Damien Kingston

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Damien Kingston

Damien Kingston

PhD Candidate
Music | School of Creative Arts and Media

Conservatorium of Music, Hobart CBD Campuses

+61 3 6226 7314 (phone)


Damien Kingston is an Australian born jazz guitarist currently based in Hobart, Tasmania. Upon completing a Bachelor of music at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music, Damien relocated to Europe to further his study. After an initial period spent in Berlin performing, Damien relocated to Amsterdam where he completed his Masters of Music at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, studying under renowned Dutch guitarists Jesse van Ruller and Maarten van der Grinten.

During this period, he toured extensively both as a sideman and as a leader of his own ensemble, the Damien Kingston Trio, throughout countries including the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and France. Damien was also a prize winner at the Jazz & Blues Awards 2006 in Berlin, awarded first place as a member of the Abdourahmane Diop Group and was a finalist in many European jazz competitions including the Keep an Eye International Jazz Award 2012, European Jazz Awards 2012 and the Bucharest International Jazz Competition 2012.

Damien continues to lead his own trio as well as being a member of the quartet Kingston/Boden/Haywood/Jackson who recently released their debut record Colossus. He is also currently teaching at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music.

RESEARCH: Derek Bailey (1930-2005) was an English born guitarist known widely for his work in free improvised music and is viewed by many as one of the progenitors of European Free Improvisation, being one of the earliest visible practitioners of the genre, especially on the guitar. His style was characterized by extreme variance of register and timbre, discontinuity of phrasing and extended instrumental technique.

The research investigates the improvisatory language of Derek Bailey through detailed analysis and reinterpretation in performance. The analysis portion of the research is focused on identifying technical devices and constructs employed to organise larger forms, with specific attention paid to Bailey's treatment of pitch, melodic construction, use of formal compositional devices, extended instrumental technique, rhythmic concepts and approach to performing standard repertoire.

The performance aspect of the research focuses on reinterpretation of these materials in contemporary performance and composition within various formal settings (previously composed original music and new works informed by the research). These pieces will provide a framework to demonstrate the incorporation and assimilation of Bailey's language into a pre-existing and developing musical voice.