Ottaway was born in Oxford and studied music at University of London,
As a student in the 1970’s she participated in courses and projects
led by John Cage, also appearing in Peter Greenaway’s film on
the composer for Channel 4, experiences which have hugely influenced
her own work.
She was a founder member of the new music performance groups Regular
Music and 3 or 4 Composers and also performed internationally with experimental
theatre companies including Lumiere & Son and IOU.
As a composer who has a unique ability to place sounds within buildings
and other environments, she has received commissions from Nottinghamshire
County Council; The Dean and Chapter of Salisbury Cathedral; BBC2, Bath
Film Festival and Frome Festival among others. She has been Composer
in Residence for Salisbury Festival (‘In Praise of Trees’,
2001-2) and Frome Festival (2006).
In 1999, with her partner Arts Administrator Steve Ehrlicher, she formed
Artmusic to produce and promote collaborative work between artists from
different disciplines. With Artmusic she has created large scale installations,
performances and educational projects for The National Review of Live
Art, European Capital of Culture Cork 2005, Oxford Contemporary Music,
Norfolk & Norwich Festival and many more. With sound designer Alastair
Goolden she has become well known for creating movement-generated sound
installations using Soundbeam technology.
Helen is currently composing music for live artist Franko B's new performance
piece, 'I'm Thinking of You' which will premiere at the National Review
of Live Art in Glasgow in February 2009. She has also been commissioned
to create a new work for the re-launch of the Birmingham Arts Centre,
Melanie Thompson originally came from London. She studied theatre and
dance at Dartington College of Arts in Devon in the 1970’s, then
joining international performance company Cardiff Laboratory Theatre
in the 80’s. She then formed her own company ‘Intimate Strangers’
with Paul Roylance. The company toured nationally and internationally,
and was supported by the Arts Council.
During this time she taught and directed experimental theatre for ten
years at the ‘Tidens Theatre School’ in Århus Denmark.
In 1989 she moved to Somerset. Since then she has lectured part time
at Dartington College and various other universities across the country.
In 1992 (the same year as she produced twin boys) she started a six
year project with visual artist Kirsten Lavers. Together they produced
10 ‘Episodes’ across the U.K.
In 2000 she created ‘The Scallop Project’ with Jane Hazlewood,
a year long residency in a small Somerset village culminating in a final
days event. That year she also completed her M.A
From 2001 she has worked on three major public art projects as an art
consultant and lead artist.
She has been touring a solo show since 2003 taking it to France, Canada
and Norway as well performing it in G.B.
From 2005 - 2007 she was the Director of Tor Dance Festival.
2007 she set up a public art partnership - 'Shared Space' - with artist
Bob Budd, which is committed to integrating art into public places and