Composers Edition are pleased to announce that James Gardner, who has gained a reputation for his explorations of crossroads between contemporary and electronic music, has become a member of our international family. CE will be initially publishing four of his compositions: blessed unrest for violin, cello and piano; Displacement Activities for speaking pianist and electronics; Grauschlieren for clarinet in A and string quartet; and Throat Clearing for three clarinets. You can view the works below or on this link.
“I’m really delighted to be joining Composers’ Edition, which embraces a refreshingly broad range of compositional approaches. CE is a bold and future-facing initiative and I look forward to working with Dan and his team not only to publish my back catalogue and the new pieces on which I’m currently working, but also to become better acquainted with the work of my stablemates,” says James who was born in Liverpool, England, in 1962. During the 1980s, he played keyboards for his group The Umbrella and thereafter for a variety of well-known artists, both live and in the studio, as well as writing and arranging music in many groups, including Pete Shelley’s band and Howard Devoto’s band Luxuria. In 1990 he co-founded the band and remix team Apollo 440, reworking tracks by artists such as U2 and Scritti Politti.
Following encouragement from Michael Finnissy, James left Apollo 440 in 1993 in order to concentrate on composition. He moved to New Zealand in 1994, and in 1996 he set up the contemporary music ensemble 175 East, which he directed until 2010.
His music has been performed by such notable individuals and ensembles as Harry Sparnaay, Richard Haynes, Joanna MacGregor, Mark Menzies, Dzovig Markarian, Andrew Uren, Gretchen LaRoche, Madeleine Pierard, Andrew Sparling, Ingrid Culliford, Eugene Ughetti, Claire Edwardes, Vanessa Tomlinson, Duo Contour, NZTrio, Trio Terroir, Stroma, 175 East, The Tudor Consort, Lontano and Exposé.
In addition to his compositional work, James is an active broadcaster on music, having written, compiled and presented well-received series on electronic music, Frank Zappa, Morton Feldman, Iannis Xenakis, John Cage, the Moog synthesizer, and the James Bond soundtracks of John Barry – all for Radio New Zealand Concert. As a teacher, Gardner has lectured on music at the University of Auckland, Unitec Institute of Technology and the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, where he is currently an Adjunct Senior Fellow. James is also an irregular performer in the Vitamin-S evenings of improvised music in Auckland.