James Batty is a pianist, composer and sound artist who works most of the time in London.
Even before he first discovered the piano at the age of eight, James was fascinated by sound and music, and has been improvising, composing and playing solo and with other musicians ever since. He studied composition and piano at Chetham's School of Music, and it was there that he began to develop his unique musical language – haunting, fleeting fragments of melody and distinctive, constantly shifting harmonies – which won him a place in the final of the BBC Young Composer competition and on the prestigious SPNM Shortlist. James went on to hone his technique at Trinity College, Cambridge, the Gnesin Academy in Moscow and the University of Westminster. He has composed for a wide range of great musicians and ensembles, including the BBC Singers and E-MEX Ensemble.
In 2016, James released his debut solo project, Sanctuary (Overtones and Deviations), an album in which he combines traditional piano compositions with electronic soundscapes, retuned pianos and other acoustic instruments. The music is introspective and emotive, and the album reflects his fascination with the pure, natural sounds of the harmonic series. Sanctuary (Overtones and Deviations) has been critically acclaimed and aired on radio across Europe and in the US. It is available now on CD and to download.
James recently collaborated with Grammy-winning producer Haydn Bendall to record his first solo piano album, Until I Set Him Free. The album is a collection of emotionally-charged compositions for which James devised a brand new spectral piano tuning, and it is set for release in 2019.