27 JUNE 2020

Jim Denley is an artist working in experimental and improvised sound, he has a studio space at the old Tempe Jets club now managed by Brand X as an experimental music hub.

Jim uses his breath to make sound often playing wind instruments in the natural environment.

He’s involved with the radically inclusive Splinter Orchestra who have literally been splintered by the Covid lockdown as members of the Orchestra have had to flee to their respective countries Chile and New Zealand, they’ve been meeting online every Sunday in a fascinating and rich experience for the group, tele-music-ing outside of place.

Splinter are currently busy creating for the online Avantwhatever Festival

You’ll also find Jim playing or recording most days at his home in Potts Point - windows open, listening to the world. 

Tell us a little bit about what you do.

I use breath to make sounds.

What is your favourite tool/instrument/process at the moment?


In one word tell us what your art is about.


Looking back at your creative career, is there a defining moment or project that you feel solidified your practice?

I must have been twelve years old on a family holiday to the Warrumbungles, where I found myself on the top of a mountain playing flute below the eagles. I was aware that the content of my playing shouldn't be Mozart or Jethro Tull — the things I could play — and instead I should play something more appropriate. 

What is exciting you most about your practice right now?

Discovering that social space can equate to Place. With the Splinter Orchestra zoom meetings, the sound is terrible - it’s a Non-Place. But what we are making together also has a certain beauty - spirit comes from our social engagement. 

If you were Federal Arts Minister, what policy would you enact immediately?

Deconstruct Museum culture. Defund the Eurocentric anachronistic companies that soak up the lion’s share of arts funding. Redistribute it to the innovative and exploratory.

For those readers who haven’t experienced much music out of the mainstream, what would you like to tell them about your field?

In a world that desperately needs alternatives to ‘business-as-usual', experimental music creates models of how we can be different.

People around the globe are experiencing their city, neighbourhoods and environments in an entirely different way. What’s your favourite discovery over the past month?

The relative quiet - the lack of aeroplanes strips away a layer of sonic violence from the city.

What do you hope for the future?

Less planes than normal. 

If you could speak to your 12 year old self, what advice would you give?

Thanks for thinking 'I should play something more appropriate’.