James HeatherComposer, Pianist
James Heather is one of the new school ‘post classical’ artists flourishing in the wake of figureheads like Max Richter, Hania Rani and Jóhann Jóhannsson. His music has amassed an impressive following, with over 160 million streams on Spotify and 9.2 million on Apple Music.
Most recently, Heather shared the first two classical arrangements from his Reworks: Vol2 album, ‘Ultraviolet (Alexandra Hamilton-Ayres Rework)’ and ‘Meant to Be (VOCES8 Rework)’, available on all streaming platforms from 4 October 2023 at 2PM BST via Ahead of Our Time (Ninja Tune founders Coldcut’s other label). The album follows the release of Heather’s critically acclaimed 2022 LP Invisible Forces (nominated for Best Classical Album at the Libera Awards), an album with an electronic, ambient, orchestral and post-rock sensibility that the Financial Times praised for its ‘lightness of touch, intuition and resonant heart and soul‘.
Heather is not only a hypnotic composer, but an engaging performer, whose genre-defying work has been played in disparate live contexts. In 2022, Heather headlined the Royal Albert Hall’s Steinway Series, and gave a live session at Printworks. Other performances in Heather’s eclectic roster include festivals such as Green Man and Wilderness, respected late night museum performances such as the Neues Museum in Germany, and, soon, the main nonclassical stage at Beyond the Pale 2024, bringing the piano and his unique style to new crossover audiences. His musical approach is particularly suited to a live setting; doing what he dubs ‘Pulse Music’, which finds him playing freely, using instinct instead of a metronome or notation to decide where things go, Heather engages crowds on their own terms, and makes each of his live performances unique.