.

Over the course of three months Julia Heslop has been working in Bathore, an informal settlement on the outskirts of Tirana, Albania’s capital city, tracing the history of this contentious community. In collaboration with composer Martin Heslop, the research has gone beyond Bathore, to Puka, Tropoja and Kukes, searching for the traditional music and musicians and the vacant villages of the north. The video follows the roots of one 21-year-old girl, born in Puka and raised in Bathore since the age of one. Her story represents the first generation of Bathore and the area as it is now, as it has become.

 

The work follows the girl’s experience of growing up in a community built by people, from the ground up, from working hands and sweat drenched brows. She speaks of her aspirations for what the youth of Bathore can build, can change – the endless possibilities of place. Through a converging dance of image and sound the viewer is invited to trace the emergence, expansion and reimagining of place; of a town coming to maturity.

 

 
21/4/14 – STUPLEX 001

Stuplex booklet picture

A sealed A5 box containing signed and numbered hand-sewn booklets, prints, poetry, music and sound on the theme of decay.

Contributing to Stuplex 001 are Geoff Bunn, Alan Dunn, Damon Fairclough, Martin Heslop, A.E. Pearsall,  Paul Simpson, Will Sergeant and Jeff Young.

Limited edition, available to buy here –  http://www.stuplex.co.uk/product/stuplex-001/

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