Donald started working with artists and film makers in 2000 and began making his own films in parallel with sound pieces in 2004. His motivation was to create audio-visual works with a shared source or inspiration.
His ‘musema’ series used improvisations played by performers as a starting point for editorial control both visually and compositionally. The cut, or edit, became the composition but the inspiration spilled over into other interests: our perception of sound and movement and our interpretation of virtuosity and performance gesture. The first of these pieces, the word which is the centre of your light, can be seen on You Tube:
Three significant and substancial works were written in 2017, each of which are scored for film-plus-soloist with microtonal aural landscaping. The first, ‘GRASS-SAND-WOOD’ is written for horn, SHELL for bassoon and SOFT for flugel horn. The first performance of WOOD, performed by Australian horn player Michael Dixon, can be seen from the link below.
‘Six Times One’ are 6 lockdown video pieces written in 2020, each of one minute duration on Donald’s YouTube Channel. Donald wrote about these pieces: ‘Like many creatives I get far more ideas than I ever get the chance to develop. So the point here is to briefly ‘play’ with a few ideas just to see how things go. Some are quite similar to the ideas I normally focus on and others are really different.’. Some are studies for much larger pieces which he had intended to write at a later date (Nos. 1-4 are linked, Nos. 5 and 6 have to be watched separately).
Donald ran and curated a series of five mixed media shows in London between 2004 and 2010 called ‘Wild Dog’ which blended live music and live art with experimental film and dance, and particularly encouraged work which combined these disciplines. This culminated with his joint curation, with Stephen Altoft, of a Late at Tate event at Tate Britain in 2011 which was documented by the film maker Surya Williams.