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music/Maker with Tyler Kline

  • Writer's pictureTyler Kline

music/Maker with Tyler Kline // Episode 11

Transformation through Experimental Sound Practices with James May

Rekira Luketic/Rekira Luketic Photography




On today's episode of music/Maker with Tyler Kline, Tyler is joined by James May.

James May is a composer, improviser, teacher, photographer, and writer. His work explores unfurling, fragile spaces through notated scores, improvisation environments, live electronics, field recordings, extended vocal technique, and text. He’s especially interested in combining techniques to encourage the exploration of new sounds or generate unpredictable systems in which performers can dwell. 

He’s a member of Versipel New Music in New Orleans, has published writing in Sound American and RTÉ Culture, taught courses on music production techniques and field recording at Tulane University, and is an active free improviser in the Gulf South. James is beginning a PhD in Music and Multimedia Composition at Brown University in the fall of 2024.

In this conversation, James shares how studying composition as an undergrad was really his only option to pursue music as a career - a departure from the typical path of music education or performance; he and Tyler bond over the way each of us entered the world of electronic music; he discusses the transformative year he spent studying Experimental Sound Design in Cork, Ireland; how he broke away from approaching free improvisation with a composer’s perspective and how that, in turn, influences his compositional work today; and so, so much more.

James can be found online at


Media mentioned in this conversation

Disclosure: links to products that appear throughout this interview may be affiliate links. By purchasing an item discussed in this interview via one of these links, you support this podcast and network.

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