Sopranino, alto and baritone saxophones, bass clarinet, bass recorder, bass harmonica, harmonium, violectronics, keyboards, software instruments. Since his move in the early 1990s from free jazz saxophonist to studio based electronics composer, Archer has produced a series of highly acclaimed CDs which combine electronics-based structures with written and improvised parts for brass, woodwind, strings and voices. Elements from jazz, free improvisation, contemporary classical music, electronica, and cutting edge rock music are all present within his work. As well as making solo releases, Archer regularly collaborates in the studio with guitarist John Jasnoch (as ASK), with Chris Bywater (as Transient v Resident) and with poet Geraldine Monk. Since 2000, when he developed a live set up known as “violectronics”, which combines played-flat prepared violin with electronics and vintage synthesizers, Archer’s concerts, usually of improvised music, have become more frequent.
As a live performer, Archer seeks to avoid the inert and inexpressive performance style inherent in much live electronic music. Current live performances include solo laptop concerts, improvised music as part of the Notes and Sounds project, and as part of Gated Community, Mick Beck’s 14 piece improv and compositions band. Archer acknowledges groups such as Faust, Henry Cow, Soft Machine and Magma as being highly influential in his work alongside Cage, Stockhausen, Feldman, and of course the school of European free improvisation. This combination of sources makes Archer a unique inhabitant of the school of English maverick composers. Martin will perform solo as well as with any of the other performing acts.