I am a composer and musician based in London, UK. I write music and words, play objects and electronics, and curate music events.

I am interested in the variety of sounds, correspondences and experiences that can emerge through the use of limited sets of musical building blocks. My pieces explore sound, silence, proportion, process, perception and listening.

I am co-author, with James Saunders, of Word Events: Perspectives on Verbal Notation (Continuum 2012), a book about text scores.

Together with composers Tim Parkinson and Markus Trunk, I curate Music We’d Like to Hear, a concert series described by TEMPO as ‘an oasis of thoughtful and idealistic music-making’.

 
 
 

chronology

 

2017

Performances of compositions in: Norway, London

March

Performances: Part Music for Double Bass, performed by Michael Duch, Borealis Festival, Bergen, and Svalbard

April

Tour: Norway with Michael Duch

July

Curation: Music We’d Like to Hear 2017
 
 

2016

Performances of compositions in: British Columbia, UK, Ireland

April

Project: work with Tom Richards’ Mini-Oramics at Goldsmiths, London
Commission: Part Music for Double Bass (Michael Duch, with support from Arts Council Norway)
CD release: Goldsmiths, with John Tilbury, Angharad Davies, Rhodri Davies, Lina Lapelyte & Michael Duch including First Page for Five (2015) (another timbre at92)

June

Tour: British Columbia, Canada with Mira Benjamin and the blue moss ensemble

July

Curation: Music We’d Like to Hear 2016

November

CD release: Seaside, with John Tilbury and Dirar Kalash (another timbre at100)
Publication: Chartres Drawing, in The Imaginary Reader, Volt, Bergen
 
 

2015

Performances of compositions in: UK, Israel, Toronto, Los Angeles, Tokyo

January

Lecture: Visiting practitioner, London College of Communication

February

Curation: A Few Silence, Aleks Kolkowski/RCM Silence and Music colloquium

March

Exhibition: works & archive materials featured in David Ryan’s Drawing Towards Sound, University of Greenwich, London

April

Collaboration: John Tilbury & John Lely play Bau-Bau – with Celine Condorelli, Hangar Bicocca, Milan

June

Lecture: featuring The Harmonics of Real Strings, given by Scott Mc Laughlin, Music and/as Process, Goldsmiths, London
Collaboration: Minor Conspiracy with Rob Mullender at Brunel Tunnel Shaft & Cafe Oto Project Space, London

July

Curation: Music We’d Like to Hear 2015 (with support from the RVW Trust, the Hinrichsen Foundation and the Canada Council for the Arts)
Broadcast: Music We’d Like to Hear, BBC Radio 3 Hear and Now
Co-direction: with Michael Parsons & Dave Smith, Cornelius Cardew’s The Great Learning, Union Chapel, London

August

Commission: Part Music for Violin (Mira Benjamin, with support from Britten-Pears Foundation)
Event: Radu Malfatti Ensemble at Hundred Years Gallery

September

Performance: music by James Saunders, Cut and Splice 2015, Cafe Oto, London

October

Lecture: Visiting practitioner, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London
 

2014

Performances of compositions in: UK, Los Angeles, Russia, Norway, Winnipeg, New Zealand

April

Event: contribution to John White’s 78th birthday celebrations, London

May

Award: Francis Chagrin Award, Sound and Music
Award: Composer Curator Programme, Sound and Music

June

Commission: Assembly, Spitalfields Festival (with support from PRS)

July

Curation: Music We’d Like to Hear 2014 (with support from Sound and Music the Holst Foundation)
Interview: Classical Music Magazine, July 2014
Bibliography: The Harmonics of Real Strings featured in ‘Opening Offer or Contractual Obligation? On the prescriptive function of notation in music today’ by Christopher Fox, Tempo July 2014

August

Events: various events and workshops as part of nu:nord, Oslo, Norway

October

CD release: Anton Lukoszevieze (cello) The Harmonics of Real Strings (another timbre)
Publication: Trio in Experimental Music Yearbook 2014

November

Lecture: Visiting practitioner, Royal College of Music, London
 

2013

Performances of compositions in: Australia, Germany, UK, Norway, USA

March

Award: Francis Chagrin Award, Sound and Music

July

Curation: Music We’d Like to Hear 2013 (with support from the Holst Foundation)

August

Residency: nu:nord, nyMusikk, Oslo

September

Commission: During (Tre Voci Cello Ensemble, with support from Britten-Pears Foundation)
 

2012

Performances of compositions in: Montreal, UK, Switzerland, Australia, Germany, Norway

April

Residency: Doubles, Bozzini Quartet Composers Kitchen, Montreal, Canada

May

Publication: Word Events: Perspectives on Verbal Notation, co-authored with James Saunders (Continuum/Bloomsbury)
Online: Manfred Werder’s 2005(1) with Anne Guthrie, another timbre

July

Curation: Music We’d Like to Hear 2012 (with support from Sound and Music)

August

Event: Works by John Cage, BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London

October

Workshop Lecture: Word Event with James Saunders & Michael Duch, Avant Garden, Trondheim, Norway
Workshop Lecture: Word Event with James Saunders, Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol

November

Performance: Doubles, perf. Bozzini Quartet, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival
Event: James Tenney’s Postal Pieces, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival
Curation: Music We’d Like to Hear in Camden (with support from Convention Institut Français, Diaphonique (Franco British fund for contemporary music), and Réseau en Scène Languedoc-Roussillon)
 

2011

Performances of compositions in: Switzerland, South Carolina, Brno, Australia, Ostrava, UK

May

Events: with Object Collection, Angharad Davies, Jay Rozen, Tim Parkinson & James Saunders, New York

July

Curation: Music We’d Like to Hear 2011, with support from the Holst Foundation

September

Event: Participation at Word Event Conference, Bath Spa University, Corsham Hall

October

Mastering and installation of audio for The Forester’s House, a permanent installation by Simon Patterson based on the work of Wilfred Owen, Pommereuil, France

November

Curation: Music We’d Like to Hear in Falmouth 2011, with support from Sound and Music
Workshop: People Processes at The Engine Room, Morley College, London
 

2010

Performances of compositions in: UK, Los Angeles, Switzerland, South Carolina, Chicago, Brussels

April

Events: performances of works by Lely, Cardew & others, with John Tilbury, Howard Skempton & London Sinfonietta, King’s Place, London

May

Events: Sol Lewitt Performances, with works by Lely, Gerhard Stabler & Kunsu Shim, Philip Thomas & the Edges Ensemble, Offsite Gallery, Sheffield

July

Curation: Music We’d Like to Hear 2010, with support from the Holst Foundation and PRS for Music Foundation
 

2009

Performances of compositions in: Norway, Los Angeles, New York City, UK, Germany, Switzerland, Israel

May

Event: LelyWhite, Freedom of the City, London
Event: Selections from Christian Wolff’s Exercises with the Post Trio, Michael Parsons & Christian Wolff, Freedom of the City, London

July

Curation: Music We’d Like to Hear 2009, with support from the Great Britain Sasakawa and Holst Foundations and the RVW Trust
Bibliography: All About the Piano featured in ‘A Prescription for Action’ by Philip Thomas, Ashgate Research Companion to Experimental Music, ed. James Saunders

September

Residency: performances, installations, workshops with Pedro Gomez-Egana & Icaro Zorbar, Volt, Bergen, Norway
Event: John Lely Portrait Concert, Ultima, Oslo, Norway

October

Event: Music by John Lely, Laurence Crane and James Saunders, Experimental Music Workshop, CalArts / the wulf., Los Angeles

November

Curation: Cornelius Cardew’s Treatise (6-hour performance) with John Lely, James Saunders, Angharad Davies, Rhodri Davies, Tim Parkinson & Lee Ferguson, The Drawing Room, London
Event: performances in sections of Cardew’s The Great Learning, ICA, London
 

2008

Performances of compositions in: New York, UK, Helsinki and elsewhere. Numerous appearances on Seth Kim-Cohen’s UNST radio programme, Resonance FM and improvised music events. Audio production for films with Jayne Parker.

March

Event: The Two Johns, music of John Lely & John White, perf. Material dir. James Saunders, Bath Spa University
Broadcast: Discovering Counterpoint perf. Apartment House, WDR Köln

May

PhD Composition, Goldsmiths
Event: Desk Bells at LMC Festival, Cafe Oto, London
Events: A British Invasion, concerts and workshops, Helsinki

June

Event: Mauricio Kagel’s Acustica and other works, perf. Apartment House, Soundwaves Festival, Brighton
Event: Precision Sonics perf. Seth Kim Cohen, Matthew Wright & John Lely at Gramophones, Films, Typewriters, curated by Seth Kim-Cohen, Tate Modern, London

July

Curation: Music We’d Like to Hear 2008, with support from the RVW Trust and the Hinrichsen, Holst and Britten-Pears Foundations

September

Event: LelyWhite play in the ‘Pataphysical New Year, Book Art Book Shop, London

October

begins Post-Doc Research, Bath Spa University
Event: participant in realisation of Walk by Michael Parsons, Liverpool Street Station, London

November

Event: with Joseph Kudirka & Taylan Susam, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival

December

Co-curation: Four concerts of experimental music, with Object Collection, Tim Parkinson, James Saunders, Angharad Davies, New York
 

2007

Numerous improvised music events around London. Performances of compositions in: New Haven, Czech Republic, UK, New York and elsewhere

January

Event: premiere of Second Symphony (commissioned by Rational Rec), excerpt broadcast BBC4 television

February

Event: with James Saunders and Travis Just, Listen/Space, New York

April

Commission: On the Major Third by Ll. S. Lloyd (Gemini)

July

Curation: Music We’d Like to Hear 2007, with support from the RVW Trust and the Hinrichsen, Holst and Britten-Pears Foundations

May

Event: Aloud/Allowed, curated by Seth Kim-Cohen, with works by Olivia Block & John Lely, Firehouse12, New Haven, Connecticut
Event: Music by Lely & Cardew, Ontological-Hysteric Theatre, New York

August

Event: with Taylan Susam & Ben Patterson, Ostrava New Music Days, Czech Republic

September

begins as Tape Archivist, Daphne Oram Collection, Goldsmiths

November

Event: music by Michael Maierhof, Sonic Arts Network Cut and Splice, Huddersfield
Event: concert of works by Susam, Lucier and others, with Tim Parkinson, Taylan Susam & Michael Parsons, Goldsmiths, London
 

2006

Numerous improvised musics including work with Seymour Wright and Hubbub. Performances of compositions in: UK, Colombia

January

Event: Apartment House play Bristol Arnolfini, works by George Brecht, Dick Higgins, La Monte Young, John Cage, Richard Maxfield, Philip Corner, Malcolm Goldstein, James Tenney, Alvin Lucier, Kunsu Shim, Gerhard Stäbler, Nam June Paik, Emmet Williams, Jackson Mac Low.
Event: Mauricio Kagel’s Acustica, perf. Apartment House, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge

February

Curation: Rational Fête, Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, London
Event: contribution to John Tilbury’s 70th birthday concert, London

April

Event: guest appearance with Live Batts!!, John White’s 70th birthday concert, Wilton’s Music Hall, London

May

Event: James Saunders’ #180506, a 3-hour installation, at the Keith Talent Gallery, London
Event: Octet ’61 by Cornelius Cardew as part of the Cornelius Cardew – 70th Birthday Anniversary Festival, Cecil Sharpe House, London

June

Commission: To be or not to only stand and wait, for Aleks Kolkowski’s stroh-viol consort, commissioned by Kettle’s Yard for Apartment House

July

Curation: Music We’d Like to Hear 2006, with support from the RVW Trust and the Hinrichsen, Holst and Britten-Pears Foundations

August

Event: Mauricio Kagel’s Acustica and Tom Phillips’ IRMA, perf. Apartment House, Sao Paulo, Brazil

October

Event: premiere of The Harmonics of Real Strings, perf. Anton Lukoszevieze (cello), Cutting Edge, London

November

Co-convener: lectures, workshops and performances, Cornelius Cardew Conference, Goldsmiths, London
Commission: All About the Piano (Philip Thomas & James Saunders, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival)
Commission: Second Symphony (Rational Rec)

December

Broadcast: The Harmonics of Real Strings, perf. Anton Lukoszevieze (cello), Hear and Now, BBC Radio 3
Broadcast: All About the Piano, perf. Philip Thomas & James Saunders, Hear and Now, BBC Radio 3
 

2005

Numerous performances with John White (LelyWhite), improvised music (including LMC Festival) in London and beyond. Performances of compositions in: UK, Colombia, Berlin

April

Events: workshops, collaborations & performances, In:Eye I: ATLAS, convened by Pedro Gomez-Egaña, Bogota, Colombia (with support from the British Council)

May

Event: Mauricio Kagel’s Acustica, perf. Apartment House, LSO St Luke’s (broadcast Hear and Now, BBC Radio 3)

July

Curation: Music We’d Like to Hear 2005, with support from the RVW Trust and the Hinrichsen, Holst and Britten-Pears Foundations

September

Event: performance of works by Lely, Lucier, Marshall, White and others, performed by Angharad Davies, Seth Kim-Cohen, John Lely, Alvin Lucier, Michael Rodgers, Ian Stonehouse, James Saunders, Ross Parfitt, Tim Parkinson & John White, Open Sound Systems curated by Seth Kim-Cohen, Tate Modern, London

November

CD release: Launch of the Red Bird, edition of 75

December

Events: performances & workshops, with Daniel Köttir and Object Collection, Berlin
Events: performance of works by Morton Feldman, John Lely, Sebastian Lexer, John White & Christian Wolff, Notation and Improvisation Conference, Goldsmiths, London
 

2004

Numerous improvised musics with John White (LelyWhite), The World Book, 9! and others, in London and around UK. Several curated concerts at Goldsmiths. Performances of compositions in: UK, Germany

January

Event: performance of Christian Wolff Burdocks and Looking North, John Cage Musicircus, Barbican, London

April

Commission: Cycling in [county/region of performance], Rhodri Davies (with support from PRS)

June

Commission: installation at Welborne Church, Welborne Festival, Norfolk

October

Event: performance of Christian Wolff’s Changing the System, St Giles, London
 

2003

Private composition study with Michael Parsons. Several curated concerts at Goldsmiths. Various improvised musics in London, Colchester & on Resonance FM. Performances of compositions in: UK, Belgium, Berlin

March

CD release: 9!: none(-t) (Matchless)
Commission: E for Apartment House, MaerzMusik, Berliner Festspiel, Berlin

October

Event: John White’s C-Major Machine (full 90-minute version) with Tim Parkinson, Catherine Kontz, Alex James, Goldsmiths, London
Event: Music by Wandelweiser composers including Manfred Werder, Jürg Frey, perf. with Tim Parkinson and Henri Vaxby, Goldsmiths, London
 

2002

Private composition study with Michael Parsons. Various improvised musics, including The World Book, and other performances at Interlace & Resonance FM. Performances of compositions in: Purcell Room SBC, Cologne, Schloss Solitude, Aldeburgh Festival and around London.

February

Event: with Anton Lukoszevieze & Angharad Davies, Free Love, Conway Hall, London

March

Event: solo at Interlace, Goldsmiths, London
Event: with Denis Dubotsev & Eddie Prévost, First Aid, Covent Garden, London

April

Event: with Ami Yoshida, Utah Kawasaki, Tetsuro Yasunaga, Atsuhiro Ito & Seymour Wright, Off Site, Tokyo, Japan

May

Event: Apartment House play Cornelius Cardew’s Schooltime Compositions, NU marathon, Block Museum, Chicago, USA
Event: The Organ at Stuttgart, perf. Jennifer Walshe and Andrew Hamilton, Schloss Solitude, Germany

June

Event: Apartment House play Cage, Lely, Fox – Pumphouse, Aldeburgh Festival, Suffolk
Event: Fall in the fresh lap of the cloudy messenger, Apartment House are Highly Strung, Conway Hall, London
Event: Alvin Lucier’s Music on a Long Thin Wire as part of Apartment House are Highly Strung, Conway Hall, London

July

Event: Never Again, perf. Apartment House, Cologne (broadcast WDR)

September

Broadcast: with John White – LelyWhite Live!! on Resonance FM, Denmark Street Studio, London
Event: Never Again, perf. John Lely & Tania Chen, Purcell Room, South Bank Centre, London

October

Event: performance of works by John Cage, James Saunders, Chris Newman, BMIC Cutting Edge, Theed Street, London
Event: Fall in the fresh lap of the cloudy messenger, perf. Apartment House, Ultima, Oslo
 

2001

Private composition study with Michael Parsons. Various improvised musics in London.

May

Event: Alex James, Jamie Coleman, John Lely, Seymour Wright, Opening performance of Freedom of the City, Conway Hall, London
Event: Charaoui/Lely/Wright, Freedom of the City, Conway Hall, London
Event: Charaoui/Lely/Wright with Eddie Prévost, Derby Jazz, Derby
Event: Charaoui/Lely/Wright, Eddie Prévost & Derek Bailey, Purcell Room, SBC, London

June

Direction: John Cage’s Three Walks: A Londonese Circus on Dark Lanthorns (with Iain Sinclair), Goldsmiths, London

November

CD release: Charaoui/Lely/Wright, Seventh of May 2001 (Matchless)
Event: Apartment House play Cornelius Cardew’s Schooltime Compositions, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival
 

2000

Numerous improvised concerts, and regular attendance at Eddie Prévost’s workshop. Participation in Cardew’s The Great Learning at Union Chapel and full performance near Leipzig.
CD release: Yann Charaoui, John Lely, Seymour Wright: 396 (Matchless)
 

1997–2000

Studies with Roger Redgate, John Tilbury & Dave Smith at Goldsmiths. Numerous performances and curated events at Goldsmiths, including works by La Monte Young, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Cornelius Cardew, Louis Andriessen, Terry Riley, Don Cherry, John Cage.