In early 1981 Poppy became a founder member and pianist with The Lost Jockey, a large ensemble which explored techniques associated with the work of Glass, Reich and Andriessen. He wrote a number of works for the ensemble including, "The Object is a Hungry Wolf".
In the mid 1980s he signed to Paul Morley and Trevor Horn's ZTT Records. Pursuing a post minimal aesthetic in the context of a pop label he recorded 2 CDs. "Alphabed" merges traditional composition and studio production techniques in its use of sequencers, samples and electronic keyboards and includes a variety of singers including Annette Peacock, Ashley Slater, Udo Scheuerpflug and Dee Lewis
During the 1980 Poppy collaborated on experimental/visual theatre pieces produced by The Institute of Contemporary Art in London such as Secret Gardens and Midday Sun. This interest developed into a number of music theatre or chamber opera works: The Songs of the Claypeople for Impact Theatre and The Uranium Miners Radio Orchestra Play Scene's From Salome's Revenge for Royal Opera House's Garden Venture. In 1991 The National Theatre Studio commissioned Baby Doll, a chamber opera for 3 voices, adapted from a Tennessee Williams' screen play and in 1996 the composer wrote and recorded Ophelia/Ophelia.
In the 1990s a renewed interest in concert music produced 14 Poem and Toccatas for violin and piano, (performed at the Huddersfield Festival by Andrew Ball and Elizabeth Perry) and Ember: String Quartet for The Balanescu Quartet. Eight Movements for Piano Trio, Eleven Word Title, Sprung and Suspended and End Synch Sound (with a film) were commissioned by various chamber ensembles. In 1997 the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra commissioned Horn Horn a concerto for 2 alto saxophones and orchestra. Most recently New York pianist Jed Distler and UK based Tania Chen have performed selections from Fruits and Shavings 23 pieces for solo piano. The year 2000 saw the CD release of Time At Rest Devouring It's Secret, a studio work of 35 minutes duration which once again connects the musical techniques of the minimalist project to an image from popular culture.
Over the last two decades Poppy has worked in the studio with bands such as The The, Erasure, Nitzer Ebb as well as making theatre scores for Julia Bardsley's productions of Macbeth and Family Reunion and Kenneth Branagh's perfomance of Coriolanious. The list of choreographies provoked to make dances to Poppy's music include Ian Spink, Sally Owen, Michael Clark, Gaby Agis, Sue Davies, Linda Gaudreau, Julia Bardsley, Michael Popper, David Massingham and most recently New Yorker Heidi Latsky. He has also made music for TV and film - notably with Portugese director and producer Vitor Gonçalves - and between 1995-97 he was head of music at the National Film and TV School in the UK.