Marc Yeats is a composer and visual artist. His uncompromising music has been performed, commissioned and broadcast around the world. He has worked with many distinguished performers, ensembles and musicians including Psappha, the London Sinfonietta, the Endymion Ensemble, Paragon Ensemble, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, Tokyo City Philharmonic and Gewandhaus Radio Orchestra, among others.
Marc’s visual art has been exhibited and collected across the UK and abroad. He has paintings in the collections of several public galleries in Scotland including An Tobar, An Tuireann and The Pier Art Centre, Orkney. The Swiss art dealers Stampfli and Turci represent his work.
Marc has a special interest in communicative, challenging work that pushes boundaries, including immersive installations combining music, visual art, dance, word and digital media. Marc has also delivered a number of major arts projects across the UK that have enabled the learning disabled, people with mental health issues, and the over 60s and young people to engage with contemporary practitioners to create new, meaningful work.
Marc is currently Chair of PVA MediaLab in Dorset, an artist led RFO specialising in digital media, sound, residencies and incubator labs.
Marc is an artistic assessor for Arts Council England.
In April 2010, Marc was appointed Composer-in-Association with Manchester Pride.
Also in April 2010, Marc Yeats along with his collaborators, Ralph Hoyte (poet) and Phill Phelps (coder) were named in the national press as one of six projects to be finalists in the prestigious PRS Foundation’s New Music Award 2010, the most significant award for music in the UK, with their innovative project SATSYMPH.
SATSYMPH have just received a major Arts Council Grants for the Arts (GftA) Award (with the PRS for Music Foundation and PVA MediaLab) to realise 'On a Theme of Hermes', a geo-located contemporary symphonic work.
‘SATSYMPH’ is a 3-way collaboration between composer Marc Yeats, poet Ralph Hoyte and coder Phil Phelps. As SATSYMPH we are at the forefront of creating geo-located soundworlds that enable users with no technical ability whatsoever to access and experience contemporary symphonic works in new contexts in relation to the environment.
‘ON A THEME OF HERMES’ is an original full-scale contemporary symphonic work which fuses contemporary music and contemporary poetry in an entirely new and innovative way, and, moreover, one which has a truly unique method of delivery. ‘On a Theme of Hermes’ is user-directed and geo-located. It responds to location, to where the user is. It morphs, changes, according to what the user does. This is an entirely new music/poetry paradigm.
We have chosen the theme of the Greek god ‘Hermes’ as he is, traditionally, messenger of the gods, guide to the Underworld, patron of thieves, liars, of literature and poets, as well as of boundaries (and those who, as in this project, “travel across them”). These attributes of his quicksilver nature give us massive scope for weaving symphonic stories around him and for integrating classical and contemporary allusions and illusions, words and music.
New choral work: Coastal Voices is an umbrella project that explores the Jurassic Coast with newly commissioned compositions by Marc Yeats, John Surman, Billy Bragg and John K Miles. Linking music and earth sciences through the voice, the project aims to stimulate coastal communities to examine the unique relationship with the geology and forces that shape their environment.
Stretching from Poole to East Devon, Coastal Voices aspires to raise the standard of local choirs, school choirs and individual singers of all ages, leading to regional performances at events such as the opening of the Twin Sails Bridge, Poole in March 2012 and the Cultural Olympiad in Weymouth and Portland in July 2012.
Selected 2010 Highlights:
In 2010, Marc was appointed Composer-in-Association with Manchester Pride. His first commission included the world première of “schlick’s approximation”, for clarinet, violin & piano (Festival commission) (play it here) premiered on the 27th August by the ensemble CHROMA at the Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall, Manchester University. 2011s festival will hear the second performance of 'rhêma' for harpsichord, and the premiere of ‘Eris’ for flute and viola.
'rhêma' for harpsichord, commissioned by BBC Radio 3 was premiered by Mahan Esfahani in Leeds, October 2010 and broadcast in March 2011.
In December 2010, Conversational Geometry for tenor trombone, amplified acoustic guitar and piano was premiered in Switzerland and recorded for Swiss Radio with Dirk Amrein, trombone, Maurizio Grandinetti, Gitare, Jürg Henneberger, piano.
Prorrhesis for tenor trombone and 2 bass drums - Dirk Amrein - Brazil - May 2011
shadown and the moon for flt., cl., vln., vc., marimba and piano - Kokoro - Bournemouth UK May 2011
Eris for flute and viola - Manchester Pride Fringe Festival 2011 - Manchester UK - August 2011
Strange Geometry for flt., vc. and piano - Trio IAMA - Cyprus and Berlin - September 2011
About Marc’s work:
‘The genesis of his work stems from two major influences on the composer. Yeats' own initial musical experiences delineate nostalgia for the English Pastoral School (exemplified by Bax, Vaughan Williams and Moeran) casting an acute emotional impression and a diametric opposite; matched by his passion for and fascination with avant-garde expressionism and experimentalism awakened from the 1960s and '70s.
Being also an acclaimed landscape painter Marc Yeats' work with colour, form and texture inform his ideas on musical construction and content. As his illustrative aptitude intensified he observed: 'I moved decisively from representational to abstract art. With a rising technical repertoire, so too grew my conviction of creating an individual compositional language by exploring these modes in a musical context. In I am Nature, both threads are transformed through my "painterly ear" to assimilate and evoke a very personal, natural and unselfconscious outpouring of sound.
On first hearing, the music may seem arbitrary, improvisational or even chaotic. This is not the case. Consciously the music doesn't operate within the logic of number series, motific development, Fibonacci-based proportions, functional harmony, magic squares, tone rows or any of the customary gamete of compositional techniques. Another rationale is operative; a personal logic rooted in "self experience" of the techniques and processes of abstract painting.'
Excerpt about Yeats’ work from ‘I am Nature’ edited by Keith Evans
His experience encompasses commissioning work, access and engagement, project management and audience development. Marc holds a passionate belief that public engagement with quality contemporary artistic practice holds amazing creative opportunities!
"Marc Yeats' musical voice is quite unlike anything else; the music is challenging to both performers and audiences, and very communicative. He produces extraordinary compositions that not only look and sound good, but demonstrate a very high level of academic learning, while being breathtakingly original." (Sir Peter Maxwell Davies)