Jez riley French

Through the use of extended 'field recording' techniques, Jez riley French’s work has focused on the creative possibilities of durational and micro listening. Focusing on sounds normally either not available to our naked ears or filtered out by our everyday response to our sonic environment, he is constantly fascinated by sounds such as the resonances of architectural structures and spaces, insects (terrestrial & aquatic), the ultrasonics & electromagnetics of light sources, the infrasound of the world turning and how we can also use extended recording techniques to turn our surroundings into a seemingly infinite, ever changing set of filters for generated sounds, composed, improvised or systems based.


Using intuitive composition, field recording, improvisation and photography, Jez has been exploring his enjoyment of and interest in detail, simplicity and his emotive response to places and situations for over 3 decades. Alongside performances, exhibitions, installations, JrF lectures and runs workshops around the world and his range of specialist microphones are widely used by recordists, sound artists, musicians, sound designers and cultural organisations.


He also works as a curator of live events, a record label, of sound installations and an arts zine ‘verdure engraved’. In recent years he has been working extensively on recordings of surfaces, spaces  and situations and developing the concept of photographic scores and ‘scores for listening’, which have featured widely in publications and exhibitions. His work has been exhibited in shows and installations alongside that of Yoko Ono, David Bowie, Pauline Oliveros, Chris Watson, Alvin Lucier, Annea Lockwood, Ryuchi Sakamoto, Stars of the Lid, Jeremy Deller, Sarah Lucas, Brian Eno, Signe Liden, Sally Ann McIntyre etc, at galleries including The Whitworth Gallery (Manchester), Tate Modern and Tate Britain, MOT - Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (Japan), Artisphere (USA). 


For the Hull, Capital of Culture year 2017 year in the UK, Jez has created a number of works including the installation of Icelandic recordings ‘the sound of the world turning’ for John Grant’s North Atlantic Flux festival, and also collaborated with Jan Bang, Arve Henriksen, Eivind Aarset & Opera North on ‘The Height of the Reeds’, an installation based sound walk in the Humber Bridge.


He has been described, in an interview with the British Library, as one of the most influential sound artists of his generation, not only for his own creative work but also for his expansion of extended field recording techniques and modes of listening into key elements of the sonic arts, film, tv, radio, architecture & the games industry.




(Photo: Phoebe riley Law)