News 2016

N E W S : R E P O R T S : 2 0 1 6
Everything You Can Imagine Is Real
posted 3/11/2016

Martyn Ware is curating a 'one-night-only artist's colony' inspired by Picasso featuring live music, 3D sound installations, poetry, ballet, performances, projections and DJ's. Immerse yourself in the experience of Picasso's inspiration...

The event is free and will take place around the entire museum (entrance fee payable for Picasso Portraits exhibition)

Friday January 20th 2017, 1800-2100

Artists already confirmed include...



Nikki Norton excerpts from Desire Caught By The Tail 

John Shuttleworth - filmed readings from Picasso’s poetry

Di Mainstone

Ian Reddington


Dance/ballet - Parade/Erik Satie

Vanessa Fenton



Martyn Ware

Peter Coyle (The Lotus Eaters)

Radiophonic Workshop

David Vorhaus and Mike Painter (White Noise)



Chris Watson

Gabriel Ware

Tim Wheater and Cherub Sanson

Feral Five

Georgina Brett



Cathy De Monchaux

Tracey Moberley

Sarah Hopkins

Swansea Community Arts Project



Eclectic Method


Zarina Bhimji



Luke Wright 

Toby Thompson



Marcus Lyon 




Sponsored by Bowers & Wilkins



posted 15/8/2016

Illustrious will be creating a 3D soundscape in astoundingly beautiful Hercules Hall in Portmeirion village during Festival Number 6

The collaboration will feature Time Wheater and Cherub Sanson performing a long-form piece entitled Aurora Hum which will feature a seamless merging of electronic and naturally resonant sounds performing as a kind-of morning relaxation and healing ritual.

posted 19/6/2016

Martyn and his son Gabriel Ware are proud to be involved as curators and composers for, an epic worldwide online cultural event.

Solstice celebrations have existed for as long as people have been looking at the sun, especially for indigenous peoples whose habitats were closely tied to the cycle of the sun and earth, the solstice was a marked point in the year. Whether celebrating the day the sun never sets, or celebrating the rebirth of sunlight after the darkest period of the year, humans have observed the seasonal milestones and created spiritual and cultural traditions reflecting the diversity of the sounds of the earth.

For over a decade Charlie Morrow and his friends, veterans as well as newcomers to the avant-garde music and poetry scene, have traveled the world over to produce, record and participate in Solstice events and celebrations. From their combined experience came the idea to bring this multitude of events and performances home to anybody who would like to learn more about it or follow it live on ‘The day of’. This is a huge technological and organisational challenge that has never been done before, bringing together a large number of people around the globe in an exciting multilevel, multi-stream production.

On June 20–21 we are proud to introduce “Solstice 2016” to pilot an annual international internet celebration that will allow viewers and listeners to tune into 24 hours of live programming from around the world. Solstice 2016 draws from science, astronomy and mythology to create a global communication platform for all sorts of indigenous and artistic celebrations, covering all of earth’s time zones. The program will be finely curated. Participants will perform their Solstice art in whatever medium they choose, between the hours of 17:00 and 18:00 in their time zone or create the performance in advance. Viewers around the world will be able to catch the simultaneous feeds throughout the Solstice period, and add their thoughts to the Comment Stream. They can do this form their phone or laptops, or participate in one of the many international Solstice parties in Planetariums, museums nd other great venues who open their doors to connect Solstice worshippers around the globe. After the event, our website will feature highlights of the program and an interactively searchable database with contributions from our participants. It will be featuring a pre recorded assembly of unique world music and historical solstice materials for each time-zone as well as poetry, stories and event listings.

The Arctic Studies Center of the Smithsonian Institute will contribute with their own unique collection of materials from their archives and current research from the Arctic and Subarctic. There will be a beautiful mix of materials showcasing endangered languages, astronomy, poetry, literature ...Aztec sun gods, Southwestern ‘sun daggers’ and much else. Some never seen or heard before!

On June 20, from 5–6 pm, or “Happy Hour”, we start our celebration at the International Date line. Using the latest communication technology, we will follow the solstice moment and ‘feeling’ around the globe and capture all kinds of people’s experiences. Moving west and broadcasting one hour per each of the 24 time zones, we follow the Earth spinning, ‘handing over’ the solstice moment to each following time zone at 5 pm. In addition, moving north and south within each time zone, different climate regions with specific geography and cultures are being made visual and brought into focus: from the Arctic where the sun never sets, to the Antarctic where there will be total darkness. We keep moving West, one hour per zone, until we come back to the International Date Line.

Major retail marketing award triumph
posted 7/5/2016

Illustrious are thrilled to announce that we've won a highly prestigious Purple Apple award - beating over 120 other entries - as most engaging and effective live event in the entire UK retail sector in 2015.

Liverpool ONE joined forces with Illustrious to create The Crossing – a 3D soundscape that celebrated the 175th Anniversary of the first Cunard transatlantic sailing. The recording was created in line with the city of Liverpool’s summer event focus ‘One Magnificent City’, the highlight being the arrival of Cunard’s ‘Three Queens.’ The Crossing captured the special relationship between Liverpool and New York by transporting visitors from One Magnificent City to another through sound.

It offered a unique form of enlivenment and capitalised on visitors celebrating the Cunard events to increase footfall, providing a backbone to the city’s focus on Cunard.

The judges said... this is genuinely is something that hasn’t been seen before in the shopping centre world and should, for that, be rewarded for its alternative approach.

RESULTS Sales increase of 13.5% PR coverage worth £277,000 Facebook following up 4.2% 11,000 Facebook reach

Further feedback notes from the judging panel...

Planning & Strategy

The connection with the city brings this entry to life. It was innovative and well thought out. A great and unique event overall.


This was a great collaborative effort. Overall, there was excellent implementation and the use of music really helped recreate the atmosphere on board.


A fantastic and innovative creative idea. This is genuinely something that hasn't been seen before in the shopping centre world and should, for that, be rewarded for its alternative approach. Engaging, unique and relevant - well done!

Expenditure & Results

Great value for money on a simple, exciting and very interesting concept. It is always difficult for a market/city leading scheme like this to just 'get-out the cheque book' but this is a thoughtful and professionally delivered idea which wins commercially too.

New long-form Illustrious soundscape based on sounds of the UK coast
posted 21/3/2016

Musician and producer Martyn Ware is today releasing an 82-minute coastal soundscape inspired by the hundreds of sounds submitted as part of the ‘Sounds of our Shores’ project, which ran throughout the summer of 2015.

Called “Sea Inside Us All” this ‘cinema for the mind’ takes listeners on a sonic journey into a world of rich, diverse and beautiful sounds from the stunning UK coastline.

The “Sounds of our Shores” crowd-sourced project was a collaboration between the National Trust, British Library and National Trust for Scotland that ran between June and September 2015 – part of a celebration of the National Trust’s 50th anniversary of the Neptune Coastline Campaign.

Martyn Ware, a founding member of The Human League and Heaven 17, said: “This project has been a delight to work on – it has been a genuine pleasure to create this unique composition featuring the amazing sounds that people have recorded around our magnificent and characterful coastline.

“I’ve tried to create an emotional journey around all the elements that connect us all to the coast and the seaside, and this has been beautifully enhanced by my son Gabriel Ware’s orchestral compositions.

“You will be transported to places of fond reminiscence and imagination with the help of this cinema for the mind.”

Some of the sounds that made it on to the soundscape include the classic ghost train ride in an amusement arcade, the singing of a Cornish folk song and people walking along a shingle beach.

Cheryl Tipp, Curator of Wildlife and Environment Sounds at the British Library, said: “Martyn Ware’s ‘Sea Inside Us All’ beautifully encapsulates the importance of sound in our nation’s relationship with the British coastline. From waves and wildlife to amusements and industry, these sounds represent the many aspects of the coast that we hold dear.

“I cannot think of a better way to sum up the project than with this cinematic soundscape that celebrates the sounds of our shores so perfectly.”

All of the sounds submitted as part of the ‘Sounds of our Shores’ project, via audioBoom, appear on a unique sound map and will be added to the British Library Sound Archive.

More than 680 sounds were uploaded by hundreds of people from across the UK on to the sound map from around the 10,800 miles of coastline including the intensity of the Fog Horn on the Lizard in Cornwall to the drama of heavy waves on Orkney. These sounds captured people’s special connections with the coast, whether a place that they go on holiday with the family or a sound linked to a particular memory.

Kate Martin, National Trust Area Ranger at Formby, said: “This soundscape provides an instant feeling of calm in a manic world. It stirs so many pleasant memories and feelings from throughout my life and genuinely slowed my pulse and put a smile on my face.

“As the soundscape plays out I was transported to many different times of my life, from happy childhood seaside holidays, to foggy days working on the beach at Formby and many more besides. You really cannot overstate how evocative sounds are.”

Martyn Ware on Brighton beach recording sounds for the sounds of our shores project.

Photograph by Tim Stubbings.