JLIAT is an alias used by British experimental composer/musician James Whitehead. It wasn't until Whitehead was an art student at Falmouth College that he became interested in music, sensing that avant-garde music and conceptual art had quite a few overlapping qualities. It was through an electronic music workshop by a Falmouth graduate Howard Rees that Whitehead began creating his own music (and experimenting with tape loops/samples). Whitehead then discovered free jazz via a "painting lecturer" at the school, who also encouraged the budding music experimentalist to contribute to a piece he was putting together, which collected "non musicians" to supply percussion (consisting of bird calls, squeaky toys, gongs, boxes, as well as assorted drums) on stage. Whitehead continued on his musical quest after college, as he also began incorporating video into his performances. It was during the mid-'80s that Whitehead's JLIAT (a name that came to Whitehead in a dream) project officially got underway, which merged minimalism with the looping of electronic "envelopes" and "wave sequences." Since the late '90s, JLIAT has issued several albums, including 1997's The Nature of Nature, 1998's Hilbert's Hotel, 2000's When We Focus on Nothing and The Grandi Series, plus Well Tempered Clavier (as well as two EPs: 2000's The Beethoven Symphonies and 2001's Nineteen Seventy Four).
Share this page