Max Eastley (born 1944) is a British kinetic sculptor, musician and composer. Has worked across a variety of genres including: improvised and experimental music; folk music; popular song; jazz; compositions using environmental recordings as well as musical resources. He has also composed music for film and dance. His primary instrument is a unique electro-acoustic monochord, developed from an aeolian sculpture. 'The Arc' consists of a single string stretched lengthwise across a long piece of wood (around ten feet) which can be played with a bow, fingers or short glass rods. The end of the instrument has a microphone attached so the basic sound can be amplified, recorded and run through sound effect programs. He studied painting and graphic art at Newton Abbot Art School and then went on to gain a BA in Fine Art (1969–1972) at Middlesex University (formerly Hornsey School of Art). He is part of the Cape Farewell Climate Change project.
Eastley has collaborated with many different artists and musicians on performances, installations and recordings including: David Toop, Brian Eno, Paul Burwell, Victor Gama, Hugh Davies, Steve Beresford, Peter Greenaway, Dave Hunt, David Buckland, Evan Parker, Peter Cusack, Spaceheads. From 2001–2002, Eastley was a visiting fellow at John Moores University Liverpool and is an AHRC research fellow at Oxford Brookes University researching Aeolian phenomena. On 17 May 1989, Eastley was awarded a prize in the 'Learning Spaces Category' for his work in the City European Communities Architectural Ideas Competition (University College Dublin). Eastley was part of the group 'The 49 Americans', who played together for a period during the 1980s and produced several albums together.
Eastley has performed as a solo musician and in many combinations with other artists. He has worked on stage with his installations and with film and has created and performed in musical/theatrical performances such as: 'Whirled Music'. Eastley has done a wide variety of installations worldwide, many of which use moving parts (motors, pulleys etc.) to create ambient soundscapes while engaging the observer visually. Many recordings of the below installations appear on the CD: 'Max Eastley Installation Recordings 1973–2008
Eastley collaborated with sound engineer Dave Hunt to develop an innovative computer-controlled amplification system for these installations. Eastley has been part of the Cape Farewell project since 2005 and has been on three trips to Spitsbergen with the organisation. Eastley has appeared in several publications since the 1970s, including: 'Sonourgy', published by Exeter College of Art 1974, 'New and Rediscovered Musical Instruments', published by Quartz 1975, 'Echo: The Images of Sound', published by Het Apollohuis 1987, 'Grove's Dictionary of Music', 'Experimental Musical Instruments Vol. V #2' 1989, Bijutsu Techo' No.678 Vol.45, 1994, 'Site of Sound', published by Errant Bodies 1999, 'ICC Catalogue Magazine', Tokyo, 28 January 2000 Issue, 'Leonardo Music Journal' 2001, 'Burning Ice' (Cape Farewell catalogue) 2006, 'The Fundamentals of Sonic Art and Sound Design', published by AVA Academia 2007, 'Klangräume der Kunst', 2010, 'The Wire Magazine', Issue No. 265 March 2006, Issue No. 291 May 2008..
'New and Rediscovered Musical Instruments' with David Toop, produced by Brian Eno (Obscure) – 1975 'Circadian Rhythm' with Paul Burwell, Hugh Davies, Paul Lovens, Paul Lytton, Annabel Nicolson, Evan Parker and David Toop (Incus Records) – 1978 'Whirled Music' with Steve Beresford, Paul Burwell and David Toop (Quartz) – 1980 'My Heart's in Motion' (Nato) – 1985 'At Close Quarters' Various artists (These Records) – 1993 'Buried Dreams' with David Toop (Beyond) – 1994 'Isolationism' Various artists (Virgin) – 1994 'Day for Night' with Peter Cusack – 2001 'The Time of the Ancient Astronaut' with the Spaceheads (Bip Hop) – 2001 'Doll Creature' with David Toop (Bip Hop) – 2004 'Hydrophony for Dagon' with Michael Prime (Absurd) – 2006 'Songs of Transformation' with Martyn Bates (Musica Maxima Magnetica) – 2007 'ARCTIC' produced by David Buckland/Cape Farewell – 2007 'A Very Long Way from Anywhere Else' with the Spaceheads (Bip Hop) – 2007 'A Life Saved by a Spider and Two Doves' with Graham Halliwell, Evan Parker and Mark Wastell (Another Timbre) – 2008 'Dark Architecture' (Another Timbre) – 2009 'Max Eastley Installation Recordings 1973–2008'