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Dr Stuart James


Staff Member Details
Telephone: +61 8 9370 6073
Campus: Mount Lawley  
Room: ML3.268  

Stuart is a Lecturer in the Composition and Music Technology program at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

Current teaching

  • MUS1616 - Spatial Music
  • MUS2608 - Interactive Music Performance Lab
  • MUS2616 - Sound Synthesis Performance Lab
  • MUS3607 - Circuit-bending Lab
  • MUS3612 - Networked Music Lab
  • MUS3611 - Composition Principal Study 1
  • MUS4607 - Composition Principal Study 2
  • MUS4612 - Composition Principal Study 3.


Stuart is a Western Australian-based composer, performer, sound designer, audio engineer, and producer. His compositional work explores both acoustic and electronic instruments, and he has been commissioned to write compositions by the ABC, Decibel Ensemble, Tetrafide Ensemble, the WASO New Music Ensemble, percussionist Louise Devenish, and visual artist Erin Coates. Stuart's work has also been performed by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Michael Kieran Harvey, and his work has been released on Tall Poppies. Stuart won the state finals of the ASME young composers’ competition, won the Dorothy Ransom composition prize, and has also been nominated for Australian Music Centre Awards for his percussion pieces Temperaments and Kinabuhi | Kamatayon. Stuart has been a founding member of the Decibel ensemble, and has performed as part of this ensemble throughout Europe and Asia. Stuart also manages and operates a commercial recording studio, and has recorded and mixed national and international artists including ShockOne, Kele Okereke, JMSN, Ta-ku, Loston, Jaime Page, and others. Stuart also completed his doctorate for research in spatial audio, spectral synthesis, and wave terrain synthesis, and has continued to publish regularly on music technology.

Professional associations

  • 2019 - Present - WA Chapter of the MSA Committee (Member)
  • 2018 - Present - Decibel New Music Management Committee (Member)
  • 2015 - Present - Audio Engineering Association (Member)
  • 2011 - Present - The Soundfield Studio (Managing Director)
  • 2001 - Present - Australasian Performing Rights Association (Member).

Research areas and interests

Stuart is an interdisciplinary scholar with a background in music composition, jazz, popular, and classical piano performance, sound design, computer programming, audio engineering and production. His research areas include:

  • Music Composition
  • Immersive Audio and Video
  • Electroacoustic performance practice
  • Digital Musicology
  • Digital Signal Processing.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Edith Cowan University, 2015.
  • Master of Arts Creative Arts, Edith Cowan University, 2006.
  • Bachor of Music with First Class Honours, The University of Western Australia, 2001.
  • Certificate of Music in Jazz, Edith Cowan University, 1995.


Recent Research Grants

  • The Gig Engine: Modelling Cybernetic Complexity and Contingency in Electronic Music Performance,  FXpansion Audio UK Ltd,  Industry Engagement Scholarship to Support PhD Projects,  2018 - 2023,  $52,500.
  • A Perceptual Evaluation of 3D Sonification Techniques for Computer-Assisted Navigation,  Edith Cowan University,  ECU Early Career Researcher Grant - 2018,  2018 - 2019,  $18,400.
  • Graphic Music Notation in Networked Performance Environments,  Edith Cowan University,  Australia-Germany JRC Scheme (UA-DAAD),  2015 - 2018,  $24,400.
  • After Julia: 8 new works by Australian Composers to be performed by Decibel.,  Australia Council for the Arts,  Australia Council for Music - New Work,  2014,  $22,560.
  • Applications for networked tablet computers as interactive music readers, writers and players,  Nortel Networks,  Grant - Development - 2011,  2011 - 2013,  $18,770.

Recent Publications (within the last five years)

Journal Articles

  • Devenish, L., James, S., (2019), Composer-Performer Collaboration in the Development of Kinabuhi | Kamatayon for Percussion and Electronics. Soundscripts, 6(1), Article number 9.
  • James, S., Vickery, L., (2019), Representations of decay in the works of Cat Hope. Tempo (London, 1939): a quarterly review of modern music, 73(287), 18–32, Cambridge University Press, DOI: 10.1017/S0040298218000608.
  • Vickery, L., Devenish, L., James, S., Hope, C., (2017), Expanded Percussion Notation in Recent Works by Cat Hope, Stuart James and Lindsay Vickery. Contemporary Music Review, 36(1-2), 15-35, Oxon, United Kingdom, Routledge, DOI: 10.1080/07494467.2017.1371879.

Conference Publications

  • Wyatt, A., Vickery, L., James, S., (2019), Unlocking the Decibel ScorePlayer. Proceedings of the International Conference on Technologies for Music Notation and Representation -- TENOR'19, 61-68, Melbourne, Monash University.
  • Wyatt, A., Vickery, L., James, S., (2018), The Canvas Mode: Rapid Prototyping for the Decibel Scoreplayer. Proceedings of the Australasian Computer Music Conference 2018, Perth, Western Australia , 106-113 , online, The Australasian Computer Music Association .
  • Vickery, L., James, S., (2017), The Enduring Temporal Mystery of Ornette Coleman's Lonely Woman. Proceedings of the 2015 WA Chapter MSA Symposium on Music Performance and Analysis, 49-63, Perth, Western Australia, Western Australian Chapter of the Musicological Society of Australia, in conjunction with the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Edith Cowan University.
  • James, S., Hope, C., Vickery, L., Wyatt, A., Carey, B., Fu, X., Hajdu, G., (2017), Establishing connectivity between the existing networked music notation packages, Decibel ScorePlayer and MaxScore. Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Technologies for Music Notation and Representation (TENOR) 2017, 171-181, A Coruña, Spain, UCD Press.
  • James, S., (2017), A Novel approach to Timbre Morphology: Audio-rate control of Additive Synthesis. Proceedings of the 43rd International Computer Music Conference, 201-206.
  • James, S., (2016), Multi-Point Nonlinear Spatial Distribution of Effects across the Soundfield. Proceedings of the 42nd International Computer Music Conference, 129-134, Utrecht, The Netherlands, HKU University of the Arts.
  • Hope, C., James, S., Wyatt, A., (2016), Headline grabs for music: The development of an iPad score generator. Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, 375-376, online only, Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.
  • James, S., (2016), A Classification of Multi-Point Spectral Sound Shapes. Proceedings of the 2016 Annual Conference of the Australasian Computer Music Association, 57-64, online only, The Australasian Computer Music Association.
  • James, S., (2016), A Multi-Point 2D Interface: Audio-Rate Signals for Controlling Complex Multi-Parametric Sound Synthesis. Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, 401-406, online only, Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.
  • Vickery, L., James, S., (2016), Tectonic: a networked, generative and interactive, conducting environment for iPad. Proceedings of the 42nd International Computer Music Conference, 542-547, Utrecht, The Netherlands, HKU University of the Arts.

Creative Arts Research Outputs

  • James, S., (2017), Noise in the Clouds., PICA, Perth, Australia & Hochschule fur Musik und Theatre, Hamburg, Germany.
  • Vickery, L., Hope, C., James, S., Wyatt, A., (2016), Decibel: Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst/Universities Australia Exchange with Hochschule fur Musik und Theatre. Decibel DAAD/Universities Australia Exchange with HfMT (Hamburg), Hochschule fur Musik und Theatre, Decibel.
  • James, S., Devenish, L., (2019), Percipience: After Kaul. Sheets of Sound, PICA, The Sewing Room, and Callaway Auditorium, Not Applicable.
  • Vickery, L., Hope, C., James, S., Devenish, L., (2017), Decibel Electronic Concerto. Electric Concerto, PICA performance Space, Perth WA., Tura New Music.
  • Hope, C., James, S., (2017), Speechless., Vitalstatistix, Port Adelaide, South Australia, Tura New Music (Annalisa Oxenburgh).
  • Hope, C., James, S., Wyatt, A., Vickery, L., Parr, T., Cahnam, N., (2016), Decibel - Cissie Tang - The Light that was Waiting. Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address: Nicole Canham - The Poetry of the Present, State Library of Western Australia Lecture Theatre, Tura New Music, Peggy Glanville Hicks Address.
  • Hope, C., Vickery, L., James, S., Wyatt, A., Parr, T., (2016), Decibel - Chance Figurations. Chance Figurations: Japan, Tokyo WonderSite, Hyongo, ICLA, Yamanashi University, Kofu, Kunitachi University, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Japan.
  • Hope, C., Vickery, L., James, S., Wyatt, A., Parr, T., Tonkin, C., Devenish, L., (2016), Intermodulations: A homage to Roger Smalley. Scale Variable New Chamber Music, Concert 1: Intermodulations, State Theatre Centre, Northbridge, WA, Tura New Music.
  • Vickery, L., James, S., Wyatt, A., Boynes, L., Hope, C., (2016), Decibel Tokyo Wonder Site Residency. Decibel: Tokyo Wonder Site Residency, Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo Wonder Site.
  • James, S., Coates, E., Aldum, N., Johnston, S., Holmes, L., Gladwell, S., Dunhill, A., Coles, R., (2016), Rumblestrip. Rumblestrip, 205 Pier Street North Perth.

Research Student Supervision

Principal Supervisor

  • Master of Arts (Performing Arts),  Exploring historical russian pianism in sergei lyapunov's twelve transcendental etudes, op. 11: The development of a performance edition

Associate Supervisor

  • Doctor of Philosophy,  The grain of the digital audio workstatiion
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