Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies

Professor Julian Knowles

Biography

Julian Knowles is a composer and performer, specialising in new and emerging technologies. His creative work spans the fields of composition for theatre, dance, film and television, electronic music, sound and new media arts, popular music and record production. Since the mid 1980s, he has established himself as a leading artist in the area of electronic and new music, achieving significant critical praise and international recognition for his performances and recordings. His creative work is published and available internationally via a variety of a number of record labels and has received numerous reviews in both the national and international press. In the course of his career Julian has received three awards and nominations at international festivals for his work in the area of screen music and sound design. His work receives frequent broadcasts internationally and he has been invited to perform live to air for ABC Radio, BBC Radio and many other specialist radio programs. He has been a frequent recipient of competitive grants from the Australia Council for the Arts, the NSW Ministry for the Arts and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, including:

  • composer commissions
  • artist residencies
  • development projects
  • performance projects
  • international touring
  • innovative projects grants

In the past 2 years, Julian has won 4 competitive grants from state and federal arts funding agencies. As a composer, Julian's work is represented in various curated online databases such as the Australian Sound Design Project and the Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art at Cornell University. In recent years, Julian's music and audio/visual work has been presented at events and venues such as:

Julian also has an extensive background in the contemporary popular music area, having been involved in the Australian independent music scene from the 1980s onwards. During this period, he was a member of Australian bands Shrinking Violets and Even As We Speak, with the latter band achieving significant chart success in the UK following radio sessions with the prominent British DJ, John Peel. Julian worked with the band Big Heavy Stuff on the ARIA nominated album 'Size of the Ocean'. In addition to his ongoing work as a composer and performer, he spent a period working with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as a Sound Designer and Editor, during which time his soundtracks were nominated for several awards.

Julian has had extensive experience as a senior manager in the university sector, having served in Head of School roles for a decade at the University of Western Sydney, University of Wollongong, and Queensland University of Technology. Most recently he was Research Leader for Creative Arts and Writing at QUT. He was co-founder of the QUT Independent Music Project - an industry engagement initiative which earned him a Vice Chancellor's Award for Excellence in 2012. In 2009, he led the development of the QUT Gasworks Music Production facility - a high level recording studio complex which served as a site for engagement, teaching and research.
Julian is frequently employed as a consultant to various arts organisations and institutions and his current professional appointments include:

In 2004 he was appointed to the Music Board of the Australia Council for the Arts, the federal government's arts funding and advisory body. Recent projects include an Australia Council funded audio-visual work in collaboration with Tim Bruniges and David Trumpmanis from The Dead Sea, and the development of a new work for guitar and digital signal processing entitled 'The Flashcard Sequences', funded by Arts Queensland.  In 2012 he co-founded the live media ensemble 'Macrophonics' with Donna Hewitt, who subsequently presented work at the Brisbane Festival and undertook an artist residency with Sydney physical theatre company Legs on the Wall. Recent production projects include  recordings for ARIA Hall of Fame inductees Ed Kuepper and Chris Bailey, founding members of The Saints, and the most recent solo album from Ed Kuepper 'Second Winter'.

More information on current projects is available at his personal website.

Awards

Vice Chancellor's Award for Excellence, Queensland University of Technology (2012) The Independent Music Project (http://implabs.net)

Honorary Mention (with Phill Niblock) - Digital Musics. Prix Ars Electronica (2003)  'The Movement of People Working'

Bronze Award - Best Short Television Drama. New York Festivals (1991).  'Poison'. ABC TV. Directed by Michael Riley. Sound Design: Julian Knowles

ARC Grants

ARC Linkage [LP0989403] Remote Music Interactions Through Online Networks. Investigators: Prof Andy Arthurs, Prof Julian Knowles, Prof Philip Graham, A/Prof Cushla Kapitzke, Mr David Evans, Ms Margaret Moore. $290,000.

Competitive Arts Agency Grants (Current/recent)

Australia Council Music Board. Presentation and Promotion (2012-13). Magnetosphere: an internet art/pop music series. Industry partners: Internode/iiNet, Queensland Music Festival. $12,940

Australia Council Music Board. New Work (New Media) Grant (2011-12). Album project with the Dead Sea. $11,380.

Australia Council Music Board. Skills and Arts Development grant - with Donna Hewitt (2010). STEIM Residency, Holland. Residency to refine the development of a new vocal performance interface (the eMic) and to investigate performance gesture capture and data mapping strategies. $9,480.

Australia Council Visual Arts Board. Dan Graham 'Rock My Religion' project (2010).  Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane; Ian Potter Museum, Melbourne. $10,000.

Competitive Arts Agency Grants (Past)

Australia Council Inter-Arts Synapse Grant, 2007 (with David Burraston)

Australia Council New Media Arts Board. New Work, 2004 (with Gail Priest)

Australia Council Music Board. New Work, 2001

Australia Council New Media Arts Fund. International Touring, 1999

Australia Council New Media Arts Fund. Creative Development, 1997

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 1995

Australia Council Music Board. International Touring, 1994

NSW Ministry for the Arts. Performance Project, 1994

Australia Council Music Board. International Touring, 1993

Australia Council Dance/Music. Creative Development, 1993

Australia Council Music Board. Composer Residency, 1993

Australia Council Music Board. Composer Commission, 1990

Australia Council Music Board. Performance Projects, 1989

Australia Council Performing Arts Board. Innovative Projects, 1988

Funding Body Service

2004-2007: Music Board, Australia Council for the Arts

2005: Australia Council New Media Arts Scoping Study Reference Group

2007 - Present: Arts Queensland, Music and Dance, Industry Expert

2007 - Present: Arts Qld/Trade Qld Music Export Strategy Selection Panel.

Invited Keynotes

2010: Post-­Punk in Australia. Circa 1979: Signal to Noise, Sydney Festival.

2009: Sustainability in the Sound Arts in Australia, Liquid Architecture 10, Sydney

2008: Music in Universities in the 21st Century: A Manifesto, Music.Sound.Design Symposium, University of Technology, Sydney

2005: On-Air, Vital Signs: Creative Practice and New Media Now Conference, RMIT, Australian Centre for Moving Image, Melbourne

2005: Aural Cinema and Laptop Pop: New Compositional Intentions, ANU Centre for New Media Arts Public Lecture Series, National Museum of Australia, Canberra

2005: Sound Source vs Sonority, Liquid Architecture 7, The Performance Space, Sydney.

Artist Residencies

2012: Legs on the Wall 'Open Source' art and technology residency.  Funded by the Australia Council for the Arts.

2010: STEIM International Artist Residency. Amsterdam. Holland. Residency with Dr. Donna Hewitt to refine the development of a new vocal performance interface (the eMic) and to investigate performance gesture capture and data mapping strategies. Funded by the Australia Council Music Board.

Selected Discography

2007: "Spatial Circumference", CD LP, Social Interiors, Endgame Records,

2006: "Amphibian". Liquid Architecture 7, compilation CD

2003: "Sleeper", International Computer Music Association CD, "Boundaryless Music", Electronic Music Foundation, USA

2003: "Fingers", included on "motion" a compilation of Australian electronic music, Preservation Records

2001: Big Heavy Stuff "Size of the Ocean", Redline Records. Nominated for ARIA award, Best Alternative Release

2001: "under_tones" included on "Serpentine" compilation, Extreme Records

1999: "Silent Latitudes" included on "Time, Space and the Roaring Silence.." compilation (SoCA, UWS),

1999: Social Interiors "Untitled (mix)", Extreme Records,

1998: Social Interiors "Traces of Mercury", Extreme Records

1997: Social Interiors title track "Traces of Mercury" included on "Assemblage: Volume 2", Extreme Records

1997: Merzbow "Decomposition 002", Extreme Records - guest artist

1993: "Therefore, I... " and "Heavy Industry" on "wattever" compilation CD, Tall Poppies

1993: Even As We Speak "One Step Forward" single, Sarah Records UK (highest chart position #4, Melody Maker/ #5 NME independent charts, UK)

1992: Even As We Speak "Beautiful Day" single, Sarah Records UK,(highest chart position #5, Melody Maker/ #6 NME independent charts, UK)

1993: Even As We Speak "Feral Pop Frenzy", album, Sarah Records UK (highest chart position #4, Melody Maker/NME independent charts, UK)

1993: Even As We Speak "Blue Eyes/Air" CD single, Sarah Records UK

1992: Stevie Wishart "Wish", Tall Poppies

1992: "Machine Messages", a compilation of Australian electro-acoustic music. CD, ACMA

1989: Shrinking Violets "Mask", 12" LP Phantom Records (highest chart position #6, On the Street Independent Charts, Australia)

1988: Shrinking Violets "Everything/She Said" 7" single, Phantom Records (highest chart position #3, On the Street Independent Charts, Australia