Jules Maxwell

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Jules Maxwell
Jules Maxwell web.jpg
Background information
Born (1965-10-28) October 28, 1965 (age 50)
Bangor, Northern Ireland
Genres Composer for Theatre, Dance and Film
Website Official website

Jules Maxwell (born October 28, 1965 in Bangor, Northern Ireland) is a songwriter, and composer who is best known as composer for the 1998 Oscar nominated short Dance Lexie Dance. His composition work for dance theatre draws upon minimalism and is often recorded, incorporating strong melodic montages of sampled sound influenced by the work of Gavin Bryars. He lives in London.


Jules Maxwell’s career in music began in rather unlikely circumstances. As a politics undergraduate at Queen’s University in Belfast he hooked up with the drama society and began composing music for their productions. Up to that point he had no intention of working professionally as a musician. Subsequently however, this unlikely group of actors, writers, directors and musicians went on to form Tinderbox Theatre Company.

Early years[edit]

From 1988 through to 2002 Maxwell composed for fifteen of the first Tinderbox shows. These included Lynne Parker’s production of Catchpenny Twist by Stewart Parker, Gary Mitchell’s “Independent Voice”, Marie Jones “Ruby” and Tim Loane’s “Caught Red Handed”. One thing led to another and during this period he also began picking up work as a composer for contemporary dance, working for 4 seasons with Limerick based Daghdha Dance Company. He moved from Belfast to Dublin in 1994 and forged an exciting relationship with fledgling animation house Moving Still with whom he collaborated on 2 series for television: “Ri Ra” was an Irish language programme for RTÉ/UTV, and “Stop, Look, Listen, Animals” was a 6 part series for Channel 4. 1997 marked a significant turning point in his career. He made the soundtrack for Oscar nominated short film "Dance Lexie Dance” directed by Tim Loane, an old college friend from Queen’s, and also collaborated with Wayne McGregor for the first time on an audacious dance project called “Cybergeneration” for Belfast Festival. Ultimately these successes led to more and more opportunities in London and he moved there in 1997.

London Years[edit]

Since 1997 he has composed music for countless theatre, dance and film productions. He has worked with Israeli choreographer Jasmin Vardimon on her productions of “Lure, Lure, Lure” and “Ticklish”. He has continued to collaborate with Wayne McGregor – “Digit01” and “Alpha”, and Cathy Marston – “Sophie” and “Before the Tempest”, and recently spent a year in Antwerp working with Retina Dance Company. He has become a regular collaborator for Box Clever Theatre Company and recently composed for the Young Vic’s acclaimed production of Some Voices by Joe Penhall. Film remains an area of intense interest and over the last 6 years Maxwell has composed soundtracks for Terry Loane (“Cluck”), Colin Bateman (“The Devil You Know”), Suzanne Arnold (“The Goblin Market”), Lucy Baldwyn (“Freeze”) and Magali Charrier (“Tralala”). He has also forged a long-standing working relationship with Devon-based choreographer and film maker Jane Mason, and has created soundtracks for all her theatre and screen projects to date. Yet through it all Jules Maxwell’s roots are as a piano player, and he continues to play and write with various bands and artists. In Belfast he collaborated for a number of years with Brian Houston and co-produced his debut solo album Crush. He also played piano with Peacefrog, Iain Archer, Disreali Gears and with these artists over the years opened for the likes of INXS, Van Morrison, David Bowie, Elvis Costello, The Cranberries, Squeeze, Hal Ketchum, Jools Holland and Nick Lowe. He has written and recorded extensively with Ken Haddock, co-producing his Sweetest Hour album and is currently working with another Belfast protégé Foy Vance.

Recorded work[edit]

He has released three albums of his own to date. Bolt is an eclectic collection of songs and instrumentals. Hard Shoulder is the 1998 piece devised for Retina Dance Company for his quartet The Jules Maxwell Project. Candy Floss is an exploration of childhood through soundscape and lullaby.

In 1998, he began a ten-year project entitled “Nil Pointe” which will eventually culminate in the release of an album of songs which have failed to get past the preliminary stages of the Eurovision Song Contest. He has successfully received rejection for six entries to date: Little Tiny Raindrops (1999), Your Future’s Just Begun (2000), Every Little Thing I Never Bargained For (2001), True to You (2002), Oo Be Do Believe (2003), My Baby (2004).

Maxwell was awarded the James Kilfedder Arts Award in 1997 and the Bass Ireland Award in 2003 for his pioneering Red Room Sessions. He currently lives in London.

See also[edit]


  1. "Dance Lexie Dance" Raw Nerve Productions
  2. "Jules Maxwell film soundtracks" Internet Movie Data Base
  3. "Digit01 and Alpha" Random Dance Company
  4. "Soft Ices" Essex County Council
  5. "Foy Vance" Donal Wordpress
  6. "Retina Dance Company" Retina Dance Company