Internationally renowned chip tune musician Pixelh8 / Matthew C. Applegate makes his music from reprogramming some of the oldest and rarest vintage computer systems in the world.
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 Computing, 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 1,2,3,4,5,6, 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 released three “chip tune” studio albums “Video Games Ruined My Life” (2006), “The Boy With The Digital Heart” (2007), “And The Revolution” (2009) and two large scale musical studies “Obsolete?” (2009) and “Observations” (2010).
Pixelh8 has also created software 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 was 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, a former lecturer at both University Campus Suffolk and Suffolk New College. He was a member of the 2012 Turing Centenary Advisory Committee and Co-chair of the Turing Centenary Advisory Committee Culture Subcommittee.
He is also a STEMNET Science and Engineering Ambassador and a supporting member of the Computing At School Working Group, a member of the Primary Schools task force and runs and designs CPD courses for AQA.
After completing his Masters Degree in Design, Context and Analysis at the Centre for Design Innovation he is currently studying for his PhD at De Montfort University, Leicester in “Educational Music Technology”.
In January 2012 Matthew C. Applegate alongside Emily Christy, Sym Roe and Kevin Fong won the Honda Hack power of dreams best “Design” award for Bike Alert, which then went on to win the “Guardian Readers Vote” to receive funding to be developed further.
In February 2012 Matthew C. Applegate won “Most Innovative Use of Environmental Data” award from the Greater London Authority for “Your Journey” a 90 second iPhone game that provides you with a snapshot of your destination.
Matthew C. Applegate has designed and run workshops, events and lectures for