James Marples

James Marples is an Australian songwriter, composer and performer who recently returned to Melbourne after 16 years in the UK.

As a composer, his work for contemporary dance company Secondhand Dance has been performed at Sadlers Wells, Southbank Centre and toured internationally. In 2017 he composed the music for Sam Shepard’s Lie of the Mind at London’s Southwark Playhouse.

As a bandleader, for twelve years he fronted the Milkshakers, a 1950s rock n roll band that performed over 300 gigs at festivals and events throughout the UK and Europe. He has also released his own music including an EP with Anvil Records in 2004, a single with the Matthew Herbert affiliated NX Records in 2013 and most recently in 2019 an EP, ‘Go Quietly’, which received BBC radio play and was added to the Amazing Radio playlist.

Much of his work sits at the intersection point between music and academia. In 2018, he was the artist in residence at the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies at Kings College London, and received Arts Council funding for his project Colonial Sun exploring Australian National Identity through songwriting. And in 2019 he performed an eight-night run of ‘Twelvis’ a live art concert and performance lecture about Elvis Presley.