James Saunders

James will talk about his recent work that focuses on group behaviours and distributed decision-making, and we’ll try out some pieces in the session.


James Saunders is a composer who makes open form compositions that explore group behaviours and decision making. His music has been played at numerous international festivals, including Bludenz Tage fur Zeitgenossiche Musik, Brighton Festival, BMIC Cutting Edge, Darmstadt, Donaueschingen, Gothenburg Arts Sounds, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Inventionen Berlin, The Kitchen, Music We’d Like to Hear, Ostrava New Music Days, Rational Rec, Roaring Hooves, Ultima, and Wittener Tage fur Neue Kammermusik. It has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and Resonance FM (UK), WDR3, BR Klassik and SWR2 (Germany), and national radio in Czech Republic, Norway, Italy, New Zealand, and Sweden. In 2003 and 2007 he held residencies at the Experimental Studio fur Akustiche Kunst in Freiburg. James has worked with Apartment House, Arditti Quartet, asamisimasa, Sebastian Berweck, ensemble chronophonie, duo Contour, Rhodri Davies, EXAUDI,  Nicolas Hodges, London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Modern, Neue Vocalsolisten, plus minus ensemble, Psappha, ensemble recherche, SUONO MOBILE, SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, and 175 East. As a performer he plays in the duo Parkinson Saunders with composer Tim Parkinson, Apartment House, and has also performed with Alvin Lucier, Christian Wolff and Phill Niblock.

James studied at the University of Huddersfield and latterly with Anthony Gilbert at the Royal Northern College of Music. He runs the Open Scores Lab and the ensemble Material at Bath Spa University. James was a participant in the London Sinfonietta’s Blue Touch Paper scheme (2006-9). He held an AHRC Research Leave Award in 2005-6, and a Fellowship in 2010-11. His edited book The Ashgate Research Companion to Experimental Music was published in 2009, and Word Events: Perspectives on Verbal Notation (with John Lely) was published by Continuum in 2012. He is currently working on new pieces for BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (Tectonics 2017) and Ictus Ensemble (Donaueschingen 2017).

For more information, please see James’s website.

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