James Bulley


James Bulley (b.1984) is a composer, curator and researcher whose work explores spatial sound, the archive and the natural world. 

Selected sound works include: Dawns, a composition for five players, created in collaboration with the artist group non zero one and the National Trust (premiered at dawn, 16 May 2020); the world premiere performance of Daphne Oram’s Still Point with Shiva Feshareki and the London Contemporary Orchestra (BBC Prom 13, July 2018); Tactus, a touch–sound landscape for the blind and visually impaired (Kaunas Biennial 2015), Living Symphonies (2019), an ecologically composed forest–based sound installation by Jones/Bulley, Variable 4 (2014), an outdoor spatial composition driven by real-time atmospheric conditions, and Turn of the Screw, a virtual landscape work created with Opera North and Lusion studio (2020). Bulley has an ongoing collaboration with the art collective Marshmallow Laser Feast, including two acclaimed spatial installation works, Distortions in Spacetime and Nest. In 2017 Bulley was asked by Historic Royal Palaces and design studio Chomko and Rosier to compose the soundscape of Hampton Court Palace, a project whose first stages are already open to the public.

Sound work for film includes: the score and sound design for Steven Eastwood’s 2017 end-of-life documentary Island; Ayouni by director Yasmin Fedda (2020), a documentary that explores two high-profile figures of the Syrian revolution; Ness directed by Adam Scovell with Robert Macfarlane and Stanley Donwood (2019), and E-LIFE directed by Edward Scott-Clarke, an exploration of the devastating global impact of electronic waste. Sound work for theatre includes; the score and spatial design for non zero one’s you’ll see me sailing in antarctica (National Theatre 2012); mountaineering at the Roundhouse (2015), and this is where we got to when we came in (Bush Theatre 2011). Bulley maintains a longterm collaboration with the performance maker David Shearing, which has included: The Weather Machine (2015), a scenographic installation composed by atmospheric conditions, and most recently Black Rock (2017), a landscape exploration of climbing in Snowdonia.

Recent curatorial projects include: Longplayer Day (2017, 2019), a 12-hour event on the Summer Solstice exploring ecological and long-durational thinking (curated with Helen Frosi); SHO-ZYG (curated with Kathrine Sandys, 2012), which included exhibition rooms exploring the work of composers Daphne Oram and Hugh Davies, and the recent digitisation and open-access publication of Contact: A Journal for Contemporary Music 1971–1990.

Composer Website