Simon James Phillips is a musician whose creative approach activates alternative processes broadening the relational connections between musics, participants, heritages, and practises. He utilises transdisciplinary methodologies of collaboration and adaptation to question dominant approaches to artistic creation. Phillips produces immersive work that explores the perception of time and place through sound and spatialisation by building expansive sonic atmospheres and taking particular care to tailor his compositions to each context. He often incorporates methods of collaborative composition that invite creative contributions from musicians who shift the composer/performer relationship towards an initiator/creative-participant dynamic. The multi-faceted and flexible nature of his work facilitates a diversity of practises initiating a cross-fertilisation that informs his many creative projects.
Originally trained as a classical pianist, Phillips has worked as a pianist, cellist, conductor, composer and artist in the disciplines of new and experimental music, classical music, non-western musics, improvisation, electronic music, theatre, dance, performance, film, the visual arts and research.
He has composed for Ensemble Resonanz, Ensemble Mosaik, Berlin Splitter Orchester, Zafraan Ensemble, Ensemble Offspring, the Australian Art Orchestra, the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, Musikkollegium Wintherthur, Theater Basel, Deutsches Theater, and recently a solo piece for Matthew McDonald, principal Doublebass of the Berlin Philharmonic. He is a founding member of Greenery, a multi-disciplinary collective initiated with sculptor David Adamo. Furthermore, he has performed or composed for the Approximation Festival (Düsseldorf), Audio Art (Krakow), Bend/Break Festival (Berlin), Borealis Festival (Bergen), Darmstädter Ferienkurse (Darmstadt), Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (Huddersfield), Jazzfest Berlin (Berlin), Maerzmusik (Berlin), and the Sydney International Festival of the Arts (Sydney).
Phillips’ time is equally divided between composition, performance and research. He is currently an artistic director and member of the Board of Trustees for the Gwaertler Stiftung, a Swiss foundation supporting the arts. He currently lives in Berlin, Germany.