James O’Callaghan is a composer and sound artist based in Montréal praised for his “mastery of materials and musical form” (Électromania, Radio France) and “highly refined sense of colour” (Vancouver Sun).
His music intersects acoustic and electroacoustic media, employing field recordings, amplified found objects, computer-assisted transcription of environmental sounds, and unique performance conditions.
His work, spanning chamber, orchestral, live electronic and acousmatic idioms, audio installations, and site-specific performances, has been variously commissioned by the Groupe de recherches musicales (GRM), NYO Canada, Ensemble Paramirabo, Quasar, and Standing Wave, among others.
James O’Callaghan is the recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts’ Robert Fleming Prize (Canada, 2015), and his music has been awarded first prizes in the Salvatore Martirano Memorial Composition Award (USA, 2016), the Musicworks’ electronic music competition (Canada, 2015), the SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers (Canada, 2013, ’14), including its 2014 John Weinzweig Grand Prize, and the Canadian Electroacoustic Community’s competition Jeu de temps / Times Play (JTTP, CEC, Canada, 2013). His music was nominated for the Gaudeamus Award (The Netherlands, 2016) and the Juno Award for Classical Composition of the Year (Canada, 2014), and was a finalist in the the 8e Prix collégien de musique contemporaine (Québec, 2016) and the Klang competition (France, 2015).
Originally from Vancouver, he received a Master of Music degree in composition from McGill University in 2014, studying with Philippe Leroux, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts honours degree from Simon Fraser University in 2011, studying with Barry Truax.