Gisle Martens Meyer is a Norwegian media artist. His work for stage, screen and new media is closely integrated with – and dealing with the challenges of – new technology, social media and digital culture. Questions are raised in a surreal, quirky and playful aesthetic, where apparent naive escapism glides on the surface of serious, contemporary undercurrents.
GMM started out as a touring artist with his pop-electronica project Ugress in the early 2000s. The debut album Resound (2002) was nominated for best new-comer at the Norwegian National Music Awards, followed by years of extensive European touring. The music of Ugress is frequently licensed to film, TV and video games, which developed a natural path towards directly composing and producing for moving images and live stage.
GMM now works as a performing artist and composer for film, TV, games and contemporary stage. His current main focus is on commissioned works for contemporary stage, and new live scores for silent film classics.
As a composer GMM creates music and sound for cinema, TV, web, games and apps. Recent major works include music for SONY’s Little Big Planet series, the award-winning Pushwagner documentary, and music for Norwegian TV-series Expedition Nansen, Kometkameratene and Barnas Supershow.
As a performing artist GMM creates and performs live music for orchestras, silent movies, contemporary dance and art installations. Recent major projects are The Bow Corpse, a comission for contemporary ensemble BIT20, music to Catalunian performance Portal, a new score to silent Soviet sci-fi classic Aelita – Queen Of Mars, and a live score to La Muda, part of Yasgur’s Farm from contemporary dance company Carte Blanche.
As an artist and producer GMM writes, releases and performs music with multiple bands and artist projects. Most active are cinematic electronica act Ugress, with multiple releases and international touring, and the post-apocalyptic dystopian concept Nebular Spool.
GMM started out creating music first with trackers on Commodore 64 and Amiga during the 1980-ies, then moving on to PCs, samplers and sequencers during the 90-ies, ending up currently working on only a laptop with a broad palette of digital software. With no music or sound production education, his only formal degree is a short college stint in new media and computer sciences.
In 2000 he released his first music as Ugress. After two years of touring and growing buzz the project had a breakthrough in Scandinavia with the album Resound (2002), lifted by extensive radio play on national broadcaster NRK P3. Ugress was by now a full touring band, and including production of follow-up albums, this kept GMM busy as a touring musician for the first half of the 2000s.
The music of Ugress was quickly licensed to films, TV and games. In 2005-2006 Martens Meyer shifted focus from live touring more towards composition and studio production, for his own projects and film and TV work. He launched his own record label Uncanny Planet in 2006, bought out all rights to his previous releases, gathered all his material in his own company, and launched several new side-projects next to Ugress.
Since 2007 he has worked on several large projects for Norwegian national broadcaster NRK, composing music for TV-series and programme vignettes, in addition to numerous single productions for clients within film, TV, theatre, art, computer games, installations, dance performances. From 2008 to 2010 he worked intensely on music and songs for hit TV-series Kometkameratene, a sci-fi live puppet series for younger kids.
Since 2010 his work has shifted again, more towards cinema, theatre and contemporary performing arts, including works for the opera, commisions for festivals and cinemas.
Martens Meyer continuously releases new material for all his projects, but keeps more to production in the studio than live performance and touring. Though, 2011-2012 saw a new burst of experimental and visually ambitious live shows, including adapting the popular Ugress live-show for an extensive tour primary school tour with Norwegian national touring agency Rikskonsertene.
The last few years 2012-2015, his focus has been on composing and performing the contemporary stage, working with different choreographers and theaters in Spain, Portugal, France, Germany and Norway.