writes music.

Michael Cutting is a Manchester-based composer working in the blurred area between contemporary classical and experimental electronic music. In his attempts to develop a musical language somewhere between instrumental music and the whirring and clicking of old tape recorders, Michael’s works tend to emphasize the physicality of performance. His current I AM A STRANGE LOOP series is an ongoing cycle of works, ranging from solo to orchestral, which explores this relationship of acoustic and electronic mediums, as well as concepts of looping, repetition and variation, and self-reference. The culmination will be a large-scale music theatre piece for voices, ensemble, electronics and live video to be performed in 2016.

Michael has been awarded numerous young composer awards including the BBC Proms Young Composition Competition (2006), the Christopher Brooks Memorial Prize (2008), Sound and Music's Francis Chagrin Award (2013), RPS Composition Prize (2013), LSO Panufnik Prize (2014), and Sound and Music's Next Wave project (2014). He has worked closely with such groups and performers as Ensemble Intercontemporain, Exaudi, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Namascae Lemanic Modern Ensemble, London Sinfonietta, Endymion Ensemble, Manchester Camerata, Composers Ensemble, Lontano, Lancashire Sinfonietta, BBC Singers, Sarah Nicolls and RNCM Symphony Orchestra, as well as curators such as Park Lane Group and Nonclassical. His music has been performed in Royal Festival Hall, Cadogan Hall, Purcell Room, Le Centquatre(Paris), The Anvil (Basingstoke), Royaumont Abbey, Dartington Hall, Zurich Hochschule, The Forge (Camden), Limewharf and RNCM Concert Hall.

Michael studied at the Royal Northern College of Music with Gary Carpenter, Adam Gorb and David Horne, completing his Masters with Distinction and the Soroptomist Award in 2011. Michael is now working towards a PhD at Kings College London, supervised by George Benjamin. He also attended Dartington Summer School 2012, Royaumont's Voix Nouvelles Composition Course 2013 studying with Brian Ferneyhough, Oscar Bianchi and Fabien Lévy, IRCAM's Manifeste 2014, and Impuls 2015, taking lessons with Beat Furrer, Georg Nussbaumer and Klaus Lang.



organises events.

Michael co-curates OHNO, a series of nights supported by Sound and Music's Danish-UK Composer-Curator programme, collaborating with Joe Snape, Sandra Boss and Soren Kjaergaard. The first event was a weekend in Cafe Oto in April 2014, bringing together a diverse range of artists from the UK, Denmark, Germany and the US. Featured guests included Anders Lauge Meldgaard, Simon Steen-Andersen, Theresa Wong, ACM Ensemble and Slip Discs.

The follow up event will take place in Copenhagen sometime in 2015, with the support of SNYK.


runs an experimental music group.

In January 2012, Michael co-founded ACM Ensemble along with fellow composer Vitalija Glovackyte. Orginally focused on bringing recent international masterpieces to the UK, ACM has worked closely with such influential composers as Hans Abrahamsen (on his work Schnee) and Simon Steen-Andersen (Amid and re-rendered) in its first year. It is also committed to supporting emerging composers and has so far commissioned new works by 10 composers, including the 40-minute multimedia work EIGHTFEET.COM by Vitalija Glovackyte.

In 2013 the ensemble was awarded an MBF Emerging Excellence Award to establish a close working relationship with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic's Ensemble 10/10. As well as performing in venues such as Cafe OTO, RNCM, International Anthony Burgess Centre, ACM has performed in festivals such as Manchester's New Music North West Festival 2013, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival 2013 and 2014, and the two-day festival OHNO in Cafe OTO.

In May 2015, ACM will venture out on its first UK tour supported by Sound and Music with composer Joe Snape, which will then be extended in June to Europe - from Amsterdam to Aarhus.







17 September 2015_____New Work - Rotherhithe tunnel shaft, London (Bastard Assignments)

Written in collaboration with Vitalija Glovackyte for two reel to reel tape recorders and objects, to be performed as part of Bastard Assignments' event in Rotherhithe Tunnel Shaft.

More info

October 2015 tbc______New Work - AHEAD Festival, Vilnius, Lithuania

Written in collaboration with Vitalija Glovackyte for two reel to reel tape recorders and objects.

11 October 2015 ______Fields and Factories - Divertimento Ensemble, EXPO MILANO, Italy.

Commissioned by Divertimento Ensemble as part of their "Feeding Music" composition competition. All works will be performed as part of the EXPO MILANO 2015.

More info

November 2015 tbc_____New work - Richard Uttley, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival

A new work for fender rhodes piano and electronics, commissioned by HCMF. To be performed by pianist Richard Uttley.


February 2016 tbc_____New work - Denmark & UK

New work in collaborartion with Joe Snape and Kaj Duncan David will be created during a residency in Denmark and the UK, supported by Arts Ignite.


March 2016 tbc________New work - Heidelberger Fruhlinger, Germany.

New work for voices and ensemble, commissioned by the Heidelberger Fruhlinger.

More info

<-- past events



• 17th, 19th, 20th, 22nd June 2015 -_Tape Talk, Flutter and Warp - ACM's EU Fleck tour

As part of ACM Ensemble's EU Tour FLECK, alongside a new work Friday by Vitalija Glovackyte and the large-scale Fleck, Flob, Flop by Joe Snape.

Performances in Del Rex - Berlin, Spanien C - Aarhus, Mayhem - Copenhagen, and Splendor - Amsterdam.

More info

• 5th June -_I AM A STRANGE LOOP IV - London Symphony Orchestra, LSO St Lukes, London

Commissioned through the LSO Panufnik Scheme.

• 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th & 17th May 2015 -_Tape Talk, Flutter and Warp - ACM's UK Fleck tour

As part of ACM Ensemble's UK Tour FLECK supported by Sound and Music, alongside a new work by Vitalija Glovackyte and the large-scale Fleck, Flob, Flop by Joe Snape.

Performances in Apiary Studios - London, Vivid Projects - Birmingham, S1 Artspace - Sheffield, Metal - Liverpool, International Anthony Burgess Foundation Centre - Manchester.

More info

• 27 November 2014 - I AM A STRANGE LOOP III, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival

Performed by Sarah Nicolls, Olly Lowe, Dan Halford and Sound Intermedia, as part of Sound and Music's Next Wave project.

• 28 June 2014 - clock in, on, out - Le Centquatre, Paris

Performed by Ensemble Intercontemporain and Exaudi, during IRCAM's Manifeste Academie 2014.

• 31 May 2014 - I AM A STRANGE LOOP II - Royal Festival Hall, London

Performed by Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Clark Rundell. Commissioned by the Royal Philharmonic Society.

• 29 March 2014 - I AM A STRANGE LOOP Ib- Cafe OTO, London

Performed by Robbie Gardiner, and ACM Ensemble as part of the OHNO weekend in Cafe OTO, curated by Joe Snape, Sandra Boss, Soren Kjaergaard and myself.

• 23 Janurary 2014 - I AM A STRANGE LOOP I & ...into the perpetuum of silence - Zurich Hochschule, Switzerland

Written in collaboration with clarinetist Robbie Gardiner and the Zurich Hochschule's ICST institute, this work for the newly created SABRe bass clarinet was premiered by Robbie in the University, with further performances in Paris, London and Manchester.

• 31 October 2013 - Collaboration #1 - RNCM, Manchester

A collaborative project between 8 composers, performed by ACM Ensemble, as part of the New Music North West Festival 2013.

• 20 September 2013 - ...into the perpetuum of silence - Limewharf, London

Alex Roberts (clarinet). Part of Nonclassical's Heat The Beat programme.
Limewharf, London.


• 16 September 2013 - Artificial White - Royaumont Abbeye, France

Helene Walter (soprano) and Namascae Lemanic Modern Ensemble, directed by William Blank.
Performed in Royaumont Abbey, France, as the culmination of the Royaumont Voix Nouvelles Composition Session 2013.


• 26 June 2013 - i can't go on, i'll go on - RNCM, Manchester

ACM Ensemble, directed by Carlos Del Cueto.
Performed in Carole Nash Recital Room, RNCM Manchester.


• 7 June 2013 - i can't go on, i'll go on - Kings College London

Lontano Ensemble, directed by Odaline de la Martinez.
Kings College London.


• 21 May 2013 - when the world is puddle-wonderful - The Forge, Cameden

Joshua Batty (flute), Anna Hashimoto (clarinet) and Richard Uttley (piano)
Performed in The Forge (Camden) as part of New Dots' programme.


• 17 April 2013 - Between Silences - Glasgow City Halls

Kay Stephen (Violin)
Glasgow City Halls, as part of Edit Point's Sound Lab series.


• 26 August 2012 - Utterances - Dartington Hall
• 13 January 2012 - Shifting Light - Purcell Room, London

Pau Codina (cello)
Purcell Room, part of Park Lane Groups Young Artists New Year Series 2012.

upcoming events -->



SABRe bass clarinet & electronics. Premiered by Robbie Gardiner in Cafe OTO, April 2014.



for large ensemble. Commissioned by Royal Philharmonic Society, performed by Philharmonia Orchestra in the Royal Festival Hall, May 2014.



Inside-out piano, percussion & 3 cassette players. Part of Sound and Music's Next Wave Scheme, performed by Sarah Nicolls, Olly Lowe and Dan Halford in St Pauls Hall during HCMF, November 2014.



• Other works

clock in, on, out (2014)
for soprano, bass and ensemble (fl,cl,bsn,hn,tpt,tbn,perc,2vln,vla,vc,db).
Performed by Exaudi (Juliet Fraser and Jimmy Holliday) and Ensemble Intercontemporain at Le CentQuatre, Paris.


Artificial White (2013)
for soprano and ensemble (sax,perc,pno,2vln,vla,vc)
Performed by Hélène Walter and Lemanic Namascae Ensemble at Royaumont, Paris.


i can't go on, i'll go on (2013)
for ensemble (bcl,hn,tpt,tbn,perc,pno)
Performed by Lontano Ensemble, Kings College London.


• Official releases

Tape Talk, Flutter and Warp as part of FLECK EP - a limited run of CDRs with music by Joe Snape, Vitalija Glovackyte and Michael Cutting, with handmade artowrk by Michael Holland, released on Manchester's DIY label Ono. A companion release to ACM and Joe Snape's Fleck tour in May and June 2015. Available to download from Boomkat.





I AM A STRANGE LOOP III released on NMC's Next Wave album, in collaboration with Sound and Music. Performed by Sarah Nicolls, Olly Lowe and Dan Halford. Available to download from NMC's website, and itunes.


email me at mcutting9@gmail.com.