Jim Denley

Jim Denley, an Australian flautist, has been active in the avant-garde scene since the late 1970s. However, he is still a relatively unknown figure. His influence can be compared with Jon Rose, who he founded the revolutionary Relative Band in 1982. The violinist rose in popularity thanks to his bizarre radio plays and stage antics. There was also a lot of talent involved. Denley remained hidden. Denley moved to London after Rose, the pioneer in Australian experimental music by 1985, left Australia. Roger Turner, John Butcher and Derek Bailey were among his many friends. He also played in Chris Burn’s band, along with Stevie Wishart, who he married in 1987. He is a master improviser because of his extensive technique on alto and flutes, his keen listening skills, and refusal to stick to a single format. Denley was born in Bulli in Australia’s state of New South Wales. He grew up in Wollongong. At the age of five, his father, an amateur violinist who was also a music enthusiast, gifted him his first violin. Denley, then five years old, entered the NSW Conservatorium in 1969 to study flute under Peter Richardson. Richardson introduced Denley to contemporary composers such as Varese or Berio. He was influenced by his father and the child’s interest in left-field music. However, it would take him a few more years to start taking music seriously. He decided to be a professional musician in 1977 and began to find his own style. Peter Ready, a percussionist and instrument builder, was his first love. They built a large set of junk-metal instruments in 1979 and toured Australia for two years with the New Music Constructions. Jon Rose met them in 1981. Both were classically trained musicians who played jazz and worked in studios to earn rent. They both wanted to express themselves differently. From 1981 to 1985, the variable-geometry group, the Relative Band was active and became a resource for the then-burgeoning Australian free-improv scene. They attracted many foreign musicians, particularly from London. A long-standing collaboration was established in 1983 with RikRue, a Relative Band alum. Mind/Body/Split was formed by them, and they later joined Machine for Making Sense. Denley started to travel to London frequently, and eventually split his time between Australia and Europe. He formed Embers in 1986 with Marcio Mattos and John Butcher. These musicians were influenced by his work with the Spontaneous Music Ensemble. Denley has been a part of many collaborations throughout Europe and Australia. During the 1990s, he toured with Chris Burn’s group, Machine for Making Sense and Lines. He was also a member of Philipp Wachsmann, Marcio Matos, and Axel Dorner. His first solo album, Dark Matter, came out in 1995. He released Tibooburra in 2002 with his wife. Allmusic

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