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James K. Lee : Associate Artist

Random Audio Sample: Black berries (film/tv soundtrack) by James K. Lee, from the CD Selected Works by AMC Represented Artists, vol. 47.

James Lee was born in Dunedin, New Zealand, but moved to Perth, Western Australia, at an early age. He studied composition and performance (cello) at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) before moving to Sydney in 2003 to study film music composition at the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS).

WAAPA's performing arts environment provided an ideal testing ground for cross-art form experimentation, which Lee took advantage of via collaborations with students in the theatre, dance, and film media departments. For Lee, cinema projects were of particularly strong interest and the desire to participate in the collaborative, creative processes of filmmaking and film storytelling became the focus of his future aspirations.

During his studies at AFTRS, Lee composed the music to several short films, including the short animation, Birthday Boy, a film that won numerous international awards including the BAFTA for best short animation. The film also earned Lee a nomination for an Australian Film Institute (now AACTA) Award for Best Sound in a Non-Feature Film. His orchestral score to the AFTRS short drama, Black Berries, went on to receive a nomination for an APRA AGSC Screen Music Award.

After completing his studies, Lee worked as a freelance composer, orchestrator and copyist, primarily in the film and television industries. His experience as an orchestral cellist, in both university and state youth orchestras, greatly informed his orchestration practice. His orchestration work can be heard on numerous local and international film and television productions including Australia, Happy Feet 1 and 2, P.S. I Love You, The Railway Man, and many others.

James Lee — current to August 2014