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Manarva (Matthew Adams)


Matthew is the curator of Friday Night Dance in the Mycelium Space:

I have been a musician my whole life and see the infusing of sound into a space as a kind of alchemical practice.

Since I was a child I have spent an inordinary amount of time making mixtapes and sound journeys.

Most of my life has been dedicated to music, whether producing as a singer-songwriter, playing live music for Contact Improv and Ecstatic Dance, or travelling and busking around the UK with a guitar on my back.

That latter journey eventually landed me in Brighton in the late 00's where I discovered dance while living in a building with an empty swimming pool as my own personal dancehall. This new practice unlocked a whole path of liberation in and through my body. I then discovered 5 Rhythms Dance which I became dedicated to as a  practice around Sussex, London and the South-West.

Through hundreds of hours dancing at weekly events and weekend workshops I developed more and more of an intuitive connection to the nature of the 5 rhythms and refined my sense of what creates a sound journey in flow. 

While living in Bristol  years later I became  immersed in the practice of Contact Improvisation and began  playing improvised music for jams. This further informed my attunement to how music creates and affects atmosphere in a roomful of dancers. Whereas live music is improvised note by note, in DJing each song is like a note itself, and I continue to be fascinated by the process of honing a live set toward the sequence of songs and silence that will be the perfect recipe to what a space and its dancers need to be held by at any given time. 

The seasonal time of year  influences what I am drawn to play. Whatever tones or themes are in the air, the events that are impacting our culture also influence the music I choose. I am drawn often to music that is deep and meticulous in its nature. I advocate for having a wild bop and letting it all hang loose, and also encourage the possibility of immersing yourself deeply in the sonic landscape being offered through deep listening to both the body and the music itself. I see music as an alchemical spell, and deep things can happen when we bring our full awareness and attention to the nuance and detail in the music being played.

I am drawn to a wide variety of music. I tend toward deep bass and grit perhaps more than your average Ecstatic Dance. I love the idea of transferring the wild abandon of dance into a space that is infused with a deep conscious intention and cup of hot cocoa in place of the alcohol. I see every aspect of an event as something that can tune us into deeper aspects of ourselves that are ready to come out and play. Sometimes this is a deep prayerful meditation, sometimes a strange and unkempt being that rises up from the swamp. All are welcome. Together we create a space to welcome and explore whatever parts of us are ready to come out and play, and be held by the music that is called in through the curator in service to the dancers in the space.



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