james keane

Composer, Multi Instrumentalist & Performer

Current Work

Composing for "The Days" with Maria Nurmela & Ville Oinonen, Directed and conceived by Theo Clinkard, premiered in Pori, Finland and now on tour

Composing for Rachel Birch-Lawson "Unassailable Us", premiered at The Gulbenkian Theatre and touring this year

Performing in Hofesh Shechter's "Politcal Mother: The Choreographer's Cut" in Bunkamura Orchard Hall, Tokyo

Recent Work

Composed for and performed in Theo Clinkard's "This Bright Field", premiered at Brighton Festival and touring Autumn 2017
- "a poetic fusion of sight and sound" - The Guardian

Composed for Charlotte Spencer Projects "Is This A Wasteland?"
for Dance Umbrella

Composed for Joss Arnott Dance "Rush"
Touring in a new Triple Bill with my Four pieces for Solo Viola played live by Fra Rustumji

Composed for "On Demand" by The Natashas Project

Composed a Choreographic Cantata for Youth Music Theatre UK with Choreographer Rachel Birch-Lawson Premiered at Sadlers Wells

Composed the soundtrack for The Hum . A GPS located smart phone app. Conceived and Directed by Nic Sandiland. Ran throughout Brighton Festival and around the UK

"V" Four pieces for Solo Viola with Choreography by Joss Arnott won "Special Award for Outstanding Choreographic Musical Interpretation and Dance Technicality" at the Warsaw Zawirowania Dance International Choreography Competition

Associate musical director for "Here All Night" words by Samuel Beckett, music by Paul Clark with Gare St Lazare Ireland at Arts Emerson Boston

Dame Evelyn Glennie performing the Recital version of the music for Joss Arnott's "Wide Awakening" in residency at King's Cross Cubitt Sessions and around the world from Tasmania to Rome to Canada...
- "a virtuoso treatment of standard percussion instruments albeit cast in an impressive array of shifting textures" - Calgary Herald

Composed for Charles Linehan for "A Quarter Plus Green", Brighton Festival

Internationale Tanzmesse Dusseldorf and British Dance Edition in the Wales Millenium Centre, Cardiff with "Of Land And Tongue" by Theo Clinkard Dance

Composed for Flexer & Sandiland for "Disappearing Acts", Touring

Conducted the Manchester Camerata and played fuzz bass for Clod Ensemble's "An Anatomie in Four Quarters" in The Lowry, Manchester

Composed music and soundscore for "somewhat still when seen from above" Choreography by Theo Clinkard with Leah Marojevic for Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, one of the commissions for "Neue Stuck", premiered at Opernhaus Wuppertal, Germany

Performed in "Political Mother, The Choreographer's Cut" with Hofesh Shechter Company at O2 Brixton Academy, London, La Grande Hall De La Vilette, Paris, also Berlin, Monpelier and Hong Kong

Toured internationally since the premier in 2010 with Hofesh Shechter's "Political Mother"


The Days Maria Nurmela, Conceived and directed by Theo Clinkard - Music

On Demand The Natashas Project - Music

This Bright Field Theo Clinkard Dance - Music

Reflections in Swan Lake Youth Music Theatre UK

Of Land And Tongue, Theo Clinkard Dance - Music

Trailer for Joss Arnott Dance 5|0 - Music

Trailer for SALT with Vanessa Maguire

"no marks on the map" Choroegraphy by Lizzi Kew-Ross at Bonnie Bird Theatre, London - Music

Theo Clinkard 124 x 2" from his first 5 years of work, music - Miniture Dance from "Of land and tongue"

Trailer for Joss Arnott Dance - V - composed by James Keane, solo Viola Bruce White


You can find over 60 pieces, excerpts, songs, demos etc etc on my soundcloud page

A Collage of some work from 2012-2016

Flocking Canons from "somewhat still when seen from above" Choreography by Theo Clinkard with Leah Marojevic for Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch

Together for Unassailable us, choreography - Rachel Birch-Lawson 2018

Exerpt from Rush for Joss Arnott Dance 2017

Pole Dance 4 for "Is This A Wasteland" by Charlotte Spencer Projects 2017, there are 3 others, in 3 different genres, and they all go wrong...


Score and Backing Track for Piece For Dance , originally written for
Dame Evelyn Glennie, is available on request - Email

Piece for Twenty One Strings and Dancers String Quartet No.1 Guitar Studies

Etude One
Etude Two
Etude Three
Etude Four

Four Pieces for Solo Viola


James Keane - Trained at Trinity College of Music. He has composed for dance, theatre, TV, animation and the concert hall and has conducted music for opera, concerts, TV, films, and CDs.

As a performer he has worked with Deborah Warner (LIFT), Tom Morris (NT, BAC), Struan Leslie (NT, WNO), Melly Still (Lyric Hammersmith), Johnathan Stone (Purcell Room and touring), Julian Crouch, Lizzi Kew-Ross (Laban), Simon Fisher Turner. As a conductor/orchestrator/instrumentalist he's worked with The Clod Ensemble, The Cholmondeleys and Featherstonehaughs, Welsh National Opera, Ballet Rambert, Hofesh Shechter and composers Murray Gold (BBC, C4), John Browne (ROH), Paul Clark (NT) and bands The Jazz Cigarettes (live karaoke), The Blue Dogs and Heist (supporting The Fall).

James was a founder member of the London Guitar Trio, premiering over 20 new works. He has taught at Trinity Laban, Central School Of Speech And Drama, Universities of Chichester and Portsmouth and for seven years was an Associate Lecturer in Theatre Improvisation at University College Winchester. He plays piano, percussion and iPad for contemporary classes and ballet at Trinity Laban, University of Surrey, University College Chichester, Adventures in Motion Pictures, Lost Dog, DV8, Royal Ballet School and Ballet Rambert.

He has conducted a choir at Tate Modern Turbine Hall in Clod Ensemble's "Silver Swan", also conducted a string orchestra and played fuzz bass in Clod's "An Anatomie in Four Quarters" at Sadlers Wells, Wales Millennium Centre and Manchester Camerata at The Lowry; conducted Opera North Chorus in RnD for a new opera by Melanie Wilson; toured internationally with Hofesh Shechter Company as Guitarist and Drummer and also performed in "Political Mother: The Choreographer's Cut" in Brixton Academy, Sadlers Wells, Paris and Hong Kong; performed in Without Warning company; was associate musical director for the world premiere of "Here All Night", words by Samuel Beckett, music by Paul Clark at the Brighton Festival '13 and Arts Emerson, Boston '16 and was musician in residence for the 2014 Brighton Festival Parade.

He has composed for Charles Linehan, Lost Dog, Charlotte Spencer Projects, Rachel Birch-Lawson, Lizzi Kew Ross, Struan Leslie for The Circus Space, Flexer & Sandiland, Ali Curtis Jones with Summit Theatre, Candoo2, SHIFT, The Natashas Project, Noa Genazzano, Youth Music Theatre UK and Joss Arnott Dance - including a piece with Dame Evelyn Glennie which she is now performing in recitals. He composed for, and performs in, Theo Clinkard's "Chalk" and "Of Land and Tongue" and his Brighton Festival '17 commission This Bright Field. He also composed for Theo's "somewhat still when seen from above" for Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch


James has been described as "the Keith Moon of Dance Accompaniment", "a talentless hack", "breakneck", "undulating", "thunderous", "dappled", "still too loud" and "summoning thoughts of wind blown picnics". He has worked with celery, water bottles, radiators, plastic bags and tables. He has been a rabbit, spaghetti, a prisoner and an angel. He's written, composed, devised, directed, improvised and guessed. He's played other people's music in the Brooklyn Academy of Music, an Operating Theatre and Sydney Opera House. Other people have played his music in Wuppertal, Blackpool and Tasmania.
He likes Zebras, Zeppelin, Yearnings, Yes's, Xenakis, Waltzes, Varese, Vinho Verde, Venice, Urtext, Television (the band), Taste, Sherman (Cindy, not the tank), Stravinsky, Schnittke, Sun Ra, Sly, Schwitters, Scelsi, Rabelais, Reefs, Retrograde, Quivers, Psilocybin, Priorat, Pamuk, Perotin, Perec, Palindromes, Picnics, Ornithology, Onomatopoeia, Other things, Nancarrow, Markson, Mingus, Murmuration, Mistakes, Ligeti, Lists, Love, Knausgaard, King Lear, Joyce, Joni, John, Ives, impulses, hello's, Hendrix, hysteria, Gonzo, Generosity, Franzen, Feldman, Ephemerality, Etymology, exaggeration, Doig, Dolphy, Dennehy (Donnacha), Dancing, Celan, Carter, Cliché, Cage, Chomsky, collective nouns, Balsamic, Bach, Bartok, Beckett, Beefheart, Beyoncé, Beethoven (but only the late stuff, not the very dull early stuff or the symphonies bla, bla, bla), Asymmetry, Ayres, Alps, amuse-bouches, Animal, alphabets.

Other Links

Clod Ensemble
Joss Arnott Dance
Lost Dog Dance
Theo Clinkard
The Jazz Cigarettes
Rudolf Laban's Jukebox
The Blue Dogs