Martin is a Graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (GGSM 2:1) and has an MMus (with Distinction) in Experimental Music from Brunel University.
In 2002 Martin composed his first ballet score The Wind in the Willows (revived in 2003, 2006 and 2012) with poet laureate Andrew Motion, for choreographer Will Tuckett and the Royal Opera House. Its success lead to further dance commissions with Tuckett, from the Royal Ballet - Timecode (2005 and 2007); the English National Ballet - The Canterville Ghost (2006 and 2007) with Michael West; and the Royal Opera House again - Pinocchio (2005 and 2007) with Phil Porter; and Faeries (2008 and 2010) with Rebecca Lenkiewicz. Put together, these dance-theatre works provided the opportunity to fully express the eclecticism of his creative voice. With styles ranging from pastoral English; through electro-acoustic minimalism; to gypsy/folk; an irreverent romp through 20th century orchestral ballet genres; and dramatic cinematic gestures, each represented a fresh and absorbing musical challenge. Each ballet met with considerable critical and public acclaim, each has been revived and Pinocchio was filmed and broadcast on BBC4 in 2006. In 2012 Martin wrote his first ballet for the main stage of the Royal Opera House with his orchestral score The Stargazer for choreographer Morgann Runacre-Temple. In 2013 and 2014 The Wind in the Willows transferred to the West End, appearing at first the Duchess Theatre and then the Vaudeville Theatre. In 2014 The Wind in the Willows won the Olivier Award for Best Family Entertainment.
Martin has composed seven operas, four of these in partnership with the playwright/librettist Phil Porter - the youth opera The Whale Savers for W11 Opera in 2009; the puppet-opera Skitterbang Island for the Polka and Little Angel Theatres in 2010; Dr Quimpugh's Compendium of Peculiar Afflictions a chamber opera for the Petersham Playhouse in 2011; and The Fizz, also for W11 Opera, in 2013. Dr Quimpugh's Compendium of Peculiar Afflictions was revived in August 2012 for a run at the Edinburgh Fringe which garnered public and critical acclaim and for which the work received a Fringe First Award nomination and Skitterbang Island also enjoyed a popular revival at the Little Angel and Polka Theatres in 2014, leading to an Off West End Award nomination. In 2015 Martin composed the opera Clocks 1888 – the greener for Brolly Productions in collaboration with writer/director Dominic Hingorani. In November 2015 Martin won the prestigious Flourish Opera Award with They Came Back, a work for which he wrote story, words and music. 2017 saw the creation of the podcast opera Road Memoir. With story, libretto and music by Martin, this ground-breaking work - the first opera to be conceived entirely for the podcast media platform - was presented in association with the Tete a Tete Opera Festival. It has been downloaded thousands of times by listeners all over the world and continues to be available on this website as well as on iTunes.
Martin is currently developing four new opera / music theatre works : Onlife a digital opera set within and "staged" upon the online worlds of social media; The Sinken Sun (an extract of which was performed at Rough For Opera #14 in December 2016) a multi-media chamber opera about the poet John Clare and the enduring nature of art; The Ubiquitous Woman (commission from New Notes and Noises) a darkly-comic digital opera in collaboration with the librettist Di Sherlock; and the Arts Council-funded The Desire Path, an immersive digital musical drama embedded along London's South Bank which uses the audiences smartphones, 4G and GPS functionality to navigate, explore and broadcast the work. To read more about these works and to listen to extracts click here.
Martin also creates music, songs and sound design for theatre productions, including Cinderella (2009) for the Unicorn Theatre; The Ugly Duckling (2011), The Wind in the Willows (2012), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (2013) and Peter Pan (2014) for the Polka Theatre; Only A Day (2015) for the Belgrade Theatre; and The Man With The Hammer (2016) and God of Chaos (2019) for the Theatre Royal Plymouth. Peter Pan won the Off West End Award for Best Family Show in 2015.
Alongside these theatrical adventures, Martin continues to compose for the concert stage, with works such as Turning Points for solo trumpet and electronics; North Sea Stones for two pianos; Dark Latitude : a symphony for symphony orchestra; and Terminal Moraine for ten-piece brass ensemble. He has also written music for the screen, composing scores for ITV, Discovery Channel and Discovery Wings, the mini-feature The Woman and the Machine in 2011 and the 2012 the British independent feature film thriller Jackals.
As an arranger and orchestrator, Martin has worked with a broad range of companies and individuals, including the Royal Opera House, BBC, ITV and Sofia National Opera, as well as with the international instrumental virtuosi Paco Pena, Vasko Vassilev and Alison Balsam. His Music Services work is detailed here.
Martin also works as a teacher of composition, songwriting, music theory and music technology across a variety of age ranges and settings, from individual students to whole class groups.
List Of Major Musical Works :
1994 : Threaded Dances : orchestral suite. Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
1998 : Offending Angels : feature film score.
2002 : The Wind in the Willows : ballet for the Royal Opera House. Revived 2003, 2006 and 2012 at the Royal Opera House; 2013 and 2014 in the West End, London.
2005 : Timecode : ballet for the Royal Ballet. Revived 2007.
2005 : Pinocchio : ballet for the Royal Opera House. Revived 2007. Broadcast BBC 2006.
2006 : The Canterville Ghost : ballet for the English National Ballet. Revived 2007.
2008 : Faeries : ballet for the Royal Opera House. Revived 2010.
2009 : Cinderella : music theatre score for the Unicorn Theatre, London.
2009 : The Whalesavers : opera for W11 Opera, London.
2010 : Skitterbang Island : opera for Polka and Little Angel Theatres, London. Revived 2014.
2011 : Dr Quimpugh's Compendium of Peculiar Afflictions : opera for Petersham Playhouse, London. Revived at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 2012.
2012 : Stargazer : ballet for the Royal Ballet.
2012 : Jackals : feature film score.
2013 : Alice's Adventures in Wonderland : music theatre score for the Polka Theatre, London.
2013 : The Fizz : opera for W11 Opera, London.
2014 : They Came Back : opera for Tete a Tete Opera Festival, London.
2014 : Peter Pan : theatre score for the Polka Theatre, London.
2015 : Only a Day : theatre score for the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry.
2016 : Clocks 1888 the greener : opera for the Hackney Empire, London and CAST, Doncaster.
2016 : The Man With The Hammer : theatre score for the Theatre Royal, Plymouth.
2017 : Road Memoir : podcast opera, with Tete a Tete Opera Festival and Billie Robson.
2018 : OnLife : internet opera (in development).
2019 : God of Chaos : theatre score for the Theatre Royal, Plymouth.
2019 : The Desire Path : digital musical drama. South Bank, London.
2015 : Flourish Opera Award : for They Came Back
2014 : Olivier Award : for The Wind in the Willows.
2014 : Off West End Award : for Peter Pan
2014 : Off West End Award nomination : for Skitterbang Island
2012 : Edinburgh Fringe First Award nomination : for Dr Quimpugh's Compendium Of Peculiar Afflictions
1994 : IBM International Composers Competition runner up : for Threaded Dances