The Landscape Sessions
Songwriting collaboration - in development 2019
An exploration of British landscapes through songs. A collaboration with Huw Costin and ER Thorpe. Recording songs. Touring in 2020.
Contributing Artist 2018/2019
Changing Stories was a participatory arts project designed to help participants legitimately speak about the life experiences that define who they are. The project was run by TiPP. Quiet Loner worked as a songwriter and musician with men and women in three different prisons to create music and writing inspired by the stories that shape their lives. The workshops developed participants’ creative writing skills, they learned to play instruments, compose original music, write lyrics and perform live together as an ensemble.
Commissioned artist 2018
A project working with people who have experienced homelessness a with partner/host organisation The Booth Centre. Combining visual art, songwriting and performance, we made scrolled artworks (Moving Panorama’s) inspired by the collection at The People’s History Museum. Quiet Loner worked with visual artist Lois Blackburn. Our aim was to find creative ways to embed history & creative writing into artwork and art & music into history, allowing participants to inhabit another skin, to see themselves in new ways.
All these places
Commissioned artist 2016
During 2016 Quiet Loner was a commissioned artist for 'Loitering with intent - the art and politics of walking', an Arts Council funded exhibit run by the Loiters resistance Movement (LRM) and held at the People's History Museum in Manchester. His multi media piece 'All these places' combined visual arts with song to explore how the traces of the North of England's industrial past intersect onto modern landscapes. As part of the programme he was also commissioned to collaborate on two events that were walks around Manchester and Salford combined with performance.
Battle for the Ballot
Multi media performance 2016
A sixty minute performance that tells the story of how everybody in the UK came to have a vote. Using original songs alongside content from the collection of the People’s History Museum, this live performance crosses the centuries to show how the right to vote was won. Beginning in the Industrial Revolution the story will take in events like the Peterloo Massacre and introduce the people – radicals, chartists, reformers and suffragists – who fought for the ideal of ‘Universal Suffrage’, which was finally achieved in 1928.
This educational, entertaining and thought-provoking show was part of Manchester Histories Festival 2016 and part of the Arts Council Funded Songwriter in Residence project at the People’s History Museum in 2016.
For details on how to book this show go to https://museumsongwriter.wordpress.com/the-battle-for-the-ballot/
Artist residency 2016
During 2016 Quiet Loner is Songwriter-in-Residence at the People's History Museum, the national museum of democracy. The project’s aim is to interpret the museum’s collection through songs and in doing so increase public engagement with the collection. Through the residency there will live performances, open studios and workshops in the museum. Some of the work created will also tour throughout the UK. The project has been supported by a grant from Arts Council England. Visit the project website at https://museumsongwriter.wordpress.com
The New Seegers
Covers band 2016-present
From the Beat Generation to the Woodstock Nation, The New Seegers celebrate the songs and roots of the 1960s counterculture. Playing songs by Pete Seeger, Woody Guthire, Bob Dylan, The Beatles and many more. Matt has long been obsessed by the 1960s counterculture and its music and is singer and guitarist in this band alongside Steve Roberts, Rae Lesson & Simon Galloway.
Multi media performance collaboration 2015
2084 debuted at the Buxton Fringe Festival during July 2015 featuring original songs by Steve Roberts and Matt Hill (Quiet Loner).
A conceptual music piece set in a future where your every thought, movement and word are under surveillance. One Hundred years after George Orwell's nightmare vision, what becomes of the human spirit? What exactly is freedom? What exactly is at stake as we drift towards an ever increasing surveillance society.
Combining live performance and visuals with an audio play (featuring actors Dawn Acton and Simon O'Brien) this is a thought-provoking multimedia performance.
The Defiance Sessions
Series of curated live music events - 2015 - present
Quiet Loner is the founder and curator of The Defiance Sessions - celebrating music with something to say. The gigs take place every two months in Glossop, Derbyshire and are all about songwriting that challenges an audience, songs with a conscience, stories of real people and real lives, and songs and that have a defiant and rebellious spirit. The sessions were supported by an Arts Council Grant in their initial stages.
We Shall Overcome
Anti-Austerity community activism- 2015 - present
Along with fellow musicians Stephen Goodhall, Joe Solo, Jamie Bramwell and Tony Wright, Matt was one of the founders of We Shall Overcome. A musician led community activism initiative that is described as a raised fist and a helping hand. What began as an attempt to do 10 gigs across the country grew into 250 events that raised an estimated £125,000 in money, food and clothing for those hit by austerity. But more than a fundraising event We Shall Overcome is about using music and arts as a way to bring communities together and to show solidarity with our friends and neighbours hit by poverty and homelessness.
Next Left / Beneath these Folds
Multi media performance collaboration 2014
"Two of my favourite radical performers" Billy Bragg
A riotous show of poetry and song with Longfella and Quiet Loner. This powerful show combines poetry and songs with images from the collections of the People's History Museum to tell the story of ordinary working people's lives and the battles fought for a better life. A very special show from two acclaimed performers that celebrates centuries of struggles, campaigns and fights, and takes you on an extraordinary journey through ordinary lives.
Audience praise for this special show : Intense, important performances. | A very moving and inspiring event. | A rally cry to every human soul. | Poignant and thought provoking. | It was truly inspirational. | Simply stunning. | It touched my heart | Loved the passion and the honesty | Absolutely staggering.
The making of a Protest Record (in five easy steps)
Multimedia performance 2013
This show was created for The People's History Museum's Art of Protest weekend as part of Museums at Night 2013. It was first staged at the Museum in May 2013.
Duration : 2 hours total 2 x 45 minutes with a 30 minute interval.
Synopsis : Britain has a long and proud history of protest music, but today few mainstream artists are making protest music. Using a unique blend of songs and slideshow, Quiet Loner tells the story of how he made a contemporary protest album – what events inspired the songs, how it was recorded over a single evening in a Salford church and how the artwork was created using 19th century machines. The album Greedy Magicians has gone on to gather critical acclaim and was praised by Billy Bragg who called it ‘ a powerful rallying call’.
Audience feedback on the event : Absolutely brilliant. Unforgettable! | Loved the music, the passion and the honesty | Brilliant & inspiring. More please! | Very positive experience. Has made me want to explore the museum | A unique event with some very special voices that needed to be heard | Inspiring. I Loved it! | Fantastic performance. Engages so much with our city’s past! | Enjoyable, relaxing & thought provoking | I enjoy this mix between music and politics in a friendly atmosphere | Inspiring funny and thought provoking | Setting is beautiful, music great, it was absolutely staggering. | Wonderfully inspiring and moving. Well organised – great links between subject & museum | Great to hear about inspirations behind the music
Quiet Loner Under Surveillance
Multi media performance 2009
This 60 minute show mixes songs, a slide show and commentary to explore what it feels like to live a life constantly under surveillance. Using photos of CCTV cameras and specially written songs, the show is an entertaining and thought provoking critique of the Orwellian state. The show was commissioned as part of the CCTV Cabaret - an event put on by the Loiterers Resistance Movement. In summer 2009 I was invited to perform the show at Shambala festival.
Quiet Loner's Journey to the Netherworld
Journey to the Netherworld was part acoustic night / part variety show - where serious songs meet the bizarre and silly. With a focus very much on audience participation, regular features included the much loved Snaffle Raffle, the Tombola Of Song, Melancholic Folk Bingo and Raising The Spirit Of A Dead Rock Star. Featured games included "Painting the Townes" where a member of the audience attempts to bring to life the lyrics of a Townes Van Zandt song through the medium of drawing and crayons; and "Sacrificing a Virgin" where Quiet Loner offers to play an original song that has never been played in public before, usually with painful and difficult consequences.
From April 2009 to July 2010 this event ran as a monthly residency on London's Bankside at the Gladstone. Each month a special guest performer played and these included Dan Raza, Liam Dullaghan, Benjamin Foke Thomas, Trent Miller, Case Hardin, Oliver MacDonald, Roseville Grand, Greg Rees and Ghost Town Showdown.
Property of A Lady - A James Bond theme
Songwriting Collaboration 2008
In late 2008, agents Hannam and Hill embarked on their most difficult mission yet – to compose a James Bond song that captured the flamboyant, melodramatic sound of the classic '60s 007 soundtracks, but with a modern, dark feel that suited Daniel Craig's gritty portrayal of England's greatest ever hero.
Visit the website www.thepropertyofalady.com