Jim Aitchison’s practice as a composer engages with a variety of sources, in music, art and literature. To date, his activities are unique in initiating encounters with work by a range of important visual artists including Gerhard Richter, Antony Gormley, Doris Salcedo, Peter Randall-Page, Mark Rothko, Anish Kapoor, Richard Deacon, Jeremy Annear, Sir Terry Frost, Bridget Riley and John Hoyland.
Recent projects have included a large scale performance event of Memory Field, his work with Antony Gormley, at Kings Place and the Royal Academy of Music, responses performed at the Royal Academy of Arts to Anish Kapoor's remarkable 2009 exhibition, a commission from Retorica and Anna Portisch for SOAS and the embassy of Kazakhstan for the Brunei Gallery, and a commission from Tate Modern to engage with the gallery’s 2008/2009 Rothko exhibition with Michael Thompson, Nicholas Clapton and the Kreutzer Quartet.
He is the first composer to be given a fellowship by the Henry Moore Foundation, which occurred at the Royal Academy of Music during which he created responses to the iconic Shibboleth installation by Doris Salcedo performed by violinist Peter Sheppard Skærved in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern and to sculpture by Antony Gormley performed at the artist’s studio. The composer has also created work for performances at the Modern Art Museum of Forth Worth, Dallas, the British Museum, Tate St Ives, the 2D2N Festival in Odessa, The Henry Moore Institute, The Kurmangazy National Conservatoire in Kazakhstan and the NewcastleGateshead Festival of Visual Art. Jim Aitchison is currently an Honorary Research Fellow at the Royal Academy of Music.
Jim Aitchison's Shadows of Light (Music from the Seagram Murals), after Mark Rothko