James William Blades is a London based composer, producer and sound artist whose work has included a wide range of productions across feature films, documentaries, commercials, sound installations, theatre and fashion.
More recently James was commissioned to produce and compose music for ‘Threads, Resonance & Reconstruct’, a sound installation with collaborator and singer Mabel Ray at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum.
He continued his exploration with music, sound and space in 2019 for Theaster Gate’s ‘Amalgam’ exhibition in which he composed the soundscapes installed at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.
James composed soundscape and additional music for Mercury Award winning Sampha’s film ‘Process, directed by Kahlil Joseph — and has continued collaborating with Joseph, working on ‘Black Mary and Fly Paper’, which were exhibited in London’s Tate Modern and New York’s New Museum.
James commercial clients have included Toyota, Harrods, H&M, Mercedes, Dyson & MoMA where he merges original composition and soundscape to create a unique sound palette. He was nominated for Best Original Score at the 2019 AMP Awards for his music to the 2019 Toyota Olympics Campaign.
James composed the score for the National Film Awards Best Thriller nominated film ‘Redistributors’ and the BIFA Best Documentary & Grierson nominated film ‘Halfway’ directed by Bafta Breakthrough Brit Daisy May Hudson. He also came runner up in the prestigious American CINE Marvin Hamlisch Film Scoring Contest for emerging composers, selected by a panel of judges including Academy Award-winning Michael Danna and Dan Carlin.
James was awarded a First BA(Hons) from Leeds College of Music, where he studied Music Production under the tutelage of Brian Morrell. He was then given the South Square Trust Scholarship Award to study a Masters in Composition focused towards film scoring at the Royal College of Music, where he graduated under the guidance of Enrica Sciandrone and Vasco Hexel.
James was invited to Thread, an artist residency in Senegal run by the Josef & Anni Albers Foundation in Connecticut. There he worked with Senegalese musicians producing music for fashion designer Grace Wales Bonner and recording a score to Malcolm Sutherland’s new animation. He returned in February 2018 to produce an album incorporating soundscapes and original compositions written and performed by artists in Dakar and Tambacounda.