Masters of Music student
This young performer and composer has found a passion in the field of research.
During his studies at UWA, the young performer and composer has found a passion in the field of research.
“It’s a great way to travel, meet people and further your own craft and knowledge. I really enjoy the broad scope that research involves. It’s great to get other people interested in your ideas and have other people influence you with what they know,” he says.
As winner of the prestigious 2016 Schenberg Music Fellowship in Composition, James will travel to Ireland in May to meet with algorithmic music specialist Dr Kerry Hagan from the University of Limerick, and work in a 32-channel surround sound speaker system. He’ll then visit the Institute for Research and Coordination Acoustics/Music (IRCAM) in Paris, which houses state-of-the-art electronic music technology and performing spaces, and end his global tour in Germany, where he’ll attend the Darmstadt International Summer Course for New Music.
“It’s been pretty unexpected that I would be doing what I’m doing now, as I have always been a performance student, starting with viola and then moving on to guitar,” James says.
“Regardless, it’s exciting to think how opportunities change and how your field of expertise can grow as a musician.”
“If you want to do something, find someone who is where you want to be and ask their advice for creating your own path,” he says.
“Often if you reach out to these people, they’ll want to help you too. It sounds really cliché, but I think it has an element of truth to it – intelligent people love to share and teach.”
James says the support from UWA has helped grow his passion.
“It’s great to feel what you are doing is important and that other people care. As a music student it can sometimes be hard to explain what you are doing to those who aren’t trained as musicians. Nonetheless, people have asked me questions about my field, where it can take me and have taken time to become involved,” he says.
The UWA cohort of composition students meant there has always been a place for James and other students to share ideas and new works, and foster their development as performing artists.
“I have a fantastic tutor, Dr Christopher Tonkin, who continually shows me there is an exciting future in what I’m doing. He has also achieved things I’m striving for and has participated in programs I hope to partake in too, so he is a big inspiration to me.”
James is most proud of being accepted into the IRCAM course this year, no easy feat.
“It’s a bit of validation that I'm heading down the right path with what I’m doing and I’m excited to start meeting people from around the world who are doing similar things.”
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