“Michael Begg is one of Scotland’s most innovative and emotionally affecting musicians. His work bridges science and art, classical and contemporary, breaking new ground while thrilling audiences.”
Alan Morrison, Head of Music, Creative Scotland
Michael Begg is an award winning composer, sound artist and musician based in East Lothian, Scotland.
Michael Begg’s music is located in the place where formal composition and electronic erosion meet; a liminal space often coloured by longing and discomfort.
He has released over 20 full length recordings, and has performed in the UK, Ireland, Spain, Germany, France and Poland.
In 2017, he released TITAN: A Crane Is A Bridge, subsequent to completing a commission from Cryptic for Sonica 2017. The commission comprised an original site responsive work to be situated in the wheelhouse on top of the 150 ft tall Titan Crane in Clydebank, Scotland.
TITAN won the New Music Scotland 2018 Award for New Electroacoustic / Sound Art work.
He contributes to Clodagh Simonds’s Fovea Hex, and is a core member of the performing unit that has appeared in Italy, Germany, UK, Spain, Ireland and, notably, in Paris at the Fondation Cartier at the personal invitation of David Lynch.
His Fragile Pitches collaboration with Colin Potter was commissioned by Edinburgh City Council to be performed in the city’s St Giles Cathedral and subsequently headlined Poland’s Intermediale Festival, and was released as a 2CD in 2008.
He remains closely involved in an ongoing collaboration with Moscow’s blackSKYwhite theatre company. Output from the theatre and gallery work can be found on the recordings Omega and Let The Cold Stove Sing.
Michael’s articles on music and theatre have appeared in Sound on Sound, The Quietus, Audio Media International, Total Theatre, The Scotsman, Adverse Effect and Paraphilia. The Polish Soundscape Institute translated many of his writings into Polish for their international conference in Krakow, 2015.
In 2016, he was appointed to Creative Scotland’s RFO Artistic and Creative Framework Peer Review panel. He is also included among the portfolio of artist educators at Edinburgh’s Talbot Rice Gallery.
In 2018 he undertook a composer residency at The Mexican Centre for Music and Sonic Arts (CMMAS), Morelia, where he produced the work, Sonambulo, based on the life and paintings of Leonora Carrington. This residency was enabled through Seeing Hearing UK Mexico a three year programme of cultural exchange initiated by CMMAS, Cryptic, Anglo Arts and the British Council.
In 2019, Michael was appointed as Associate Artist in Residence at the Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, where he currently curates the LIMINAL programme. The residency is enabled through an award from Creative Scotland’s Open Fund empowered by National Lottery funding.
Michael is also the musical director and founder of the Black Glass Ensemble, combining the cream of Scotland based classical players with key figures from the Europen electronic avant-garde. Their debut release, Arise From The Twilight, was released in 2020.
In 2020, with his recognition of his leadership in digital innovation with a Connected Innovator award from Creative edinburgh/University of Edinburgh Creative Informatics, Michael developed a series of software instruments; Witness Engines. These instruments consume live streaming and archival datasets of key atmospheric, climate and envuironmental data and transform the data into music. Read more about this development work at https://witnessengines.com
Discography (maintained by Discogs, so may not be complete)