James Bulley is an artist, curator and researcher whose practice explores locative sound, spatialisation and site-specific installation. He has exhibited and performed at the Royal Albert Hall, the Barbican, the Natural History Museum, Mykolas Žilinskas Gallery and La Gaîté Lyrique. His work has been featured by the BBC, ITV, the Quietus, Nature and the Guardian. In recent years Bulley has undertaken a series of research projects on alternative histories of early British electronic music, based in Goldsmiths, where he is researching the sound and paper collections of composers including Daphne Oram, Lily Greenham and Hugh Davies.
2008–2009 MMus Studio Composition, Goldsmiths, University of London
2010–2018 PhD Sonic Art, Goldsmiths, University of London
2019 Post-Doctorate in Practice Research, Research England / PRAG-UK
Artworks, Compositions and Performances
Selected works include the world premiere performance of Daphne Oram’s Still Point with Shiva Feshareki and the London Contemporary Orchestra at the BBC Proms (BBC Prom 13, 2018); Tactus (2015), a touch–sound landscape installation (exhibited at Kaunas Biennial, commissioned by Crafts Council UK), and Living Symphonies (2014), a forest–located sound installation by Jones/Bulley (commissioned by Sound and Music and Forestry Commission England). As part of a long term partnership with the systems artist Daniel Jones, Bulley was nominated in 2012 for British Composer of the Year for the real-time multi-channel radio re-composition Radio Reconstructions. In 2018/19 Bulley collaborated with the multimedia design studio Marshmallow Laser Feast on two acclaimed public installation projects, Distortions in Spacetime and Nest (with musician Erland Cooper). In 2017 Bulley was commissioned by Historic Royal Palaces and design agency Chomko and Rosier to redesign the soundscape of Hampton Court Palace, a project whose first stages are already open to the public, and which continues into the present day.
Composition for film includes the sound score and sound design for Steven Eastwood’s 2017 documentary Island (official selection for the 61st BFI London Film Festival) and the score and sound design for Ayouni by director Yasmin Fedda (2019). Theatre works include the score for Non Zero One’s you’ll see me sailing in antarctica at the National Theatre (2012), and this is where we got to when we came in at the Bush Theatre (2011), winner of the 2011 Off West End Award for best entertainment. Bulley maintains a longterm collaboration with scenographic artist David Shearing which has included and it all comes down to this (2012), an immersive landscape installation, awarded gold for Installation Design at the World Stage Design awards 2012, and The Weather Machine (2015), a scenographic installation driven by atmospheric conditions, awarded silver at the World Stage Design exhibition 2017.
Curatorial projects have included Longplayer Day 2017, a 12-hour exploration of time and duration curated with Helen Frosi and Philip Serfaty, SHO-ZYG (2012), curated with Kathrine Sandys, and A Concert of Sound Arts at the Queen Elizabeth Hall (2013). Forthcoming projects include Longplayer Day 2019, which will take place on 20 June 2019.
In 2014 Bulley co-directed the Sound Art Curating conference at Goldsmiths, University of London, and in 2019 co-edited a special issue of the Leonardo Electronic Almanac on sound art curation. Bulley is a trustee of Longplayer, a thousand-year long musical composition by Jem Finer, and alongside Dr Ozden Sahin, is currently undertaking two post-doctorate reports for PRAG-UK and Research England on the subject of Practice Research in UK HEIs (due to be published in June 2019).
Sound installation; Locative sound; Spatialisation; Site-specific art; Systems composition; Generative music; Sound archives; Radio art; Landscape; Ecology; Film sound; Histories of electronic music; Sound art curation; Practice research.