House Of Illustrious

Extracts 1 to 5
On Monday 26th November Mute brings you House Of Illustrious, a very special 10 CD deluxe box set by The Clarke and Ware Experiment.

The Clarke and Ware Experiment are the two music icons Vince Clarke, whose musical collaborations include Erasure, Depeche Mode, Yazoo and VCMG, and Martyn Ware of Human League, Heaven 17 and B.E.F fame.



Some twelve years ago, Vince Clarke and Martyn Ware combined forces and released the albums Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle and Pretentious. These two releases captured the relaxing nether world of ambient sculpturing and atmospheric soundscaping.

Since the turn of the millennium the pair have continued their project to assemble a totally unique collection of music.

CDThe result is the epic House of Illustrious box set, consisting of 8 CD's of unreleased material plus the original two albums. Not only that, but the entire package is housed in a unique collectable box set of the highest standard and quality.

House Of Illustrious is available for pre-order now exclusively from Lexer Music and is a strict single run batch of 1000 deluxe boxsets. Once this batch has sold none of the music will be released in physical format again.

Each deluxe boxset is individually numbered and signed by Vince Clarke and Martyn Ware. This makes for a package that is desirable, collectable and encompasses a truly enormous musical landscape.



Vince Clarke and Martyn Ware talk about their collaborations as The Illustrious Company and introduce their 10-CD boxset House of Illustrious.

Podcast can also be listened to via Soundcloud.

how to make a desirable object

the reasoning behind the design…

It has taken nearly 18 months, rigorous thought processes and many iterations to create the beautiful and unique packaging for House Of Illustrious - graphic designer Malcolm Garrett (, packaging designer and expert Tim Milne ( and myself have ruminated, discussed, refined and finally made real the purest design concept we are able to achieve.

The original challenge of how to package ten CD's and accompanying information into a single desirable object has been achieved through beautiful and subtle graphic design of the CD's themselves, combined with bespoke acrylic 'hockey pucks' as they became affectionately referred to, enabled the CD's themselves to become the artistic component, together with the purpose-tooled stainless steel spindle (etched with 'Made In Sheffield').

All the elements were endlessly discussed and almost fetishised, from the texture of the granite-like foam, to the weight and feel of the object, through to the beautifully engineered way that the CD's rotate freely on the spindle, and the critical colour ways of the CD's themselves. Each of the strictly limited edition of 1,000 objects is numbered and signed by Martyn Ware and Vincent Clarke.

Driven by the desire for the elegant nature of 'form following function', House Of Illustrious is a thing of beauty.

Martyn Ware - Illustrious Company


track listing

disc 1

  1. The 4th Place (63:26)
    Year: 2000
    Client: Sony
  2. The Game of Their Lives (07:45)
    Year: 2001
    Client: Very Musch So Productions

disc 2

  1. Knots Pt 1 (04:53)
  2. Knots Pt 2 (03:59)
  3. Knots Pt 3 (03:59)
  4. Knots Pt 4 (04:11)
  5. Knots Pt 5 (04:49)
    Year: 2002
    Client: Royal Ballet
  6. Transparent Mirrors (10:42)
    Year: 2003
    Client: Venice Art Biennale
  7. Virtual Wishing Tree (14:39)
    Year: 2003
    Client: Interfaith Center, NYC
  8. On Public Display (09:25)
    Year: 2004
    Client: Royal Ballet

disc 3

  1. New Ages of Man (06:12)
    Year: 2005
    Client: Royal Ballet
  2. Town and Country (14:33)
    Year: 2005
    Client: V&A Museum
  3. Helios Suite (10:00)
    Year: 2005
    Client: BP
  4. Imagine a World… (16:00)
    Year: 2005
    Client: Amnesty International
  5. Timepiece (16:00)
    Year: 2005
    Client: Sound Oasis, Mexico

disc 4

  1. Shine (61:00)
    Year: 2005
    Client: V&A Millennium Galleries

disc 5

  1. Everytime I See the Sea… (11:37)
    Year: 2005
    Client: Christian Aid
  2. Diaspora Magnet (12:09)
    Year: 2006
    Client: British Council
  3. Tokyo Soundscape (02:17)
    Year: 2007
    Client: Skrapic/Kenzo
  4. Vegas (06:26)
    Year: 2006
    Client: DTS
  5. 2007 FPS A London Conversation (06:54)
    Year: 2006
    Client: BFI
  6. Ghost Machine (10:03)
    Year: 2007
    Client: V&A Museum

disc 6

  1. Starbirth (23:08)
    Year: 2007
    Client: Royal Observatory Greenwich
  2. Futurescape 1 (08:38)
  3. Futurescape 2 (08:46)
  4. Futurescape 3 (08:37)
    Year: 2008
    Client: AT&T
  5. New City (07:22)
    Year: 2008
    Client: MoMA, New York

disc 7

  1. SoundLife London (30:00)
    Year: 2009
    Client: City of Westminster
  2. Kubla Khan Soundscape (03:13)
    Year: 2010
    Client: Radio 4
  3. Feelosophy (24:33)
    Year: 2010
    Client: Design Bridge, London

disc 8

  1. The Sound of Diamonds (17:46)
    Year: 2008
    Client: Hearts on Fire
  2. Sparking Reaction (24:00)
    Year: 2002
    Client: Science Museum, London
  3. Remote Experiments (05:42)
    Year: 2008
    Client: Fabrica

disc 9 - Pretentious

  1. Music For Multiple Dimensions (14:17)
  2. Open Our Eyes (07:52)
  3. Too Deep For Tears (09:24)
  4. I Think I'm In Love (09:01)
  5. The East Is Falling (09:35)
  6. Wilderness/Turbulence (08:01)
  7. Disappearing Breakthroughs (06:39)
  8. The Light Far Away (07:43)

disc 10 - Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle

  1. White [you are in heaven] (12:37)
  2. Yellow [you are on a beach] (12:01)
  3. Red [you are in the womb] (12:39)
  4. Blue [you are underwater] (12:20)
  5. Green [you are in a forest] (12:03)
  6. White [you are in heaven again] (12:15)


Six track sampler of House of Illustrious.

Sampler also available via Soundcloud.


vince clarke

Vince Clarke is an electronic music pioneer whose analog synths, samples and chilly beats have accounted for some of the most memorable chart-topping hits and toe-tapping dance grooves of the last three decades. He is a founding member of Depeche Mode and writer of many of their most seminal and beloved tracks, including the classic single "Just Can't Get Enough," cited by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the 100 Greatest Pop Songs Of All Time.

Following his departure from Depeche in 1981, Vince demoed a new song "Only You," with a hometown acquaintance, then unknown Basildon blues and punk vocalist, Alison Moyet. The massive success of the track inspired the pair to record an entire album as Yazoo (Yaz in the U.S.), one of the first, and still most influential, male/female pairings in synth pop.

After the short-lived partnership with Moyet dissolved in 1983, Vince continued writing and recording, entering evermore productive collaborations. First with Yazoo producer Eric Radcliffe and singer Feargal Sharkey as The Assembly in 1984, then in 1985, he embarked on most successful and enduring partnership of all, Erasure.

With singer and co-songwriter Andy Bell, Erasure have sold more than 25 million records and charted some of the most beloved songs of the past twenty years, from "Sometimes" and "Oh L' Amour" to "A Little Respect, "Chains of Love" and "Always" among dozens of others.

Vince's obsession with melody, song structure and constant mission to bring warmth and heart to digital technology have rightly earned him acclaim as the Godfather of Synth Pop. Nevertheless, he has often strayed into more experimental territory, on Erasure's self-titled 1995 album, and most recently in collaborations with Human League and Heaven 17 co-founder Martyn Ware as part of the Illustrious Company.

martyn ware

Martyn was born in 1956 in Sheffield, UK. After leaving school he worked in computers for 3 years, and in 1978 formed The Human League. He formed the production company/label British Electric Foundation in 1980 and formed Heaven 17 the same year.

Martyn has written, performed and produced two Human League, two BEF and nine Heaven 17 albums. As a record producer and artist he has featured on recordings totaling over 50 million sales worldwide, producing amongst others Tina Turner, Terence Trent D'Arby, Chaka Khan, Erasure, Marc Almond and Mavis Staples.

He founded Illustrious Company with Vince Clarke in 2001 to exploit the creative and commercial possibilities of their unique three-dimensional sound technology, in collaboration with fine artists, the performing arts and corporate clients around the world. Clients include: BP, the British Council, The Science Museum, The Royal Ballet, Amnesty International, the V&A Museum, Mute Records, BBC TV, the Royal Observatory Greenwich, BAFTA, Museum Of London, Tate Britain. He created sonic architectural works in the British Pavilion at the Venice Architectural Biennale in 2006.

Martyn produces and presents an ongoing series of events entitled Future Of Sound in the UK and around the world.

Martyn is a Visiting Professor at C4DM at Queen Mary College, University of London, a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art and the Harvard Graduate School of Design, a patron of Arts & Business, a member of the LA-based international think-tank group Matter, a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts, a member of the Writers Guild of America and a founder member of 5D (a US based organisation promoting all aspects of immersive design). He also lectures extensively on music production, technology and creativity at universities and colleges across the world including the Red Bull Music Academy.


There are now a number of reviews of House of Illustrious and these include the following:

The Quietus features an extensive interview with both Vince and Martyn.

This Is Not Retro features an exclusive audio stream of one of the tracks from the box set with an audio commentary from Martyn Ware.

The music blog Super Deluxe Edition has published several exclusive House Of Illustrious images and samples of some of the music.

Clash Online features an interview and feature with both Martyn and Vince.

The music blog Creative Review carry an extensive blog feature with some great pictures.

Music OMH carry an interview and feature with Martyn.

The Quietus feauture House of Illustrious at # 40 in their Reissues & Compilations of the Year.

Total Music Online carries a House of Illustrious box set review.

There's also a short review of House of Illustrious in Issue #2 of Classic Pop magazine available from UK newsagents from 6th December 2012.


House Of Illustrious desktop wallpaper.

order now


House Of Illustrious - The Clarke & Ware Experiment

release date

Monday 26th November 2012

box set contents

10 × CD's (8 CDs of unreleased material plus the original two albums 'Pretentious' and 'Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle').


Strict single batch of 1000 deluxe boxsets.


All deluxe boxsets individually numbered and signed by Vince Clarke and Martyn Ware.


£79.95 per deluxe boxset.


no additional charge for postage.