As pundits lament the loss of the album or conventional musical roles, it might be easy to miss a barely-hidden revolution in the craft of sound. Pieced together from the simplest of found acoustic instruments and strange electrified sonic organisms, fashioned with the most sophisticated of digital tools and computer music production machines, artists open an ocean of new musical and sonic discovery. The new venues and patrons proliferate, ranging from interactive installations to so-called “sonic branding,” sound design for games and motion spots and television, and yes, somewhere in there, even produce an album now and then.

Just ask Simon Pyke. As a solo artist, sound designer, composer, and through his sound design and music shop Freefarm, he’s a one-man Renaissance for the ears.

Simon, who tells us he’s a long-time reader, shares a short documentary behind his work. A beautiful short film takes you inside his Brighton, UK studio, a toybox of great musical toys that looks a bit as though someone was granted a wish and got to render the archives of this site in the real world. But it’s not so much the tools as the unabashed discovery of sound. That is to say, I find it impossible to watch this film and not want to immediately drop everything and get to making some sounds and music.

What’s equally impressive is that Mr. Pyke has produced for himself sonic fingerprints, even across varied work, sounds that are whimsical but always modern. It’s a kind of retro-futurism that sometimes draws from musical expressions that nod to everything from folk to Philip Glass.

As a sound maker, it’s easy to thrill at his show reel, but look, too, to a charmingly-personal instrumental EP on Bandcamp entitled Collisions. (In fact, you’ll notice what’s missing in all of this: a label. Instead, Simon does just fine running his own business in boutique sound and music, and releasing his own music to people who care about it.)

Have a look at his work; I know it’ll be inspiring my work this weekend. Thanks, Simon! Keep reading!

  • AfroDjMac

    Inspired :)

  • Aaron

    A demo reel is news?

    • peterkirn

      We need some new comment moderation that lets readers throw tomatoes at comments like this one.

      He’s an artist, this is his story in a video, these are some comments on his music, comments on the larger relevance of sound design as a gig, and here’s his EP. End of story.

  • Richard Eigner


  • Ben

    Great stuff. Thanks for sharing this Peter.

  • William French

    Total inspiration. Makes me want to drop everything and make some sounds.

  • Bob Bell

    Quality and as with the MOM vid looks like total fun! Definitely how I’d spend my days in an ideal world.

  • Chris Lloyd

    Beautiful. Thank you Peter.

  • Aaron

    I made a lame comment earlier. The top video didn’t show up earler so all I thought was in it was the later. Good stuff!

  • Federico


  • Brendanwirth

    What site are the videos hosted on? They don’t play on iPhone.

  • anybody human

    Ok. Found them on Vimeo. Inspiring stuff.

  • Thomas Gamble

    Thanks so much for the post. Great read!! Really looking forward to read more. Want more.

  • Karl Sadler

    Simon, is the brother of the other very talented Matt Pyke, AKA Universal Everything. *apologises if stating the obvious*