John Harries is a producer, performer (drum kit and live electronics) and composer whose music ranges from broad-brush improvised noise to minutely detailed electronic pop. In 2013, he formed Rutger Hauser, currently his principle creative outlet - a many-headed noise-improv group incorporating playback media (turntables, cassettes, tape), DIY electronics and cello alongside conventional rock instrumentation. The band have released on London independent labels Adaadat and The Lumen Lake, and have performed live at venues including Cafe Oto and the Purcell Room (Southbank Centre).
John also performs as one half of Sea Songs, an improvising electroacoustic duo with violinist Chloe Owen, and as Lake Dysmal, a solo project focusing on trashy, damaged beat-based productions and interactive electronic gallery-based installations. Other forthcoming projects include TRIFFIDSUITE, an ever-expanding interdisciplinary project responding to John Wyndham’s classic sci-fi novel ‘The Day of the Triffids’; and the soundtrack to an independent horror movie, The District Nurse, scheduled for release in 2016/17
Previously, as a member of experimental electronic pop duo Sleeps in Oysters he 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, John is the founder and director 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 2016 the label had released three records by upcoming local artists, with at least further three scheduled for the coming year.
John is also a freelance graphic artist and designer and, as part of the core team behind NX Records, designed the logo, posters, album sleeves and other materials that have defined the label’s visual identity to date, as well as producing several tracks on the introductory label mixtape and first compilation album. He has also completed artwork and design for The New Radiophonic Workshop, Oxford Contemporary Music and Philip Selway (of Radiohead), amongst others.
On the BMus in Popular Music, John is course co-ordinator for Folk & Urban Music, Performance Ensemble, Popular Music Production and Outsider Sound, and also teaches on Songwriting, Performance: New Contexts and Practical Popular Music Studies. He supervises final year work on Creative Performance and Creative Research Project.
At Masters level, John teaches on Popular Music Composition, and supervises final projects for MMus Creative Project and Popular Music Project. He is also an instrumental tutor in drum kit and performance technology.
Presentations and exhibitions
Rutger Hauser improvised performance, Cafe Oto, London 2015
Rutger Hauser improvised performance, Double Dot Bash Festival, Reading 2015
(As curator/promoter/performer) The Lumen Lake, various performances through 2014/15
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
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
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 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 been broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s ‘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 have also appeared live on shows for BBC Radio Oxford, BBC Radio Berkshire and Channel 4 Radio with Tom Ravenscroft.
Rutger Hauser: Rutger Hauser (album, Adaadat, Nov 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 Tape Split (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)
Production and remixes
'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
'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 member of the Goldsmiths Fringe Music Group, a research cluster investigating crossover and experimental practices at the fringes of popular music, the aesthetic and political/conceptual extremes of the form.