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James Hazel is a multidisciplinary sound-artist, composer, educator, and researcher working on the unceded Gadigal Lands of the Eora Nation.

As someone who was born in Western Sydney, and lived in social-housing for 15 years, James’s sonic praxis seeks to (en)sound authentic working and under-class experiences across (sub)urbanities, geographies and ecologies.  By drawing on Brandon Labelle's concept of "poor acoustics," Hazel’s work investigates what it means to listen, love, live, and labour in a world that is increasingly characterised by economic instability, automation, and social inequality - via a range of modalities including utterance, community organising, text, conversation, extended scoring practices - among works for radio, and instrumental/electronic music. 

As the co-founder of Danger/Dancer, ADSR ZINE, and (under)scoring the commons, Hazel has commissioned and collaborated with many artists - in particular aiming to foster spaces for the innovative practices of intersectional working-class artists to be heard. Additionally, Hazel conducts  sonic-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. As an educator, Hazel's diverse work history, which includes "working" for the dole, various call centers, and skill-hired labor, and more recently as a research assistant, and casual academic brings a unique pedagogical perspective for students.

James’s compositions have been performed various international festivals and venues, including HighSCORE in Pavia, Italy, Gaudeamus/Screendive in the Netherlands, Arts Incubator in Seoul, and Charlotte New Music in North Carolina. James’ music has been played by leading ensembles such as Ensemble Offspring in Sydney, Ensemble Mise-en in New York, Grammy-nominated violist Diana Wade, Gondwana Choirs, 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, and Rhiannon Newton.

Hazel's sound-based work has been exhibited, presented, and/or developed at various art spaces and institutions, including the PACT Centre, Liquid Architcture, Museum of Contemporary Art, Brand X, Metro Arts, Firstdraft, Performance Space/Carriageworks, March Dance, Lockup Gallery, ABC Radio National, Pinnacles Gallery, Crawl Space Radio/Bus Projects, Maitland Regional Art Gallery, Global Week in Seoul, and Bundanon Trust.

In recognition of outstanding 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.

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.