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James Hullick

Australian sound artist James Hullick's arts practice is wide ranging. His arts career began in the form of solo pianist, vocalist and composer. He was taught by Felix Werder (Australia/Germany), James Tenney (USA) Warren Burt (Australia/USA) and briefly by Liza Lim (Australia). As a young man he attended the Stockhausen Summer Classes and spent a short time at Luciano Berio’s Tempo Reale Studio in Florence. After spending his late teens and early 20s focusing on the study of composition and music making, he then branched out into electronic sound making in his mid to late 20s before adding sound sculpture, installation art and music making machinery to his creative activities in his early 30s, when his professional composing and sonic arts career ultimatley arose. Hullick’s work is characterised by an unusual ability to use sound to engage in social issues, and an unusual versatility of aesthetic, which ranges from the expressionism of neo-Gothicism to more austere classically principled process-based perceptual works. His sonic works have been performed, exhibited and presented in Asia, North America and Europe for a variety of ensembles, electronic formats and installation formats. A number of James’ projects have been at the fore-front of sonic art; real time scores (scores that update in real time via a computer), sk-eye like mind (2007), The NIS (2009); sound making machines The Gotholin (2007), Swarmlings (2010); community arts projects The Click Clack Project (2010), to name just a few of the sonic terrains that James continues to embrace.

James has been teaching sonic art to people with an intellectual disability since the beginning of 2005. In 2007 he founded JOLT Sonic Arts Inc, an organisation dedicated to presenting new cutting edge works, which he is now creative producer and artistic director. In 2009 JOLT and the Footscray Community Arts Centre co-presented THE NIS – a large multimedia interabilties sonic art event. This project marked a maturation in Hullick’s capacity to deliver large scale events at high artistic and management levels. It also led to the formation of The Click Clack Project, a JOLT auspiced entity that runs workshops and presents events that combine professional sonic art agendas with the development of the communities of youth and intellectual disability.

In 2002 James formed the BOLT Ensemble, a chamber orchestra dedicated to the artistic vision of James Hullick. Through his work with musicians with an intellectual disability he formed the Amplified Elephants Ensemble (2006) and the Noise Scavengers with teenage sound artists from Northern Geelong (2009). In 2006-7 James performed with the Swiss Australian Collectables, later forming the Buggatronic noise/machine duo in 2009 with Swiss percussionist and sound artist Daniel Buess (2009 -).

James has completed a PhD research into the phenomenon of “Recursion” through the School of Art at RMIT University.

James’ gallery based sonic arts practice is represented by MARS Gallery.

Period of activity 
from 2004