MICHAEL HARDING, AKA THE ONLY MICHAEL
Musician, producer, DJ and specialist in cross-media collaboration
MUSICAL HISTORY (MORE OR LESS)
I formed the band 1000 Mexicans in London in 1982 after playing in various combinations of musicians since leaving school. Between 1982 and 1987, 1000 Mexicans toured extensively in the UK and Europe, releasing a number of singles, achieving independent chart placings and recording the critically acclaimed album Dance Like Ammunition. Signed to Virgin Music in 1985, the band recorded sessions for BBC Radio 1 and appeared on BBC2’s Whistle Test as well as the front covers of Sounds and Melody Maker.
Following a period running my own audio equipment hire company, I began composing and producing electronic music in 1994 when I collaborated with Colin Newman (ex-Wire) and Malka Spiegel (ex-Minimal Compact) under the name Resolution. I also contributed to the compilations Whore – Various Artists play Wire (WMO) and Mesmer Variations (Touch/Ash International). I then formed the electronic band Feeler, who released a series of singles on the DJZ label. One of these (Crazy Heart) was picked up for release on Chris Coco’s Solar Spectrums compilation (2000) and our track Bullet to the Muscle was featured on the soundtrack to the film Summer Rain (director Jonathan Glendenning - 2001).
Since moving to Sheffield in 2002, I have concentrated on multimedia projects, initially working with the Sundaze collective and then forming Animat with Mark Daly. As well as releasing four full-length albums and numerous EPs on labels including Big Chill, Lemongrass, Dubmission and Disco Gecko, we have developed a series of DJ/live re-scores to contemporary cult films (including Belleville Rendezvous, The Straight Story, The Last Man on Earth and Dark Star) which we have performed at clubs, cinemas and galleries throughout the UK and Europe.
I have also formed Rophonic with vocalist and guitarist Peter Rophone and play regularly with transatlantic folk trio Jackalope Tales.
‘WORDS AND MUSIC’ COLLABORATIONS
I have collaborated on a number of projects with spoken word artists in recent years and have been a regular contributor to the ‘Off the Shelf’ literature festival in Sheffield. Recording projects and performances have included:
Chris Jones: At The End Of The Road, A River – poetry sequence (2006)
Linda Lee Welch: Flossie Paper Doll, Critters and Kalulu and The Queen of Cows – poetry sequences (2008-2016)
Matt Black: The Cooling Towers’ Farewell – poem (2008)
Susan Sandercock (poet) and Louise Grant (illustrator): Birds In Three Dimensions – poetry sequence with projected images (2009)
Noel Williams and others: Exploding Poetry – on-site multimedia installation, Bank Street Arts Centre, Sheffield (2010)
Linda Lee Welch, Animat and Neelam Madden (illustrator): The Ghost Baby– short story with ambient soundscape and projected images (2010), premiered at the Big Chill festival.
Multimedia live performance for Nuits des Musees, Toulouse Lautrec Museum, Albi, France (2011)
Multimedia installation Words in Pixels with South Yorkshire Young Writers Groups and artist Vicky Morris, Off the Shelf festival, Sheffield (2011)
Voices Along The Road, with poets Linda Lee Welch and Rob Hindle, Festival of The Mind, Sheffield (2016)
Science, Love and Revolution: collaboration with award-winning performance poet David Lee Morgan, performed at Edinburgh Fringe 2013 and at many other festivals and venues worldwide.