James Whitehead AKA JLIAT: conceptual/ drone/ noise artist, also reviews noise for vital weekly and independent work on noise theory, cotemporary philosophy and cybernetics.


James Whitehead has degrees in philosophy and Fine Art. It was whilst studying Fine Art that his engagement with music first began. At Falmouth School of Art he worked in the electronic music studio, met with John Tilbury, Harrison Birtwistle amongst others, performed works including ‘In C’ and was part of an improvisation percussion group.
“Since the nineties, James Whitehead – aka JLIAT – has brought out about a hundred extremely radical productions in England. His first works were very much like ambient pieces with lots of drones, but his later pieces are very varied in style: guitar noise, conceptual records of silence, pieces with war sounds and pure noise. Some people describe Whitehead as the composer who has taken the concept of anti-music the furthest. In any case, he seldom makes use of the full auditory spectrum: you either get absolute cacophony or are subjected to silence.”

Performances and installations include- Argos, Brussels with Charlemagne Palestine and Guy Marc Hinant, uninstal at Tramway, Glasgow for Arika along with Christian Bök: Craig Dworkin and Esse Est Percipi? exhibited @ Non-Cochlear Sound Diapason Gallery New York. “Noise Vs Culture” paper presented @ The University of Kent's symposium "Noise Vs Culture" June 2012. “Two Experiments” paper published in Tacet December 2012. Contributed to the book and symposium @ Centre for Research in New Music (CeReNeM) University of Huddersfield – October 2013 Presented a paper @ “The art of noises” (University College Cork) December 13th 2013, Presented paper @ The University of Falmouth April 2015 – “Pop goes Reason”, The Shortest possible CD, interview and played, March 2017 BBC Radio 3 The Listening Service.

He writes reviews of “Noise” for Vital Weekly, and is interested in its status with regards to Music and Culture. His recent work includes a piece of “1 Terabyte of Noise” of which a preliminary piece appears on Wire Tapper 28, in April’s 2012 issue of the Wire, it consists of 233 DVDs containing MP3 files of a piece which has a playing time of 711 days 14 hours. Other work is deploying pseudo random methodologies to create non-correlationist musics.
Recently his work has focused on relating “Noise” to speculative philosophies and non-correlational thinking regarding objects. Published early 2014 “The Grands” hypothetical instruments which can perform works lasting millennia…. As well as Schrödinger’s Symphonies- an attempt at exploiting quantum indeterminacy as a ‘musical’/’ontological’ device….



More information can be found @ www.jliat.com & www.jameswhitehead.org.