Neil Campbell is a Liverpool based composer who has built up a considerable body of systems or algorithmic musical compositions, i.e. music which is designed rather than composed in a conventional sense. Once the rules for these pieces are set the pieces run 'automatically'.
This approach to making contemporary music has its origins in the minimalist works of composers such as Steve Reich and the ambient works of Brian Eno, amongst others.
Following postgradute studies in Music (specialising in Composition) Neil has gone on to produce two CD albums which fall into this category - Rotations (2002) and Assembly (2005). Many of these recordings have recieved airplay on BBC Radio 3's eclectic Late Junction programme.
Tesselations (for mixed ensemble) (2001), 64 Hexagrams for John Cage (for four pianos and ambient sounds) (2001), Rotations 1-5 (for multiple pianos) (2002), HDQ (for String Orchestra) (2003), Continuum (for Mixed Ensemble) (2003), Carillon (for six classical guitars) (2004), Carillon 2 (2004), Distribution (for four marimbas) (2005), Assembly (for mixed ensemble) (2005), Mass (for Voices) (2005), Carillon 3 (for multitracked cellos) (2006)
You can hear more of his music at his myspace page, http://www.myspace.com/neilcampbellsystemsmusic
Neil Campbell began to compose music as soon as he started to pick up musical instruments and play with them at around the age of four. Over the years he has followed a number of seemingly divergent musical paths (free improviser, singer songwriter, systems music composer, band leader and virtuoso guitar soloist).
He has always maintained an expanding interest in music that doesn't fit easily into pigeonholes such as rock, folk, jazz etc. His musical influences include English Progressive Rock bands of the 70s, Krautrock, Ambient Music, Systems Music (Minimalism, Post-Minimalism and Totalism), Jazz Rock, early 20th Century French Impressionism and all sorts of Electronic music (amongst other things).
In 1998 he simultaneously became involved with the free improvisation scene and the acoustic scene in Liverpool. Around this time he also began postgraduate studies in Music through the University of Liverpool.
Through his MA studies he developed an approach to music making based around musical systems or processes which run automatically without composerly intervention. This has resulted in the production of an ongoing body of work, much of which has been recorded and has received airplay on Radio 3's Late Junction.
The albums documenting this work are ‘Rotations’ (2003) and the 3 CD set ‘Assembly’ (2005).
Over the last three years he has poured his activities as a composer, songwriter and performer into work with the Neil Campbell Collective * which has evolved in terms of band membership and approach from a singer-songwriter duo to a full blown band playing ever more complex compositions.
In May 2005 the Neil Campbell Collective released their first album ‘3 O’Clock Sky’ (2005), which has been a critical success. The bands music following release of this first album focuses on developing an ever more complex musical language and band interplay, almost leaving standard song structures behind in the process. The band are currently at work on their second album 'Particle Theory' planned for release this year.
After twenty-five years of playing, a virtuoso classical guitarist, he has produced two CDs of solo guitar music ‘Through the Looking Glass’ (Mayfield 2003) and ‘Night Sketches’ (2004) and a book of Music for Solo Guitar. He has also recorded, with cellist Nicole Collarbone, a CD of Music for Cello and Guitar - 'Fall' (2006).