Nigel Ayers

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Nigel Ayers (born 1957 in Tideswell, Derbyshire) is an English multimedia artist. [1]

His sound art has included numerous audio releases and live performances through his group Nocturnal Emissions.[2]

His sound art collaborations includes work with Bourbonese Qualk, C.C.C.C., Andrew Liles, Lustmord, Randy Grief, Robin Storey, Expose Your Eyes, Stewart Home, Z'EV, and Zoviet France.

In 1980 he founded the record label Sterile Records, releasing the first records by John Balance, Maurizio Bianchi and Lustmord, among many others. In 1987 he formed the Earthly Delights (record label), specialising in audio works and big explosions that examined the technological landscape and the psychic effect of sound.

In the early 90s he performed live soundtracks for the Butoh performances of Poppo & the Go Go Boys. His visual art has been exhibited in the Tate, ICA, and worn by the soccer legend Diego Maradona.

Sound Art[edit]

Nigel Ayers' sound art work is rooted in assemblage and collage. Years before digital sampling became commonplace, his recordings used thousands of edited "found" and specially recorded sound samples. His interest in the psychological effects of sound, and in particular the recombination of sound to affect perception of time and space is reflected in CD titles such as "Practical Time Travel" where sound functions as snapshots of memory forming new associations as it passes into a simulated dream world.

He is also interested in eroding the concept of individualised artistic personality using digital technologies to enable multiple authorship. This is exemplified in the remixable sound sample libraries he has released as a sound developer in the commercially released sample libraries for Sony’s ACID Pro and Propellerhead’s Reason (software).

In his sound installations, such as Soul Zodiac (2006) and The Planetarium Must Be Built (2007) he has explored the possibilities of digital remixes in both time and space, using everyday equipment such as multiple CD boomboxes.

Sample libraries[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Fernando Cerqueira, Antibothis Occultural Anthology Vol.3 p.72 (Thisco Portugal, 2010), ISBN 978-989-95447-9-6
  2. ^ Torreano, Bradley. "Nocturnal Emissions Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2015-09-22.
  • Mind Invaders: A Reader in Psychic Warfare, Cultural Sabotage And Semiotic Terrorism Stewart Home Ed. (Serpent's Tail London, 1997).
  • International Who's Who in Popular Music (Routledge, 2007)
  • [1] 2015 Quietus interview (Retrieved 18 September 2015)
  • S. Alexander Reed Assimilate: A Critical History of Industrial Music Oxford University Press USA (2013) ISBN 0199832609 ISBN 978-0199832606
  • [2] 1991 EST interview (Retrieved 19 September 2015)
  • [3] 2011 Brainwashed interview (Retrieved 19 September 2015)
  • [4] 2011 BBC Radio report (Retrieved 19 September 2015)