Music

James performs as a soloist at major international festivals and concert halls. He works regularly with some of the finest musicians on the world stage and is noted for his advocacy of the guitar amongst leading British composers. His unique concert productions in wild and beautiful locations have been dubbed ‘the new luxury’.

Performances

‘You are not only a master musician but also a Magus, a magician who from the first moment casts a spell over us…’
                            Audience member, Auden Theatre, Holt, England.

Stolen Years

‘A virtuoso musician… a homage to life…’  – Classic Boat Magazine

In 1937, East Coast journalist and artist Archie White commissioned the yacht Concord from Harry King’s boatyard at Pinmill in Suffolk. His lovingly kept record of Concord’s early years provides a window onto a lost world touched by the shadow of war.

James now owns Concord and has brought her story to life in Stolen Years.

A full-length concert performance that explores James’ story of how he fell in love with the guitar, some of the extraordinary places it has taken him and how one day he had to face the collapse of his career due to injury and embark on a journey of relearning.

The techniques he developed to rebuild his career are included in this tour de force by a master guitarist.

More

Shapes of Sleep

The world between the tides, which belongs to no-one, is like the place of sleep. It is a place of withdrawal, of disturbing images, of solitude.

Shapes of Sleep is built around two masterpieces of modern English guitar repertoire: Benjamin Britten’s Nocturnal after John Dowland and Michael Tippett’s The Blue Guitar. It features lute music centuries old, but time oblivious. The melancholy of the Elizabethan era filters down through the weight of years, casting long shadows into the works of modern composers.
 
Inspired by the salt marshes of East Anglia and captured on disc in the great Snape Maltings Concert Hall this programme goes to the edge of a dream world and beyond.
‘Your climactic rendition of the Nocturnal, it is certainly a performance that will stand out in my memory…I could taste the night like velvet on my tongue…’
Audience member, Norwich, England.
 
‘You took us to the edge of hell and back’
Audience member, Christchurch, Spitalfields Festival, London.   

Shapes of Sleep is available as a CD or digital download

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Evocations and Echoes

A programme that takes the music of Bach as its starting point and ripples out into the works of other composers from Germany to Brazil, Paraguay and Spain.

‘We feel that you are playing for us personally and that we are part of the performance…’

– audience member, Cley Contemporary Art, England

Song of the Guitar

James’ playing is influenced by his love of song. This programme explores the guitar’s voice and sings of lyricism, love and the indomitable nature of the human spirit.

‘You are so poetic on that thing…’

– Jilly Spencer (awarding James the Robert Spencer memorial award)

Fireside Fantasias

The story of James’ journey with the guitar from a firelit hearth in a remote cottage through to his adventures at sea and his new creations. A tale of music, adventure, great artists and extraordinary ideas.

Wilderness Concerts

“The combination of the piece, the players and the place was magical. And I was magicked…

– The Telegraph

Exclusive musical events in wild and beautiful places

Wilderness Concerts are exclusive events for private clients.  A limited series is released each year to the public. The concerts reflect James’ love for adventure and wild spaces. They are immersive experiences – thought-provoking, uplifting and unforgettable.

Audiences talk of having taken part in a pilgrimage.  All around Britain there are secret places that have become the scene for James’ Wilderness Concerts. 

Many Cargoes

A limited series of concerts in North Norfolk with The Coastal Exploration Company.

Dates to be released in early 2019.

Cargoes of music, fine food and wine, deep in the heart of the East Anglian salt marshes. In association with the Coastal Exploration Company.

Henry Chamberlain is a professional adventurer and sailor. His Coastal Exploration Company deploys 3 traditional sailing craft to explore the tideways and byways of the North Norfolk Coast – a true wilderness of vast skies, the cries of wading birds and the susurrus of the sea.
 
Step into another world as you board Salford, a beamy gaff sail beauty, to head into the remote creeks of the North Norfolk salt marshes. At a secret location, the anchor is dropped and the scene set for a unique experience. A canopy can be built across the whole boat creating a miniature concert hall or it can be left open to the generous Norfolk sky. A wood-burning stove has centre place and the whole boat fills with its dry heat and the smell of freshly prepared, locally sourced food. A breakfast concert is accompanied by award-winning foods and followed perhaps, on a cold morning, by fresh coffee and fine cognac. An evening concert may feature local seafood and fine wine.
 
Each journey has a different musical cargo –  performances from some of the finest instrumentalists and singers in Britain. Each concert tells a story that will remain with you forever.

Collaborations

  • Harriet Mackenzie - Violin

    Harriet Mackenzie is an internationally renowned soloist and has performed across five continents. Her acclaimed band Kosmos brings the world of gypsy music to life in an entirely new way and her classical recordings and performances have received unanimous praise from the critics
  • Joshua Ellicot - Tenor

    Joshua Ellicott is an extraordinary talent, effortlessly crossing genre from Song to Opera to Concert repertoire with his sweet-toned, flexible yet powerful, lyric tenor voice
  • Robin Tritschler - Tenor

    One of the most sought after lyric tenors. Robin is a regular at Wigmore Hall where he is noted for his intelligent programming and exquisite performances. His sensitive musicianship makes him a wonderful partner for the intimate sound world of the guitar
  • James Laing - Countertenor

    James Laing is unique. His vocal range, dramatic capability and effortless musicianship have made him the countertenor of choice for Jonathan Dove’s operas. His artistry in the song repertoire combined with the haunting beauty of his voice match perfectly with the guitar