John Harries is a drummer, electronic musician and producer, with specific interests in collective improvisation, systems/process-based approaches to electronic music performance, intersections of pop and experimental musics, noise, randomness, disorder... In 2013, he formed Rutger Hauser, currently his principal creative outlet - a many-headed alt-rock/improv/no wave group incorporating playback media (turntables, cassettes, tape), DIY electronics and cello alongside guitar, bass and drums. The band have released on London independent labels Adaadat and The Lumen Lake, Faroese label Tutl; and have performed live at venues including Cafe Oto and the Purcell Room (Southbank Centre) and appeared internationally at events including the Faroese Winter Jazz (Vetrarjazz) Festival.
John also performs as one half of Sea Songs, an improvising electroacoustic duo with violinist Chloe Owen, and on his own (sometimes as Lake Dysmal). Solo work explores minimal, process-driven electronics, as with the self-explanatory 'Internal Mic Feedback Loop', performed at venues across Sweden and Norway in 2016. Other recent projects have included soundtracks to independent films - Verkir (2019), a documentary about midwifery on the Faroe Islands; and UK alt horror movie The District Nurse (2018).
Previously, as a member of experimental electronic pop duo Sleeps In Oysters, John contributed to an extensive commercial discography including bespoke, handcrafted and multimedia releases with legendary London independent Seed Records and other independent labels internationally.
Alongside his own creative practice, he is the founder of The Lumen Lake, a musicians' co-operative, record label and regular live night at Lewisham Arthouse (and occasionally Rye Wax) celebrating experimental electronic and improvised music from South-East London. At the time of writing in 2019, the label had released eleven records by upcoming local artists and hosted many more live events.
On the degree, John is module co-ordinator for Popular Music Production and Outsider Sound & Fringe Aesthetics, and also teaches on Folk and Urban Musics, Practical Popular Music Studies and Performance: New Contexts. He supervises final year major projects for Creative Performance and Creative Research Project. He is also Admissions Tutor for BMus Popular Music.
At level, John is pathway leader for MMus Creative Practice, co-ordinates Popular Music Composition and Creative Project, teaches on Advanced Strategies in Creative Music Production and supervises final projects for Creative Project and Popular Music Project.
John is currently co-supervisor for Maria Perevedentseva's PhD project - 'Something for Your Mind, Your Body, and Your Soul: Timbre in Underground Electronic Dance Music' He is also an instrumental tutor in drum kit and performance technology.
- Rutger Hauser: The Swim (album, Adaadat/Tutl, 2019)
- John Harries & Grey Sea Over A Cold Sky Ensemble: Grey Sea Over A Cold Sky etc. Split cassette with Wendra Hill For (The Lumen Lake, 2019)
- Rutger Hauser / DunningWebsterUnderwood: Viol of Acetate split cassette (The Lumen Lake, 2016)
- Rutger Hauser: 'One in the eye for Crab Mask Joe' on Trade and Distribution Almanac Volume V (Adaadat, 2016)
- Rutger Hauser: Rutger Hauser (album, Adaadat, November 2015)
- Rutger Hauser / Eftus Spectun: 10" split single (The Lumen Lake/Seed Records, October 2015)
- Sleeps in Oysters: ‘Don’t drum for other girls’ special edition single (Seed Records, April 2012)
- Sleeps in Oysters: Lo! (album, Seed Records, April 2011)
- Sleeps in Oysters: ‘The Brambles in Starlight’ special edition single (Seed Records, December 2010 )
- Made of Oak/Sleeps in Oysters: Wolf002 split cassette (Wolf Interval, November 2010)
- Arthur Mittens: ‘Ordinary spell to cure how I’m feeling’ on Seed X - The 10th Birthday Compilation (Seed Records, Spring 2010)
- Sleeps in Oysters: We kept the memories locked away in matchboxes like the beetles of our childhood, or How to appreciate someone who’s always around (album, Seed Records, November 2008)
- Sleeps in Oysters: ‘New pressed pennies’ on Seed Volume 2 (Seed Records, June 2008)
- Sleeps in Oysters: ‘Sea Flowers Blossom’ on Summer gate. Sun made of gave. (Luvsound Recordings, September 2006)
Performances, presentations and exhibitions
Rutger Hauser The Swim album launch, SET Dalston, London, 2019
'Grey Sea over a Cold Sky' performance for large improvising ensemble, Lewisham Arthouse, London, 2018
Rutger Hauser multiple performances at Vetrarjazz, Faroe Islands, 2018
Rutger Hauser improvised performance, Silver Rd, London, 2017
Sea Songs residency and performance at SVS Creative Lab, 4DSound, Budapest, 2016
'Internal Mic Feedback Loop' various performances, Sweden and Norway, 2016
Rutger Hauser improvised performance, Cafe Oto, London 2015
Rutger Hauser improvised performance, Double Dot Bash Festival, Reading 2015
The Lumen Lake (As curator/promoter/performer), various performances 2014-present
Rutger Hauser improvised performances, various venues through 2014
Infection from TRIFFIDSUITE (short film screening) - Short film produced in collaboration with Jamie Coe presented at the Virginville Film Festival, Pennsylvania, USA, June 2013
Rutger Hauser at PureGold - Improvised performance in the Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, London 2013
THE DROP - Lake Dysmal installation and solo live performance at ‘Kymmata’, O3 Gallery, Oxford 2013
Six Bar Gate - Lake Dysmal installation at ‘Musical Technologies Old and New’, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford 2013
Sleeps in Oysters perform Lo!:
• Double Dot Bash Festival, Reading, July 2011
• O3 Gallery, Oxford, April 2011
• Modern Art Oxford, November 2010
• Optica Festival, Gijon - Spain, October 2010
John Oyster - Lo! Remixed, hour long exclusive remix of Lo! produced for Clash magazine, March 2011
Sleeps in Oysters - DJ sets, ‘David Dixon: Entangled Practice’, Art Jericho Gallery, Oxford, September 2010
Familial - Release of Sleeps in Oysters commissioned artwork for the new album by Philip Selway (Radiohead) with Bella Union (UK) and Nonesuch (US), August 2010
Sleeps in Oysters perform We kept the memories...:
• Incubate Festival, Tilburg - The Netherlands, September 2009
• Poortgebouw, Rotterdam - The Netherlands, September 2009
• South by South Street Festival, Reading, July 2009
• Support for Max Tundra, South Hill Park Recital Hall, Bracknell, February 2009
• Sonic Art Oxford Festival, Oxford, February 2009
• Support for Efterklang, South Hill Park Recital Hall, Bracknell, July 2008
• Support for Cibelle, Carling Academy, Oxford, April 2008
• Luminox Festival, Oxford, March 2007
Lustrous Chemistry vs. Sleeps in Oysters - The Room of Strange Folk, installation and performance, Big Day Out Festival, Bracknell, July 2008
Sleeps in Oysters - I’m Queen Elizabeth I, How do you do?, compositions from self-released recorded edition presented as part of ‘Toyes, Dreames & Fancies: Elizabethan music realised anew’, St Paul’s Hall, Huddersfield, November 2005
Rutger Hauser have been played on BBC Radio 3's 'Late Junction' and appeared live on Graham Dunning's 'Fractal Meat on a Spongy Bone' show on NTS, and maintained a solo show on Wired Radio throughout 2014.
Material from John’s albums with Sleeps in Oysters has also been broadcast on ‘Late Junction’, BBC6 Music’s ‘Freakzone’ with Stuart Maconie, and Resonance FM, and included in podcasts and compilations by Clash and Wire magazines. Sleeps in Oysters also appeared live on shows for BBC Radio Oxford, BBC Radio Berkshire and Channel 4 Radio with Tom Ravenscroft.
Production and remixes
- 'Partner//Emotive Pt 8' by Naomi Jackson (remix), SEEM London mixtape for NX Records 2018
- One In Two In Four EP by Maya Yianni (production, mixing), self-released by the artist 2017
- 'OPTA' by Tweed and Hyenas (production) on Crossing Lines III, NX Records, released autumn/winter 2015
- 'Foolish' by Little Liar (mix and additional production) on Crossing Lines II, NX Records released autumn/winter 2014
- 'Britney' by Matagot (production) on Crossing Lines II, NX Records, released autumn/winter 2014
- 'Lidless' by Matagot (production) self-released by the band, July 2014
- 'Cherry' by Shanaz Dorsett (production) on NX Records mixtape, June 2014
- 'My Ocean' by Jamie Coe (production) on Crossing Lines, NX Records, released autumn/winter 2013
- 'Best Behaviour' by James Marples (production) on Crossing Lines, NX Records, released autumn/winter 2013
- 'Real Magic' by Jamie Coe (production) on NX Records mixtape, April 2013
- 'When We Are Kids' by T-Toe (remix), Bit-Phalanx, June 2012
- 'Hot Doctor' by The Dagger Brothers (remix), Seed, March 2012
- 'All Eyes On You' by Philip Selway (remix), Bella Union/Nonesuch, August 2010
'Africa on the Moon: The compexities of an Afrofuturist reading of dub', Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture 7(2), Nov 2015
'Reggae pioneer Lee "Scratch" Perry's lessons in good music as good magic', The Conversation, July 2016
'Imperfect soundtracks from 2016 for people who wish for a different world, The Conversation, December 2016
'The Same Song For A Long Time' performance/lecture with Lisa Busby at Social Acoustics Seminar 1, University of Bergen, April 2019
'Digital Body Horror: FKA Twigs, Arca and the physical revised' at Dark Sound Symposium, Falmouth University, October 2015
‘David Bowie: A case study of the established artist as fan’ at Popular Music Fandom, Chester University, June 2010
John is a founder member of the Fringe and Underground Music Group, established in 2016 with colleagues Stephen Graham and Lisa Busby. Based in the Music Department at Goldsmiths, the group runs themed events in relaxed and inclusive settings that bring together creative practice in and academic research on fringe and underground music. Past events have featured artists and speakers including Lisa Busby and Gabriel Bohm Calles, Marlo De Lara (Marlo Eggplant), DunningWebsterUnderwood, Sharon Gal, Great Dad, Charles Hayward, Vicky Langan, Olan Monk, Áine O’DwyerRhosyn, Jacob Samuel and Sly and The Family Drone.