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James (Jimmy) Bunch
Hello, I’m Jimmy Bunch! I’m a composer, performer, educator, and concert organizer living and working in Chennai, India.
My interests as a composer are pretty varied. I’m drawn toward the experimental traditions in American and European music, but also to their literary/canonic traditions, and those outside of the Western world. I like to explore the intertextual strange coincidences and frictions between genres and pre-existing works that arise out of my own perceptions as an “amateur” of these worlds. I try to respond with music that is weird, visceral, beautifully ugly, funny, sometimes critical, and always challenging and self-confrontative to write.
I’ve been teaching composition at the KM Music Conservatory in Chennai, India for almost 5 years. Among my activities here, I’m really excited about our contemporary music scratch orchestra, called Hundredfoot Road. We’re a collective of student and faculty performers / composers that focuses on a variety of experimental and DIY projects including electroacoustic works, theatre pieces, live film scores, improvisation, and score-based performances in an array of styles. We’ve performed works by KM students, as well as giving the Indian premiers of music by Phillip Glass, John Cage, Olivier Messiaen, Julius Eastman, Eric Dolphy, Allen Ginsburg, and Cornelius Cardew. This September I helped coordinate the South Asian Music Residency, a collaboration with the Goethe Institute that brought musicians from India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Germany to Chennai for a three week experimental improvisation workshop and concerts. I’ve also recently had the opportunity to coordinate and write for an album of songs with composers from KM and lyricist/musicians from the region Centre-Val de Loire in France. This project will culminate in a tour of the region this summer. Upcoming projects include music for trombonist Lisa Sarasini, and the Duo Harpverk.
My music has been performed throughout North and South America, Asia, and Europe. I completed my doctorate in music composition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2016, with a [somewhat long-winded] dissertation on the music of the incredible Salvatore Sciarrino. Many thanks to Ensemble Paramirabo for the chance to write for them!