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James Hazel is a composer (sometimes artist) and sound researcher working on the unceded Gadigal Lands of the Eora Nation. As someone who was born in Western Sydney, and lived in social-housing James’s socio-sonic practice draws upon lived and authentic working-class experiences, utterences, vocalities, and imaginaries to explore what it means to listen, love, live, labour and ‘make do’ in a world that is increasingly characterised by economic instability, automation, and social inequality - via a politics of labour, trauma and care. 

Revelling in (in)sincerity, humour, polemic, (in)consistency, failure, mediocrity, and contradiction, James’ work expresses itself through a ‘houso-poetics’ - exploring pre(care)ious modes of collaboration - via a range of lo-fi ‘scored’ and bricolage’d interventions and agitations, via  documentary, community organising, ethnography, workshopping, essaying, pedagogy, critical fabulation, fieldwork, conversation, writing, song, performance - among works for radio, and instrumental/electronic music. 

As the co-founder of Danger/Dancer, ADSR ZINE,  (under)scoring the commons, and poor opera(tions), Hazel has collaborated with and/or comissioned many artists. In particular, James’ recent focus has aimed to contribute to spaces for the innovative practices of intersectional working-class artists to be heard.

Additionally, Hazel conducts  sound and performance oriented workshop programs and community organizing initiatives, working closely with CLASS ACTIONS COLLECTIVE - co-founded with Gadigal/Bidgigal/Yuin Elder Aunty Rhonda Dixon Grovenor, Kaz Therese - and other community groups in NSW. 

James’s compositions have been performed at various international festivals and venues, including HighSCORE in Pavia, Italy, Gaudeamus/Screendive in the Netherlands, Arts Incubator in Seoul, Impulse New Music Festival, and Charlotte New Music in North Carolina. James’ music has been played by leading ensembles such as Ensemble Offspring in Sydney, Gondwana Choirs; Ensemble Mise-en in New York, and individuals such as Grammy-nominated violist Diana Wade, and saxophonist Sam Gill. Hazel has also composed music for renowned dance practitioners such as Dancemakers Collective, International Video Dance Festival of Burgundy, Sydney Dance Company, Kristina Chan, Omer Backley-Astrachan, James O’ Hara, and Rhiannon Newton.

More generally, Hazel's work has been exhibited, presented, and/or performed: at various art spaces and institutions, nationally and internationally  including the PACT Centre; Speak Percussion; Liquid Architcture; Museum of Contemporary Art; Brand X; Metro Arts; Firstdraft; Performance Space/Carriageworks; March Dance;  Collingwood Yards Arts; ABC Radio National; Pinnacles Gallery; CEMENTA; Crawl Space Radio/Bus Projects; Maitland Regional Art Gallery; VIVID; Global Week in Seoul;  Bundanon Trust; Metroarts; Sydney Conservatorium of Music; The Ethics Centre; The Lockup Gallery; Sydney Fringe Festival; National Young Writers Festival; Crawl Space; DLUX Media Arts; Gaudeamus/Screendive; Sydenham International; World Acoustic Ecology Forum; The University of Helsinki; Gosford Regional Gallery; Australian Music Centre; Limelight Magazine; Backstage Music; and Critical Path.

James’ writing and research has been published with: Acoustic Ecology Review; ABC Radio National; Limelight Magazine; Firstdraft Gallery; Carriageworks Journal; ADSR ZINE: Australian Humanities Review; Resonate Journal; DISCLAIMER/LIQUID ARCHITECTURE; Resonate Journal;  and Act: Zeitschrift für Musik & Performance (peer-reviewed). 

In recognition of solid work in the experimental sound community, Hazel was awarded the APRA-AMCOS Art-Music Award (Experimental Category) in 2022, together with Elia Bosshard, for their work with ADSR ZINE - and in 2021, was selected as an ABC Top 5 Researcher (Arts), a program supported by the University of Melbourne and the Australian Council for the Arts. In 2023, James was one of four composers from throughout Australia selected as a finalist in APRA-AMCOS Professional Development Awards (Classical/Experimental). 
 
Currently, James is an artist-in-resident with ADSR ZINE at the City of Sydney Creative Studios/BRAND X. Additionally, James is developing work with Liquid Architecture as a guest editor for the DISCLAIMER Journal, a new audio work for ABC Radio National, and new music for Sydney Dance Company and Critical Path - as well as a new work in collaboration with CLASS ACTIONS for CEMENTA FESTIVAL (2024).


contact: precarioustexts@gmail.com




©MMXXII James Hazel
All scores, texts, works available via request