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Kim Bowman : Represented Artist

'My music trips over itself, deranges and proceeds like a tidal wave.'

Random Audio Sample: Black wind : for string orchestra and percussion by Kim Bowman, from the CD November music 2005

Photo of Kim Bowman

Photo: Kim Bowman

Artist website: http://www.kimbowman.net/

Kim Bowman, born in Margaret River, WA, in 1957, was mostly educated in the Netherlands, where he started art school in Den Bosch at the age of 17. A few immature compositions date from those years, and Bowman also played guitars and drums in several New Wave bands at the time. After graduating from art school, Bowman made some tape compositions in his own studio, using both electronic and concrete sounds as well as self-made percussion and string instruments. He also started studying cello and percussion.

Bowman started composition studies at the Utrecht Conservatorium of Music in 1986 where he also worked in the electronic music studio. He continued his studies at the Rotterdam Conservatorium of Music, where he also added double bass and piano to his curriculum. He graduated in 1993.

Bowman's works have been performed throughout the world and commissioned and performed by major orchestras and ensembles, such as the Residentie Orchestra The Hague, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Holland Sinfonia, the Sydney Symphony and the Meridian Arts Ensemble New York. Reinbert de Leeuw, David Porcelijn, Etienne Siebens, Lucas Vis and Jac van Steen, among others, have conducted his works.

Since 2005, Kim Bowman has been living in Sydney. He is particularly interested in writing for a large group of instruments . His compositions are generally very dense and hectic, and instruments 'are treated like a flock of birds or a shoal of fish. The music trips over itself, deranges and occasionally proceeds like a tidal wave'.

For several of his works, Bowman has designed additional instruments. For Black Wind, he designed 'foot slaps' to be played by the string players, and all members of the string orchestra also had a triangle suspended from their desks. At the beginning and end of the piece, Bowman used wind chimes that were accelerated by huge wind fans on either side of the stage.

Occasionally his works tend to incorporate other art disciplines, either by collaborating with other artists, or by including theatrical or visual elements.

In 2008, he started designing sound sculptures for playgrounds and public areas, thus creating a bridge to his earlier training and life as a visual artist. In 2015 his sculptures can be experienced in more than 100 locations throughout Australia, mainly in major cities like Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Adelaide and Perth, as well as in rural towns and areas. With the prospect of expanding his market to new Zealand and Europe.

After a contemplative period of about five years, during which only a few works for mainly small ensembles were established, Bowman's new challenge since 2010 is using visual and mathematical concepts to generate new works. For instance Particles for chamber orchestra, written early 2011, was initiated by quantum particle behaviour.

Bowman is also increasingly challenging musicians to broaden their talents. As for instance in Syllables to Attitudes, a work for 2 female voices and large ensemble, written in 2012. In this work Bowman has broken down language in order to avoid meaning and narrative. The conductor plays a metal bucket with pebbles and claps his way on stage and in many ways musicians and singers are strained to go beyond the conventional performance of music by means of expressing themselves in theatrical ways.

Highlights of his composing career include:

In 2001, The Residentie Orchestra The Hague, one of the Netherlands' major orchestras, performed Time and Again. A few years earlier in 1998, Symphony Australia's score reading panel recommended Alchemia I for performance to the ABC orchestras, which led to the performance of the work in 2005 by the Sydney Symphony. Also in 1998, Entity for flute quartet received a honourable mention from the National Flute Association in the USA.

In November 2005, Amsterdam Sinfonietta premiered Black Wind with percussion soloist Claire Edwardes and multimedia artist Susan Norrie in s-Hertogenbosch, Gent, Amsterdam, Groningen, and subsequently at the 2006 Adelaide Festival. In the same year, The Violin was performed at the XXVIII Foro Internacional de Musica Nueva 'Manuel Enriquez' in Mexico City.

Some concert reviews:

The Sydney Morning Herald wrote of the 2005 performance of Alchemia I (19 July 2005): 'It seemed he had put the orchestral repertoire of the 20th century into a washing machine and set it to spin. It suffered from overdense scoring but, like the white wash with that red sock left in, was smattered with colour and insight'.

The Australian (19 July 2005) wrote: 'The translucent textures he created from the orchestra, even in the loudest fortissimos, were truly remarkable'

Adelaide Festival review (14 March 2006) about Black Wind: '....the dense scoring of the work, where fragments, threads of theme seem to emerge, then vanish, re-emrging later, but transformed, then vanish again. The music, containing many of these tiny thematic elements, constantly twists, turns and evolves creating complex aural patterns rather then conventionally structured music...'

Bowman's works are published in the Netherlands by Muziek Centrum Nederland and in Australia by the Australian Music Centre.

Kim Bowman — current to January 2015

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Black wind : for string orchestra and percussion (2005) Commissioned by Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst.
Brassquintet and percussion (sextets: horn, 2 trumpets, trombone, tuba, percussion) (2003) Commissioned by the November Music Festival, Netherlands, for the Meridian Arts Ensemble, New York
Time and again : Alchemia III, for orchestra (2000) Commissioned by Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst for performance by Residentie Orkest.
Digital sheet music sample Vertigo : (Alchemia II), for flute, soprano and piano (1999) Commissioned for Koos Verheul, Jan van der Meer and Ilse van de Kasteele
The violin : for violin solo (1996) Commissioned by Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst.
Entity : for flute quartet (1996) Commissioned by Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst for performance by Keizerkwartet.