Jim Aitchison's music is published by Composers Edition
Exhibited Visual Work
2021 - Fermata music and visual arts festival 2021, Kensington and Chelsea Art Week
2019 - Tremenheere Gallery
2017 - New Art Centre, Roche Court
2017 - Kestle Barton Gallery
2015 - Porthmeor Studios, St Ives
2015 - CAST, Helston
Awards and Fellowships
2015 – 2015 Composer-Researcher for the ‘Online Orchestra’ project at Falmouth University funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
2011 – 2014 Honorary Research Fellowship: at the Royal Academy of Music.
2007 – 2008 Henry Moore Fellowship: at the Royal Academy of Music.
Selected Activity 2017
May 30th: Fanfare for Caro, Lecture for the Salisbury Festival at the New Art Centre, Roche Court Sculpture Park.
May 21st: (Ensembles) Together and Apart. Performance of new work in response to Richard Serra’s verb list, at Kestle Barton Gallery, commissioned and performed by new music ensemble Kevos, with support from Arts Council England.
May 13th: premiere of Sea of Music, responding to Sir Anthony Caro’s ‘Sea Music’ sculpture in Poole Harbour in Dorset, commissioned by The New Art Centre, Roche Court Sculpture Park, Salisbury, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
Selected Activity 2016 – 2017
January 22nd, 2017: 5 Rorschach Inventions (after an installation by Peter Randall-Page), commissioned by NMSW, performed at the Royal West of England Academy.
November 6th, 2016: 5 Rorschach Inventions (after an installation by Peter Randall-Page), commissioned by NMSW and premiered at Dartington Hall, supported by the PRS for Music Foundation, with Lionel Handy (cello), Andy Keenan (clarinet & saxophones) and Harriet Riley (marimba).
April 16th, 2016: Shadows of Light II (after Mark Rothko), performed by the NewEar Ensemble, in Kansas City, USA.
Selected Activity 2014 – 2015
March 27th and 28th, 2015: Re-Tracing. Presenting work previously performed at Tate Modern and the Henry Moore Institute and a new piece after Mark Rothko’s journey to St Ives, with violinist Philippa Mo and Sam Thorne (Artistic Director at Tate St Ives). At CAST Helston and Porthmeor Studios St Ives.
September 2014 – July 2015: composer for the ‘Online Orchestra’ AHRC research project, Falmouth University.
Selected Activity 2013 – 2014
April 17th 2014: Changing Contexts for Composition in the C21st – presentation to the Annual Conference of the Incorporated Society of Musicians at the Birmingham Conservatoire.
August 16th 2013 to February 22nd 2014: Portraits for a Study after Gerhard Richter. Funded by Arts Council England (Grants for the Arts) and the PRS for Music Foundation, supported by Yamaha UK, Falmouth University, Goldsmiths University and the Royal Academy of Music.
Selected Activity 2010 – 2013
March 23rd 2010: Black Something after John Hoyland performed by the Kreutzer Quartet as part of Fuse Arts project, Going Home Southwark Walks, at the South London Gallery, 7.30pm.
March 29th 2011: Trajectories of Sight and Sound: lecture at Bristol University
April 18th 2010: Fugue Refractions (after Laocoön) performed by Peter Sheppard Skærved at Wiltons, London.
April 19th 2010: Memory Field after Antony Gormley at Kings Place and the Royal Academy of Music. The composer’s musical response to sculpture by Antony Gormley filtered through St Augustine’s reflections upon memory, in music and text, with image by Greg Musser, performed by Nicholas Clapton and the Kreutzer Quartet, with a linked research event at the Royal Academy of Music earlier in the day, presenting a closer examination of the music and the process of interaction between the composer, the artist and the musicians with discussion and demonstration.
August 3rd 2010: Shibboleth (after Doris Salcedo) and Fugue Refractions (after Laocoön) performed by Peter Sheppard Skærved at 8.15pm in the Great Hall at Dartington Hall, Totnes.
April 3rd 2011: 13th Station of the Cross, commissioned by Voce for Passion Sunday, performed at St Paul’s, Knightsbridge, London
April 14th 2011: Southbank Centre, London, 3rd Ear Symposium, Scene & Heard, Music in a Visual Culture.
A presentation about work with Antony Gormley and Doris Salcedo at Tate Modern, and screenings of films of pieces after Gormley and Salcedo.
June 15th 2011: 2 Preludes to a Ground, for E flat clarinet and piano commissioned by Chi-Yu Mo and Charles Wiffen, premiered at the Barbican Centre, London
Late 2011: Retorica tour of China supported by the Tillett Trust and couture designer Hiroko Koshino, including performances of Syruw:
November 12th: Dalian Development Area Grand Theatre
November 13th: Beijing National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA)
November 14th-17th: University Masterclasses
November 18th: Guangzhou Tianhe Cultural Center
November 19th: Concert at Dongguan Donghu Theatre
November 20th: Shanghai Oriental Art Center (SHOAC).
December 2011: Forming Resonance website launched about early R&D process in beginning to develop responses to art by Gerhard Richter. Supported by UCF and the ERDF.
February 7th 2012: Soundbox event at the Royal Academy of Music: presentation of progress on Forming Resonance.
May 19th 2012: Retorica perform Syruw for the New Europe Society Clare College Cambridge
June 18th 2012: Tate Media publish the studio recording of Shadows of Light II (after Mark Rothko) online, on the Tate Chanel
August 27th 2012: Retorica perform Syruw at the Prestigne Festival
September 2nd 2012: CD launch event of Retorica’s disc of English String Duos, including Syruw, at LSO St Luke’s, London.
September 16th 2012: Peter Sheppard Skaerved performed new movements from Studies after Durer’s Melencolia I. in Denmark.
October 4th 2012: Tate Interpretation published Shadows of Light II (after Mark Rothko) as part of the Rothko Room multimedia tour at Tate Modern.
October 10th 2012: Peter Sheppard Skaerved performed new movements from Studies after Durer’s Melencolia I. at the Royal Northern College of Music with a talk and a film showing of a performance Black Something for string quartet.
April 2013: Retorica’s disc of English String Duos, including Syruw, selected as Gramophone ‘Choice’ for April 2013.
Selected Earlier Outputs
2002 – 2004 – Artsound project with Jeremy Annear, Coleridge Productions, Andrew Russo and the Coull String Quartet.
2003 May – June – All Over Blue – piano solo. Period of initial work with Sir Terry Frost on his painting Maritime Blues.
July 17th – Broken Contour – solo cello after painting by Jeremy Annear. Premiered by Nick Roberts of the Coull Quartet at the New Millennium Gallery St Ives.
2004 October – Aurulum and Blaze. Work with Paul Moorhouse on links between the art of Bridget Riley and music funded by the Creative Skills Consortium.
2005 March 25th – All Over Blue – piano solo. After a painting by Sir Terry Frost, commissioned and premiered by pianist Andrew Russo at the Fort Worth Modern Art Museum, Dallas, USA, for the Van Cliburn ‘Modern at the Modern’ concert series.
September 10th – 12th 2005 – Views of Turning – violin and cello. After sculpture by Richard Deacon at his 2005 Tate St Ives show, performed in the gallery with the sculptures by Peter Sheppard Skærved (vln) and Neil Heyde (vc).
September 25th 2005 – Lines on Stones – clarinet, cello, marimba & piano. In response to an installation, Rocks in My Bed, by Peter Randall-Page and commissioned by Silverlink Property Developments PLC, as part of Newcastle Gateshead’s Festival of Visual Arts and the British Art Show. Filmed for ITV and hosted by Mark Lawson (BBC Newsnight Review). Performed by Mark van de Wiel, Nick Roberts, Richard Benjafield, and Shelagh Sutherland.
October 21st 2005 – Views of Turning – violin and cello. London premiere at the Royal Academy of Music after sculpture by Richard Deacon, performed by Peter Sheppard Skærved (vln) and Neil Heyde (vc).
September 16th 2006 – String Quartet Workshop with The Kreutzer Quartet. Tate St Ives, Gallery 5.
November 10th 2006 – Beyond two cultures: The science of creativity. A Royal Society event at the Royal Academy of Music with a research forum and concert presentation of work after John Hoyland developed at Tate St Ives with the Kreutzer Quartet.
March 8th 2007 – 4 Trajectories after John Hoyland for string quartet. World premiere by The Kreutzer Quartet at The Priory Church of Saint Bartholomew the Great, London.
June 20th 2007 – Fugue Refractions (after Laocoön) at The Henry Moore Institute Leeds, with artist Richard Deacon, art historian Richard Brilliant performed by Philippa Mo.
June 23rd 2007 – Fugue Refractions (after Laocoön) at Kurmangazy National Conservatoire, Almaty, Kazakhstan, Philippa Mo, violin
September 6th 2007 – Trajectories after John Hoyland at the Pallant House Gallery, Chichester with Mark Rowan-Hull and the Coull Quartet.
September 29th 2007 – Conversation with Magic Stones. South West Sinfonietta world premiere Concert, Conductor: Tim Boulton, Soloist: Sulki Yu – violin. St. Michael’s Church, Sea Front, Teignmouth, Devon.
September 30th 2007 – Conversation with Magic Stones South West Sinfonietta, Conductor: Tim Boulton, Soloist: Sulki Yu – violin. Liskeard Public Hall.
October 4th 2007 – Conversation with Magic Stones South West Sinfonietta, Conductor: Tim Boulton, Soloist: Sulki Yu – violin. Plymouth Guildhall.
October 30th 2007 – Soundbox, The Royal Academy of Music
Peter Sheppard Skærved in conversation with Jim Aitchison about their ongoing collaboration and the composer’s responses to visual art.
November 8th 2007 – Fugue Refractions (after Laocoön) with Peter Sheppard Skærved violin, in Barnes Hall Auditorium, Cornell University, New York.
November 30th 2007- Forms of Resonance – Sculpture of Sound
A research Forum at The Royal Academy of Music discussing initial approaches to working with Antony Gormley, Peter Randall-Page, Richard Long and Richard Deacon, with Simon Shaw-Miller and David Gorton.
March 2nd 2008 – Unclosing (Hollow Form with Inner Form) after Barbara Hepworth (WP), for cello and chamber orchestra with the South West Sinfonietta, conductor Tim Boulton, cello Bartholomew LaFollette. At St John’s Hall, Penzance.
March 14th 2008 – Forms of Resonance – Sculpture of Sound II, at The Royal Academy of Music.
March 25th 2008 – Shibboleth (Passacaglia) after Doris Salcedo for solo violin at Tate Modern, The Turbine Hall. Filming of the response in music to Doris Salcedo’s Shibboleth installation, performed by Peter Sheppard Skærved along the length of the fissure in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern, captured by film maker Immo Horn. Supported by the Henry Moore Foundation, Tate and courtesy of the Artist and Alexander and Bonin, New York.
April 20th 2008 – 2D2N Festival, The Fourteenth International Festival of Modern Art, Odessa, Ukraine. Retorica, Philippa Mo & Harriet Mackenzie, violins, give the world premiere of Aurulum for violin duo after a painting by Bridget Riley.
May 9th 2008 – Forms of Resonance – Sculpture of Sound III at The Royal Academy of Music.
June 25th 2008 – Memory Field. Music after Antony Gormley, performed at Antony Gormley studio by the Kreutzer String Quartet and countertenor Nicholas Clapton. Supported by the Henry Moore Foundation.
July 19th 2008 – All Over Blue / Vertical Rhythms at Newlyn Art Gallery – The Exchange, Penzance, with pianist Andrew Russo.
August 14th 2008 – Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, New York. Pianist Andrew Russo gave the US premiere of Vertical Rhythms.
January 26th 2009 – Shadows of Light (Music form the Seagram Murals) commissioned by Tate Modern with Support from the PRS Foundation for New Music and Henry Tillman and Jill Bradford. Music in response the Seagram Murals performed in front of Rothko’s paintings in the Tate exhibition by the Kreutzer Quartet with horn player, Michael Thompson, and countertenor Nicholas Clapton.
January 2009 – 2 films about the Rothko commission made by Tate Media posted on the Tate Channel and on BBC News Channel on 26/01/09
April 9th 2009 – Passacaglia after Ben Nicholson: commission from Cornwall County Council, Tate St Ives and the PRS Foundation for New Music for the Cornwall Youth Orchestra and Tim Boulton. Performed at St John’s Hall Penzance
September 17th 2009 – Syruw, 5 Kazakh Tableaux for Violin Duo: commissioned by the Embassy of Kazakhstan and the Brunei Gallery, SOAS. Performed by Retorica: Philippa Mo and Harriet Mackenzie.
November 26th 2009 – Making Sculpture Sound – Svayambh after sculpture by Anish Kapoor, performed by Michael Thompson, Peter Sheppard Skærved and Neil Heyde at the Royal Academy of Arts Anish Kapoor exhibition in the Reynolds Room at the Royal Academy of Arts, London
Chronological List of Selected Compositions:
1993 – Metamorphosen. 5 pieces for solo piano. ~ 16 mins
1994 – Sinfonietta, for string orchestra. ~ 18 mins
1997 – 3 Nocturnes, for guitar and cello. ~ 17 mins
1999 – Cortege, for clarinet and piano ~ 7 mins
2002 – Maske, for guitar after Giles Farnaby. ~ 6 mins
2002-03 – 3 Pieces for Guitar and Piano after Monteverdi. ~ 16 mins
2002-03 – 6 Linear Songs, after pictures by Jeremy Annear, for solo piano ~ 14 mins
2003 – Broken Contour, after a painting by Jeremy Annear, for solo cello. ~ 10 mins
2004 – All Over Blue, after a painting by Sir Terry Frost, for solo piano. ~ 12 mins
2004 – Vertical Rhythms, after a painting by Sir Terry Frost, for solo piano. ~ 10 mins
2005 – Lines on Stones, after Peter Randall-Page, for clarinet, marimba, cello and piano. ~ 15 mins
2005 – Views of Turning, after Richard Deacon, for violin and cello duo. ~ 8 mins
2006 – Three Reflected Forms, after the Laocoön Group, for solo violin. ~ 10 mins
2006 – Fugue Refractions, after the Laocoön Group, for solo violin ~ 8 mins
2006 – 4 Trajectories after John Hoyland, for string quartet. ~ 26 mins
2007 – Conversation with Magic Stones, after Barbara Hepworth, for violin and chamber orchestra. ~ 14 mins
2007 – Unclosing, after Barbara Hepworth, for cello and chamber orchestra. ~ 11 mins
2008 – Shibboleth, after Doris Salcedo, for solo violin. ~ 17 mins
2008 – Memory Field, after Antony Gormley, for countertenor and string quartet. ~ 45 mins
2008-09 – Shadows of Light I, after Mark Rothko, for countertenor, horn and string quartet. ~ 45 mins
2009 – Passacaglia, after Ben Nicholson,for orchestra. ~ 10 mins
2009 – Syruw, 5 Kazakh Tableaux, for violin duo. ~ 11 mins
2009 – Svayambh, after Anish Kapoor,for horn, violin and cello. ~ 11 mins
2009 – Shadows of Light II, after Mark Rothko, for countertenor, horn and string quartet. ~ 20 mins
2011 – 13th Station of the Cross, for violin duo, choir and organ. ~ 20 mins
2012 – Night Paths, after Jeremy Annear, for wind ensemble ~ 5 mins
2014 – Portraits for a Study, after Gerhard Richter, for solo piano ~ 55 mins
2014 – Portraits for a Study, after Gerhard Richter, for string quartet ~ 45 mins
2014-15 – Re-Traced I, after Mark Rothko, for solo violin ~ 5 mins
2014-15 – Re-Traced II, after Mark Rothko, for solo violin ~ 5 mins
2015 – Re-Tracing, after Mark Rothko, for violin and distributed orchestra ~ 11 mins