Chris Cundy

Award: Fusion Fund

Year: 2020

Genre: Alternative

Instrument/voice type: Clarinet

Location: South West


Growing up in the Medway towns in the 1980’s I became friends with artist and punk musician Billy Childish who introduced me to the exploits of DIY music-making. By the time I was twelve I was already a regular street busker playing saxophone and after hearing the work of Eric Dolphy I switched to bass clarinet. This instrument remains my main focus today. I am self-taught. 
Also a visual artist, I studied painting and drawing at University of Gloucestershire. During my time there I became interested in the synergy between drawing practices and improvisation in music. This led me to studying self-developed playing techniques such as multiphonics, circular breathing, micro tonalities, and generally speaking a more tactile approach to the instrument. This has led onto compositional practices out of which a number of new works have been written for me by Greek composer Thanos Chrysakis, and I have given first performances of these at London's ICA and at café OTO. I have worked and recorded with a number of other composers in this area including Pete M Wyer, Anna Homler, Tim Parkinson and Lawrence Dunn.
Over recent years I have also been active in pop music involving myself in a number of collaborations with song writers and groups such as Timber Timbre, Cold Specks, Guillemots, Little Annie, Baby Dee and Devon Sproule.
In theatre music I recently worked with composer Jon Nicholls on an original soundtrack for Florian Zellar’s 'The Mother' starring Gina McKee which was staged at The Theatre Royal, Bath. I was resident artist at Shakespeare’s Globe, London during their winter season in 2018, and I have toured internationally with circus and dance companies including NoFit State and Imagineer.
With support from Help Musicians' Fusion Fund, I will be producing a series of radio programs called Archeology of the Ear combining historic and contemporary narratives on a range of different subjects and creating music inspired by those subjects. Collaborations include working with sound artist Annea Lockwood, alongside a range of writers, historians and archivists.