News 2017

N E W S : R E P O R T S : 2 0 1 7
Prestigious 'Happy Hour' events
posted 10/1/2018

Illustrious are restaging a series of quadrophonic soundscapes as part the 'Happy Hour' events every Friday at 1700, as part of a Season of Sound, celebrating the Library’s sound archive. Audio installation supplied by Bowers & Wilkins.

These playbacks in the British Library Entrance Hall is the first in a series of three presentations by Martyn Ware, Tales From The Bridge on 12 January will be followed by Liquid Histories on 19 January and The Outer Reaches on 26 January.

Part of a Season of Sound, celebrating the Library’s sound archive. Audio installation supplied by Bowers & Wilkins.

15th January -Tales From The Bridge (2012)


Originally composed as a commission for the GLA as part of the 2012 Olympic city dressing events, this is a 3D soundscape installed for 8 weeks on the entire length of the Millennium Bridge during the 2012 Olympics - an hour long meditation on the history of the Thames - witnessed onsite by 4m people


Composed by Martyn Ware for Illustrious

Co-created by David Bickerstaff and Martyn Ware

Script written by Mario Petrucci and David Bickerstaff

Commissioned by GLA


22nd January - Liquid Histories (2017 – world premiere of English version)


The original immersive soundscape, spoken in Mandarin, has been created as part of a season of major art installations as at the London Pavilion at the Shanghai Urban Space Art Season. Under the theme of “Connections”, the curatorial team at Central Saint Martins has focused on the River Thames as a vessel of stories, both real and imagined. The installation reflects on the river as being simultaneously a public space of the imagination, a foundational source for the city and also an untamed natural power. The exhibition is currently housed in a magnificent 1930s grain silo on the Huangpu river in Shanghai, forging a connection between the two urban centres.


The curatorial team comprises David Chambers, Associate Lecturer on BA Architecture and MA Narrative Environments and Director of Aberrant Architecture, Martyn Ware, Director of Illustrious, founder of the Human League and Heaven 17 and Practitioner in Residence at Central Saint Martins, and Jeremy Till, Head of Central Saint Martins. The composition has been revoiced in English for this exhibition.


3D Soundscape by Martyn Ware for Illustrious

Orchestral composition by Gabriel Ware for Illustrious

Script by Jeremy Till

Voices by the students of Central Saint Martins


29th January - The Outer Reaches (2017 – world premiere)


The original Radiophonic Workshop kindly allowed Illustrious access to previously-unheard snippets of original compositional ideas from the works of Delia Derbyshire. The result is a world-premiere ‘fever dream’ of sonic creativity - Delia’s astounding talent is overwhelmingly beautiful, and embodies the very essence of sonic futurism.


3D Soundscape by Martyn Ware for Illustrious

Original compositional elements by Delia Derbyshire (by kind permission of the Radiophonic Workshop)

Additional composition by Martyn Ware, Eddie Amos and Elena Ware for Illustrious


The London Pavilion at the Shanghai Urban Space Art Season.
posted 8/11/2017
Collaboration with Central Saint Martins and Aberrant Architects
posted 10/10/2017

Illustrious has created an immense 3D soundscape in collaboration with Central Saint Martins and Aberrant Architects in Shanghai as part of their Shanghai Urban Space Art Season 2017

LIQUID HISTORIES - The Thames between imaginary and reality'

The title of the installation refers to the way that history can be told through multiple viewpoints and methods, lending history a fluidity that washes away the fixity of a list of facts. The histories of the Thames are diverse and overlapping: they are liquid. From the personal narratives of individuals to the grand histories of nationhood, with everything from the mythical histories of poets to the false histories of estate agents in between.

The installation presents these liquid histories of the Thames by exploring the tension between the Thames as imaginary and reality. It reflects on the river as a public space of the imagination and the denial of that space through the codes and economies of recent developments. A bench traces the route and shape of the Thames from Blackfriars to Dagenham. On its back a series of facts presents the reality of the Thames, particularly as it increasingly becomes a site for development, with the resultant economic and actual exclusion of most citizens from its banks.  A 3D soundscape by the world acclaimed sound artist and musician Martyn Ware immerses the visitor’s imagination in the sounds, stories and sensations of the Thames. In between these two poles of the imaginary and reality, a series of specially commissioned films suggest an intermediary space of everyday life that still draws on the power of the Thames for stimulation.

The intention in presenting these multiple views of the Thames is to remind visitors that rivers everywhere have to be preserved in all their mysterious, mundane and mythic guises, and not be allowed to become commodified systems exploited for their picturesque character.

Curatorial team

David Chambers: Associate Professor at CSM and Director, Aberrant Architecture

Professor Jeremy Till: Head of CSM and Pro Vice-Chancellor University of the Arts London

Professor Martyn Ware: Practitioner in Residence at CSM and Founder, Illustrious Company


Project Coordination and Installation Design: David Chambers and Kevin Haley, Aberrant Architecture

Project Assistants:  Ronnie, Long In Chou and Tongyao Guan

3D Soundscape Design and Composition: Martyn Ware and Gabriel Ware, Illustrious Company

3D Soundscape Technical Production: Asa Bennett

Script for 3D Soundscape: Jeremy Till

Script Narrators: Yenying Chiang and Liang Zhiwen

Translations from English to Mandarin: Ronnie, Long In Chou and Tongyao Guan

Plaque Research:  Matthew Brown, Michael Kennedy and Krishan Pilch

Films: Dominic Green

Liquid Histories is a presentation by Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London

Central Saint Martins is a world renowned college for arts and design. Based in London, it is best known for the experimental approach to all its disciplines, and for the reputation of its graduates. Its motto is: “Be Brave and Do What You Love.” CSM is part of the University of the Arts London, one of the world’s largest centres for creative education, and ranked 6th in the world in the QS World University Ranking for art and design.

posted 27/6/2017

Martyn is proud to announce that he has been appointed Practitioner In Residence at Central Saint Martins, University Of The Arts, London.

He is looking forward to creating new projects with CSM, in particular a collaborative 3D soundscape project in Shanghai in September - more details to be announced soon.

I Am An Insect - Bushey Norwood
posted 23/6/2017

Illustrious will be participating in the Forest Of Imagination in Bath at Bushey Norword this year

Gabriel Ware has composed a beautiful immersive orchestral 3D soundscape, featuring sounds of insects drifting around an beautiful ancient woodland glen.

Also children (and adults) can participate by wearing specially created 'insect hats' which will each have a unique insect sound of their own...

For the first time, imagine seeing and feeling the world from an insect's point of view!


On 29 June – 2 July 2017 Forest of Imagination will take root in Bath for its fourth year. 

Last year we transformed the spaces around and inside Bath Abbey into a fantastical new world and welcomed over 10,000 visitors!

This year we are creatively linking the urban edge of Bath to the prehistoric National Trust meadow of Bushey Norwood.

posted 6/3/2017




Our lighting team has launched ‘Community of Artists’ an online gallery that showcases several of the artists with whom we share a special relationship.


Head of lighting Mark Ridler said: “It has been our privilege and pleasure to support a number of artists throughout our many years of practice. Art is becoming increasingly central to our work so partly in recognition and celebration, but also to provide a service to our clients, we have developed our Community of Artists.”


Following years creating electronic music with Heaven 17 and the Human League, Illustrious use 3D sound compositions to create 3D atmospheres and immersive experiences in the urban realm, collaborating with lighting designers, digital and fine artists, world heritage sites, museums, exhibitions, live events, dance, theatre, technology developers, research and education.


Video remix with original Martyn Ware composition
posted 15/2/2017

Martyn Ware, founder of Human League, Heaven 17, legendary producer of Tina Turner and Erasure, Multimedia artist, 3D soundscapist and professor has teamed up with Eclectic Method to remix Dr. Strangelove. With relations between East and West at such an ambiguous point and the Doomsday Clock closer to midnight then it's been since the Cuban Missile Crisis what better time to revisit the Stanley Kubrick Classic. "You can't fight in here this is war room"



"don't worry about this quote"

invitations for collborators, venues and funders
posted 6/2/2017

Power Project


Martyn Ware/Tracey Moberly/Sarah Hopkins


Martyn Ware, Tracey Moberly and Sarah Hopkins have begun a multi-disciplinary and cross platform collaboration based on Power and Industry. The project aims to examine these themes using synaesthetic imagery, creating an immersive and multisensory experience for the viewer.

United in their passion for creativity in all its forms and with a fascination for industrial architecture and processes, the artists discovered a closer bond. As they shared and developed their practices, they discovered that their fathers had all had life-long careers in UK steel industry. The Power Project is therefore a very poignant gesture towards the industry that unfolded and became so important in their lives from a young age. The scale and all-encompassing nature of the steel industry will be accentuated further by the interaction between the exhibition and the viewer, and the ways in which people behave in the creative space.

An in-depth guided tour of Tata steelworks in Port Talbot and Forgemasters in Sheffield highlighted and further extended the wealth of collaborative possibilities. It also outlined the planning for potential touring exhibition.

The work has so far manifested itself in a series of collagraphs and limited edition screenprints, photography, film and an immersive sonic steelworks created at Martyn’s London studio, featuring his company Illustrious’ bespoke 3D sound technology called 3DAudioScape.

Work is scheduled to begin on a series of four giant textile hangings informed by an in-depth socio-political history of the areas, in part influenced by the tradition of trade union banners.