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James Harley: Biography

James Harley
1959 -
Region: Ontario

James Harley

James Harley is a Canadian composer presently based in Ontario, where he teaches Digital Music at the University of Guelph. He obtained his doctorate in composition at McGill University in 1994, after spending six years composing and studying music in Europe (London, Paris, Warsaw). His music has been awarded prizes in Canada (CBC, New Music Concerts, SOCAN), USA (McKnight), UK (Holland, Huddersfield), France (Bourges, MC2), Poland (Lutoslawski, Serocki), Japan (Irino), and has been performed and broadcast around the world. Some of Harley's compositions are available on disc (Artifact, ATMA, Kappa, McGill, Musicworks, PeP, Soundprints) and his scores are primarily available through the Canadian Music Centre. He has been commissioned by, among others, Codes d'Accès, Continuum, ECM, Hammerhead Consort, Kappa, Kore, Kovalis Duo, Oshawa-Durham Symphony, Open Ears Festival, Polish Society for New Music, SMCQ, Trio Phoenix, Vancouver Bach Choir. He composes music for acoustic forces as well as electroacoustic media, with a particular interest in multi-channel audio. According to Marc Couroux, Harley's music "resides at the intersection of a network of influences rather than proliferating from a central ideology... Harley accepts that the complexity of nature requires a more artistically imaginative interpretation than the simple extension of an Arcadian, placid contemplation... Harley consequently oriented himself towards the theory of chaos, which derives its principles from a much more global study of natural mechanisms than was previously allowed due to hyperspecialization... James Harley defends on the highest level the great Canadian creative tradition, rooted in the natural world, a metaphor for the irreducible complexity of Canada and, by extension, of universal humanity."

Centrestreams

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