Welcome to the internet archive of Adrian Newton, a sound artist based in Dorset, UK.


I’ve been interested in experimenting with sound ever since filling my bedroom with massive tape loops as a teenager, and playing a synthesizer built in a biscuit tin. I fell in love with electronic music after seeing Kraftwerk on Tomorrow’s World in 1975, which I think was an epiphany for many of my generation. Since then I have had a lot of fun recording, processing and transforming sound, as well as circuit bending and building my own electronic instruments, some of which have actually worked.

Most of my current work focuses on using sound to explore the relationships between people and the environment. This reflects my other interests – in another part of my life, I work part-time as a researcher into conservation ecology. Increasingly I’ve become interested in areas such as acoustic ecology and ecoacoustics, which bridge these different disciplines.

The name ‘nemeton’ refers to the ancient sacred groves that once characterised the landscapes of Dorset and other areas of southern England. In a lot of my work, I use the idea of a sacred grove as a kind of repeating motif. Partly this is because as an ecologist, I mostly work in forests. This is not only because of their ecological importance, but also because they are wonderful places to visit. However I have also been struck by the meaning that different human cultures have placed on trees, such as acting as a portal between physical and spiritual realms, or a link between different layers of the universe. Sacred groves in many cultures are places where identities, contexts and meaning are transformed through ritual. When I’m transforming sound, I’m often trying to achieve something similar.

Nemeton is also the name of my experimental ambient music project. I typically construct soundscapes from microloops and grains of sound, which are sourced from field recordings, electroacoustic improvisations and other found sounds. Rather than focusing on the use of purely digital or synthetic sound sources, my aim is to create evolving organic textures from sounds rooted in the living world. In this way, the music attempts to provide a metaphor for nature, and our relationship with it.

I’ve also been involved in a number of other activities that are profiled here, including creation of installations, field recording, soundscape composition and site-specific theatre. In addition I’ve  been a member of a number of experimental music groups, including the critically acclaimed Zaum (free improvisation), Gerauschhersteller (modern classical and free improvisation), No Context (improvised electronics), Echo Engine (ambient jazz), Leopards of White (ambient synth), and Vortex of Leaves (ambient dance). I’ve also contributed to a number of experimental sound art, music events and festivals, both in Dorset and beyond. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.