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Stephen Bull : Associate Artist

Random Audio Sample: Hands on (quartets: 2 mandolins, mandola, guitar) by Stephen Bull, from the CD Music from the Fellowship of Australian Composers.


Since emerging from composition studies with Peter Sculthorpe at Sydney University in the mid 1980s, Stephen Bull has forged a diverse career. As a freelance bass guitarist, Bull has performed and recorded for literally hundreds of artists. These include Icehouse, Wendy Matthews, Jenny Morris, Floyd Vincent, Sister Madly, Marcia Hines, Melanie Horsnell, Garth Porter and John Kilbey among many others. Highlights include a recent performance at Sound Relief at the SCG with Icehouse and two seasons of Berlin also with Icehouse and the Sydney Dance Company. Bull still performs weekly with a variety of performers across Sydney.

Creatively, Bull has immersed himself in both songwriting and composition. At the tail end of the 1980s, he had his compositions performed by, among others, Synergy and the Sydney Mandolin Quartet. His work at this time was influenced by the Minimalist movement headed by Reich, Glass and Adams but was fused with the experimental pop of Talking Heads and Brian Eno. His composition Ball the Jack, written for marimba, bass guitar and electronic drums, has been performed across Australia and in Europe, and is most typical of this period.

For most the 1990s he was signed internationally to Sony/ATV Music Publishing primarily as a songwriter. In that time he had his songs recorded by artists in Australia, the UK, the USA, Europe and New Zealand. Highlights include co writing 'Nothing to Lose' for Daryl Braithwaite which appeared on his No1 CD Rise. He has co-written songs with performers such as Tina Arena, Ana Christensen and Penny Flanagan. He has over 200 titles registered with APRA. In addition, he has acted as engineer and producer on several commercially released CDs by artists such as David Beniuk and Jan Preston. He is currently working on releases with several up-and-coming singer songwriters.

After his tenure at Sony/ATV was complete, Bull had an opportunity to explore his long-term interest in electronic music and completed a Master of Arts in 2006. The theme was electroacoustic music, and he completed a portfolio that featured works created from the audio manipulation of the oboe, piano, cello and the voice as well as electronically generated sounds.

During this time, Bull also coordinated the Sounds of the Street music program for disadvantaged young people and co-produced 12 CDs from 1993-2001. He is currently Head Teacher of Music at TAFE Entertainment at Nirimba College, Quakers Hill.

Biography provided by the composer — current to April 2009

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Digital sheet music sample Thieves : percussion quartet (1990) Commissioned by Synergy Percussion.