Max Eastley

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Max Eastley (born 1 December 1944, Torquay, Devon) is a visual and sound artist. He is part of the Cape Farewell Climate Change project (Cape Farewell official website). He studied painting and graphic art at Newton Abbot Art School and then went on to gain a BA in Fine Art (1969–1972) at Middlesex University (formerly Hornsey School of Art). He is a sculptor (kinetic), musician and composer. His primary instrument is a unique electro-acoustic monochord, developed from an aeolian sculpture. 'The Arc' consists of a single string stretched lengthwise across a long piece of wood (around ten feet) which can be played with a bow, fingers or short glass rods.[1] The end of the instrument has a microphone attached so the basic sound can be amplified, recorded and run through sound effect programs.

Eastley has collaborated with many different artists and musicians on performances, installations and recordings including: David Toop[2] (Toop's official website), Brian Eno, Paul Burwell, Victor gama, Hugh Davies, Steve Beresford, Peter Greenaway, Dave Hunt, David Buckland, Evan Parker,[3] Peter Cusack, Spaceheads.[4] From 2001–2002, Eastley was a visiting fellow at John Moores University Liverpool and is currently (2010 onwards) an AHRC research fellow at Oxford Brookes University researching Aeolian phenomena. On 17 May 1989, Eastley was awarded a prize in the 'Learning Spaces Category' of the working in the City European Communities Architectural Ideas Competition (University College Dublin).

Selected Discography[edit]

Eastley has worked across a variety of genres including: improvised and experimental music; folk music; popular song; jazz; compositions using environmental recordings as well as musical resources. He has also composed music for film and dance.[5] Eastley was part of the group 'The 49 Americans', who played together for a period during the 1980s and produced several albums together.[6]

Selected Performances[edit]

Max has performed as a solo musician and in many combinations with other artists. He has worked on stage with his installations and with film and has created and performed in musical/theatrical performances such as: 'Whirled Music'.

Selected Installations and Exhibitions[edit]

Max has done a wide variety of installations worldwide, many of which use moving parts (motors, pulleys etc.) to create ambient soundscapes while engaging the observer visually. Many recordings of the below installations appear on the CD: 'Max Eastley Installation Recordings 1973–2008' [29]

Installations for Cape Farewell[edit]

Eastley collaborated with sound engineer Dave Hunt to develop an innovative computer-controlled amplification system for these installations. Eastley has been part of the Cape Farewell project since 2005 and has been on three trips to Spitsbergen with the organisation. Sound clip of bearded seals

The following installations were part of a touring exhibition:

Publications Featured In[edit]

Eastley has appeared in several publications since the 1970s, including:


Film, Radio and Dance[edit]




Eastley composed music for the Siobhan Davies Production: 'Plants and Ghosts' in 2002.[59]


  1. ^ A 1997 interview of Max Eastley by Fergus Kelley in which Max describes the instrument the 'Arc'
  2. ^ a b Review on the BBC of Doll Creature by Max Eastley and David Toop
  3. ^ a b 'A Life Saved by a Spider and Two Doves' by Max Eastley, Graham Halliwell, Mark Wastell and Evan Parker on Another Timbre website
  4. ^ a b 'The Time of the Ancient Astronaut', collaboration between Max Eastley and The Spaceheads Archived 24 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b Max Eastley performing solo for Cape Farewell with film by David Buckland
  6. ^ The 49 Americans on Discogs
  7. ^ "'New and Rediscovered Musical Instruments' on". Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 6 March 2011.
  8. ^ Obscure Records UK on Discogs
  9. ^ 'Circadian rhythm' with Paul Burwell, Hugh Davies, Paul Lovens, Paul Lytton, Annabel Nicolson, Evan Parker and David Toop on the European Free Improvisation Pages website
  10. ^ Incus Records Website
  11. ^ 'Whirled Music' with Steve Beresford, Paul Burwell and David Toop on Discogs
  12. ^ Quartz Records on Discogs
  13. ^ 'My Heart's in Motion' on Discogs
  14. ^ Nato on Discogs
  15. ^ 'At Close Quarters' on Discogs
  16. ^ These Records on Discogs
  17. ^ 'Buried Dreams' on Discogs
  18. ^ Beyond Records on Discogs
  19. ^ 'Isolationism' on Discogs
  20. ^ Virgin Music website
  21. ^ 'Day For Night' on the Paradigm Discs website
  22. ^ 'Hydrophony for Dagon' on the Second Layer Records website Archived 5 May 2013 at
  23. ^ Absurd Records on Discogs
  24. ^ Various reviews of 'Songs of Transformation' on Martyn Bates' website
  25. ^ 'ARCTIC' release description on mediateletipos website
  26. ^ ARCTIC CD on Cape Farewell website
  27. ^ 'A Very Long Way from Anywhere Else' with Spaceheads on the Spaceheads website Archived 24 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ 'Dark Architecture' on Another Timbre website
  29. ^ a b 'Max Eastley Installation Recordings 1973–2008' on Paradigm Discs website
  30. ^ The Mimi Festival, Marseille gig. Recorded and used on the album: 'A Very Long Way from Anywhere Else' Archived 24 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  31. ^ "Max Eastley with Thomas Koner, Asmus Tietchens and Victor Gama at Atlantic Waves 2006". Archived from the original on 11 July 2011. Retrieved 6 March 2011.
  32. ^ Atlantic waves 2006 on Archived 24 December 2012 at
  33. ^ Max Eastley and Dave Hunt perform 'ARCTIC' at the Hamburg Planetarium
  34. ^ 'Sprawl' with Thomas Koner on the Londonist
  35. ^ Video footage of Max Eastley performing with various artists at The Vortex, London on YouTube
  36. ^ Program for the night: 'Sublime Environments' for Cape Farewell
  37. ^ Performance program for Nobel Laureate Symposium on Cape Farewell website Archived 8 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  38. ^ Festival program/review on
  39. ^ Program for Rome Film Festival on the Cape Farewell website Archived 8 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  40. ^ Coxon announcing two gigs – one with Max Eastley – on the NME website
  41. ^ Eastley's installation at a Hindu Temple in Reading 2003 Archived 21 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  42. ^ 'Sound Out' exhibition program[permanent dead link]
  43. ^ Ice Garden exhibition description
  44. ^ Max Eastley at the Winter Season – Eden Project 2009 on the Cape Farewell website
  45. ^ Description on Cape Farewell website of the exhibition at Kampnagel
  46. ^ Book written by Eastley, published by Exeter College of Art 1974
  47. ^ Max Eastley appearing with 'Whirled Music' in EMI Quarterly Journal Vol.V #2 Archived 2 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  48. ^ Eastley appearing in the edition 'Sound Art – Sound as Media'
  49. ^ Eastley appearing in the Leonardo Music Journal December 2001, Vol. 11, Pages 86–87
  50. ^ Book in which Eastley appears, exploring how sound can be applied to media[permanent dead link]
  51. ^ 'Klangräume der Kunst', in which Eastley features in
  52. ^ Max Eastley appearing in issue #265, March 2006
  53. ^ Eastley appearing in issue #291, May 2008
  54. ^ Description of the short film 'Water Wrackets' Archived 14 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  55. ^ Short description and link to 'Clocks of the Midnight Hours'
  56. ^ DVD of artist's impressions and responses to the Arctic environment in which Max appears in
  57. ^ Footage of the film 'Kinetic Drawings' by Helen Petts on YouTube
  58. ^ Description (with footage) of performance of 'Piper of Invisible Fires'
  59. ^ Review of Siobhan Davies' 'Plants and Ghosts' performance by Ann Williams on Ballet Magazine Archived 5 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]

  1. Max Eastley's Discogs profile
  2. Max Eastley on the Cape Farewell website
  3. Gallery of Max Eastley's work on The Wire magazine website