James Rushford – Ouarzazate

James Rushford's work fascinates with its ability to gently straddle the worlds of new music composition, electro-acoustic music and haunting domestic musique concrete. Here he locks his focus and his fingers firmly to his Rhodes organs, but loses none of the complex shading and narrativism at the core of his practice. Each note, chord and small progression feels like opening a new door and a new set of co-ordinates, before another door opens slightly tilted to a new axis. Then another, then another. A 37 minute-long maze very much worth getting lost in.


James Rushford / rhodes organ


Recorded, mixed and mastered by James Rushford. 

Cover design by Oli Barrett.

Available as 320k MP3 or 24bit FLAC   


1. Ouarzazate - 37:41

James Rushford

James Rushford is an Australian composer-performer, whose work draws from concrète, improvised, avant-garde and collagist musical languages, staking out an idiosyncratic stylistic space that has been described as ‘electro-acoustic experimentation with a beating heart’ (Boomkat) and ‘haunted Jacobean ASMR’ (The Wire). Investigating the creases, cracks, and folds in traditions ranging from early music to new age, Rushford’s work subtly exaggerates seemingly liminal aspects such as atmosphere and the bodily presence of the performer until these take on a weight equal to musical elements such as pitch, rhythm and timbre.

In recent years, Rushford’s solo work has been guided by his theorisation of sonic images, particularly the shadow, which has inspired pieces as diverse as an hour-long companion to Federico Mompou’s Música Callada (See the Welter, for solo piano, 2016) and a sumptuous translation of the play of light across flat surfaces into synthetic sound (The Lake from the Louvers, 2020). Rushford has longstanding performance practices on piano, synthesizers and electroacoustic devices, and portative organ, bringing to all of these a delicacy of touch and a harmonic sensibility in which unorthodox tunings coexist with influences from fin de siècle Impressionism, the 20th century avant-garde, and many strains of popular music.

James has created original work for BBC Scottish Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, Ensemble Neon (Oslo), Speak Percussion (Melbourne), Ensemble Vortex (Geneva), MONA FOMA, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne International Arts Festival, Ultima Festival (Norway), Unsound Festival (New York), Tectonics Festival (Tel Aviv), Send and Receive Festival (Winnipeg), Adelaide Festival and Liquid Architecture (Melbourne). As well as previous projects with Klaus Lang, Annea Lockwood, David Behrman, Tashi Wada, Haroon Mirza and Dennis Cooper, he works regularly with Golden Fur (his trio with Sam Dunscombe & Judith Hamann), Joe Talia, Ora Clementi (with crys cole), Oren Ambarchi, Kassel Jaeger, Anthony Pateras, Will Guthrie, Graham Lambkin and Francis Plagne.

His music has been published by a variety of international labels including Unseen Worlds (US), Pogus (US), Penultimate Press (UK), Another Timbre (UK), Holidays (IT), Black Truffle (AUS), KYE (US) and Shelter Press (Fr).

In 2017, James completed a Doctorate from the California Institute of the Arts.