Matt Nolan

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Matt Nolan (born 1974) is an English drummer, bespoke musical instrument maker and metal sculptor. Nolan works as an independent cymbal and gong maker from his workshop in Bath in the South-West of England. Nolan is part of a small community of one-man "artisan cymbalsmiths" and attracts the interest of professional drummers and musicians.[1][2] Nolan was an electrical engineer before he became an instrument maker.[3] According to The Drummer's Journal, Nolan is "the only person in the UK independently making cymbals, alongside only a handful of other individuals worldwide."[4]

Nolan crafts by hand different metal percussion musical instruments, both repeated lines and bespoke commissions, including novel instruments and recreations of period instruments. Nolan started experimenting with making metal percussion instruments in 2005.[citation needed] In 2008, he started a one-man artisan business.[3] Nolan works with a range of materials, including bronze alloys, stainless steel and titanium.[5]

Nolan has consulted and worked collaboratively on various projects, including the Stella Artois's Chalice Symphony,[6] the Gameleste for Björk (an experimental musical instrument used on the Biophilia album and tour and also displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City),[7][8] and underwater instruments for Danish group, Aquasonic.[9]


  1. ^ Pinksterboer, Hugo (March 2013). "5,000 Years in 3,000 Words: Cymbal History". Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  2. ^ Lentz, Andrew (11 September 2009). "Matt Nolan: Custom Cymbals". Retrieved 2015-08-25. 
  3. ^ a b Mansell, Anna (14 November 2010). "East Lancashire man creating status cymbals". Lancashire Telegraph. Retrieved 28 August 2015. Two years ago, Matt left electronics behind to embark on a full-time career as a cymbal and gongsmith ... "I started to get more fascinated in cymbals about six years ago," the self-taught artisan said. 
  4. ^ Hoare, Tom (May 2013). "A Model Citizen: Matt Nolan: Cymbalsmith" (PDF). (3): 26–36. Retrieved 2015-08-25. 
  5. ^ Dawson, Michael (March 2012). "Matt Nolan: Custom Cymbals (Update)". Retrieved 2015-08-25. 
  6. ^ "Stella Artois: Chalice Symphony". 6 March 2014. Retrieved 2015-08-25. 
  7. ^ Ross, Alex (14 February 2015). "How Björk broke the sound barrier". Retrieved 2015-08-25. 
  8. ^ Ross, Alex (14 September 2011). "New instrument alert: Björk's gameleste". Retrieved 2015-08-25. 
  9. ^ "Between Music: Aqua Sonic – Friday Show 2 – Spot Festival". 2015. Retrieved 27 August 2015. [permanent dead link]

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