Paul Jarman is one of Australia’s favourite choral composers and conductors. His pieces have become much loved choral works – Shackleton, Sea of Berries, Ancient City, Volta do Mar Largo, The Will to Climb, Pemulwuy, Let go the Long White Sails, Eye of the Needle, Towards Infinity, Icarus, Sampan, Take to the Sky, Band of Brothers and many more.
He has written about some of the most interesting people and events of our time including Martin Luther King Jr, Malala Yousafzai, Aung San Suu Kyi, Mary MacKillop, Ernest Shackleton, Jessica Watson, Jesse Martin, Hugh Evans, Terry Fox, Andrew Hughes, Frank Hurley, Pemulwuy, Sir Edmund Hillary and Helen Keller. He has had music performed in events including the Rugby World Cup, Centenary of Federations, Australia Day Finale and for President Barack Obama in the White House. He features as one of six of today’s leading composers selected to compose music for the 400th Anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, and he has written many works in honour of the Australian ‘Diggers’ including a piece which premiered under the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium. His songs are about explorers, mountaineers, pioneers, dreamers and innovators and those who make a difference to the world. He has been commissioned over 200 times. However, Paul’s journey into choral music is an interesting story…
Paul began performing at the age of 5 and did his first professional gig at the age of 14 with his brother Adam. He played in various rock bands during his teens, including Big Yellow Taxi and then Feelhive who in the 1990’s won Drum Media’s Battle of the Bands, landing a recording deal for two albums. Paul attended the Sydney Conservatorium in 1990 to study a bachelor of music in education, however decided to pursue performance full time. Two months later, riding his motorbike, Paul was hit by a truck in a tragic head-on collision.
Paul was rushed to intensive care in a coma with extensive injuries including many broken ribs, broken shoulders and scapula , a hole in his left leg, shattered thumb, broken wrist and a ruptured spleen. It took over a year to recover. Two years later he was invited to join Australia’s pioneering world music ensemble Sirocco, founded in 1980.
Paul’s first concert with the group was in New Delhi, India and for the next 15 years he performed with Sirocco all over the world in festivals and events, producing and recording albums, working as a cultural ambassador for the Department of Foreign Affairs and performing in schools for Musica Viva. During this decade, Paul learned over twenty instruments, performed with the Renaissance Players, Colin Offord and the Great Bowing Company, Troy Cassar-Daley, Jimmy Little, William Yang, Zulya, Skorba, and in theatre festivals, dance productions, and as a musical director for various festivals and events including the Deadly Awards. He worked as a regular session musician for Australian feature films and TV, and composed adventure documentary film scores for renowned film maker Mike Dillon.
In 1999 Paul composed the music for the Australia Day Finale in Sydney Harbour. Artistic Director Andrew Walsh envisaged a choir of children singing from the masts of a tall ship as it sailed into the harbour. Under the musical direction of Lyn Williams, the Sydney Children’s Choir commissioned Paul’s first choral work, ‘Let go the Long White Sails’. Thanks to Lyn and then Mark O’Leary who published Paul’s first works, many more commissions followed and Paul’s journey as a choral composer began.
For more information see Paul’s Biography and CV on this website.
Paul’s Blog Latest
Last Seen Exhibition & Concert- 26 January, 2023
A Performance to save sight A concert in partnership withQueensland Conservatorium – Griffith University This emotional and ground-breaking performance partners ten influential artists and ten composers with visually impaired Australians t...
Ocean to Sky Premiere- 11 March, 2020
The film of Sir Edmund Hillary's last great quest from 1977 has been released to rave reviews in New Zealand. Paul is honoured to be the composer for this rare film made by legendary cinematographer and adventurer, Mike Dillon. Preview of OCEAN ...
Ten New Pieces to Kick off 2020- 11 March, 2020
Due to the bushfires of late 2019 and a busy start for 2020 we are a little later than normal to bring you these new works, but very excited to get these terrific new pieces out to the world. As always, Paul would like to sincerely thank all the commi...