Simon James Phillips

Composer / Pianist

Simon James Phillips is an Australian composer and musician living in Berlin.

He creates immersive work that explores the perception of time and place through sound by building an expansive sonic atmosphere. His method of collaborative composition invites musicians to contribute creatively and he always seeks to understand and utilise the site-specific qualities available for each project.

︎ Tania Kelly

“Uncompromising assertiveness”

- The Sydney Morning Herald

After studying and performing for over 10 years as a classical pianist, Simon made the transition to composition and improvisatory performances. He has developed a technique by which he manipulates the overtones of the piano to create an almost electronic wash of sound. Space, textures and colours, expand in an almost kaleidoscopic manner, drawing audiences in to reflect upon and explore the sound.
Simon’s music defies most existing labels and is at home in the contexts of classical, new music, experimental, jazz and electronic music. His discography of 12 albums features a variety of his solo and collaborative work.

With a keen interest in interdisciplinary practice, he collaborates with dance, theatre, art/installation, and film. This cross-fertilisation informs his many creative and performative approaches resulting in unique concerts and events.
Simon, as either performer or composer, has participated in the Approximation Festival (Düsseldorf), Audio Art (Krakow), Bend/Break Festival, Jazzfest and Maerzmusik (Berlin), Borealis Festival (Bergen), Insub Festival (Geneva), Podium Festival (Esslingen), Darmstädter Ferienkurse, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, and the Sydney International Festival of the Arts. He has performed in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, and been artist in residence at the Banff Centre (Canada) and Teatro Maria Matos (Portugal).  He has composed for Ensemble Mosaik, Berlin Splitter Orchestra, the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, Ensemble Resonanz, Ensemble Offspring, the Australian Art Orchestra, the Deutsches Theater, the Schaubühne, and for members of the Berlin Philharmonic and the Portuguese Chamber Orchestra.

︎ artist website
"This is sensuous, immersive, ambient music and a stunning example of how a good composer can distil the bombast and drama of the pipe organ into a thing of simple grace and beauty." - The Guardian

SKEIN Work for orchestra using spatialisation
"But, in the left area of the stage, there is the key piece of this creation: the piano, the discreet shadow of Simon James Phillips." -Pùblico