Internationally renowned chip tune musician Pixelh8 / Matthew C. Applegate makes his music from reprogramming vintage computer systems such as the ZX spectrum, Commodore 64, Game Boy and more.
His unique blend of Electronica has taken him across the globe, performing at Microdisco in Berlin, Apple iTunes in California, Assembly 2008 in Helsinki Finland, Game in The City Festival Holland, BBC Maida Vale Studios for Radio 1 in London, The National Museum of Computers, Bletchley Park and most recently Liverpool’s massive Abandon Normal Devices Festival for FACT.
Highly regarded in this emerging genre of music he has been featured on CNN, BBC Television, BBC Radio 1,3,4,6 and World Service, as well several magazines and websites all over the world.
In 2006 he won a MySpace competition to open for Grammy nominee Imogen Heap on her UK tour and in March 2008 he won “Playback Album of the Month” from Sound On Sound Magazine with his second album “The Boy With The Digital Heart”. Further to this he has created music for video games and stage productions all over the world as well as notable commissions from BBC World Service, Radio 1 and 1xtra.
Pixelh8 has also created software like the Pixelh8 Music Tech Game Boy Synth, Pro Performer and Music Tech Master Stroke for other musicians such as Imogen Heap, Damon Albarn and thousands of others.
Pixelh8’s most recent work “Observations” is an audio visual study of the people, machines and practices at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge University, which culminated in two performances on 12th &13th of March, 2010 during the Cambridge Science Festival. The piece poses the question of “What does it mean to be an Astronomer?” and how it has evolved; from observations with the unaided eye and the first telescopic studies 400 years ago, to modern telescopes and satellites collecting data across the full reach of the spectrum, and the importance of theoretical study of astronomical concepts such as cosmology. All of the sounds in the music were recorded from the machines, people and interpreted from the data they collect at the Institute. This includes electro-mechanical, mechanical, and ambiance as well as interviews with leading scientists at the Institute. The work is supported by the researchers at The Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge and the outreach officer Dr. Carolin Crawford and was funded by the PRS for Music Foundation Live Connections award.
Prior to this Pixelh8 was commissioned to create “Obsolete?” a study of The National Museum of Computing, at WWII code-breaking centre Bletchley Park, the people, the history and the machines. Using the old computing machines such as the Colossus Mark 2, Elliot 803 and others to create a whole new palette on which to create the music with. The study culminated in two sold out evening performances on March 20th and 21st, 2009. The piece was commissioned by The National Museum of Computing and funded by The Performing Rights Society Foundation New Music Award and has already been featured on BBC News 24, BBC Look East, BBC 6 Music, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio Suffolk, BBC Three Counties, BBC World Service, New Scientist, Games TM, Future Music, Dazed & Confused Magazine and many more.
Parallel to his involvement in music performance Pixelh8 lectures and runs music and computer related workshops across the United Kingdom and is patron of the Access To Music Centre Norwich and is currently studying for his Masters Degree at UCS Centre for Design Innovation a lecturer at both University Campus Suffolk and Suffolk New College. He is also a STEMNET Science and Engineering Ambassador and a supporting member of the Computing At School Working Group, a member of the Society for the study of Artificial Intelligence, and is on the 2012 Turing Centenary Advisory Committee.