Image © Douglas Jones
"a pianist, singer and composer of immense lyrical talent and depth"
David Paul Jones – commonly known as DPJ – is a composer, pianist and singer based in Edinburgh. He was born in Ayrshire, 1969 and studied concert piano and contemporary classical composition at the Royal Scottish Academy Of Music and Drama in Glasgow during the late 1980s and early 1990s. With a career spanning three decades, he works as a solo and collaborative artist throughout Scotland, UK and Internationally. He is the recipient of several awards including the Glenfiddich Spirit Of Scotland Award.
His work blends contemporary classical sensibilities with digital sound to create emotive and atmospheric music from acoustic instrumental works, songs and larger-scale vocal works, to cinematic soundtracks and sound designs for theatre and dance.
Image © Douglas Jones
As a concert pianist, he specialised in the virtuoso works of the French Impressionist composers including Claude Debussy, Eric Satie and Maurice Ravel's landmark piano trilogy Gaspard de la Nuit.
His solo piano works include The Old Man Of Storr and a series of new and revised works arriving in 2021: From A High Window, Intrascenes, The Attic and Miss Havisham Remembers.
Great Expectations (2015) - Dundee Rep. Image © Tommy Ga Ken Wang
VOCALIST & SONGWRITER
DPJ is perhaps best known for his vocal material and intimate live vocal and piano performances. His catalogue feature a series of original songs, song collections and choral works, alongside haunting interpretations of other artists work, including contemporary reworkings of the songs of Robert Burns.
His vocal works and song collections include Words for Sometime; Palmstar Poppy (songs in search of love lost at sea) and High Flight (from The Sky's Harbour EP). New songs coming in 2021 include the single Horses and his recording of the Irish/Scots folk song Leezie Lyndsay.
A Game Of Death And Chance (2019) - National Trust For Scotland. Image © Mihaela Bodlovic
"he has a flair for evocative language and an imagination crammed with perceptive insights and abidingly wishful thinking ... atmospheres tingling with incalculable magic"
He is producer for the DPJ Ensemble – a project-based collective of musicians originally formed for the studio recording of his debut album Something There (produced by Calum Malcolm and released on Linn Records). DPJ Ensemble collaborators include cellists Greg Sinclair, Robin Mason, Donald Gillan and double bass player and composer Emma Smith.
Work with other Scottish vocalists and musicians include soprano Lisa Milne, Carolyn Hamilton, Alyth McCormack, harpist Catriona McKay and percussionist Hazel Morrison of The Bathers.
Composer collaborations include projects and performances with Luke Sutherland, Kevin Lennon, MJ McCarthy and sound designer Kevin Murray.
DPJ is a member of Al Seed's digital project band Fooligan And The Bridges Of Madness.
DPJ Ensemble (cello section) - live @ Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh 2017. Image © Rob McDonald
"The playing, from the exquisitely beautiful string section of three cellos and double bass, was flawlessly evocative: a carpet of sound for undulating pianism and vocalising of the composer.
Superbly co-ordinated, sensitively lit, astonishingly well-presented and hauntingly performed."
His catalogue consists of a prolific body of theatre soundtracks and live performances in collaboration with many leading Scottish, UK-wide and International theatre directors and production companies.
Productions for National Theatre Of Scotland include Chris Hannan's Elizabeth Gordon Quinn (directed by John Tiffany); Liz Lochead's Mary Queen Of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off (directed by Alison Peebles) and the stage adaptation of Andrew O'Hagan's book The Missing (directed by John Tiffany).
Soundtracks with Dundee Rep Ensemble include Jo Clifford's adaptation of Charles Dickens's Great Expectations (directed by Jemima Levick); Jean Genet's The Maids (directed by Eve Jamieson) and Arthur Miller's All My Sons (directed by Jemima Levick).
Traverse Theatre productions include Jo Clifford's The Tree Of Knowledge (directed by Ben Harrison); Bloody Trams (written and directed by Joe Douglas); Rhona Monro and Stephen Greenhorn's double-bill Tracks Of A Winter Bear (directed by Orla O'Loughlin and Zinnie Harris) and Catherine-Anne Toupin's Right Now (directed by Michael Boyd for a co-production with Bush Theatre, London and Theatre Royal, Bath).
DPJ has been a member of the Grid Iron creative team since 2003. As a composer, sound designer, live musician and actor he has collaborated on a series of multi-award-winning productions directed by long-term collaborator Ben Harrison: Those Eyes, That Mouth (devised by Ben Harrison, Cait Davis and DPJ); a stage adaptation of Jim Crace's novel The Devil's Larder; Barflies — devised from the works of Charles Bukowski; What Remains — a live solo theatre installation exploring the horror film genre and Jury Play — an immersive courtroom dramatisation devised by Ben Harrison and Dr Jenny Scott.
Commissioned theatre collaborations for the National Trust For Scotland include Enlightenment House and A Game Of Death And Chance.
Soundtracks for Scottish/International theatre co-productions include The Green Snake for the National Theatre Of China, Beijing, directed by Tian Quinxin and Ramesh Meyyappan's Butterfly at the Esplanade, Singapore.
What Remains (2011) - Grid Iron. Image © Douglas Jones
"a wonderful marriage of sight and sound. There’s beauty in the darkness, and humour too. It’s a show that will remain with me a long time, I’m sure."
TOTAL THEATRE (What Remains - Grid Iron)
Soundtracks for dance include productions with dancer and choreographer Christine Devaney/Curious Seed: Dust And All That and the short film Threads.
Soundtracks for aerial dance theatre include Uncharted Waters (All or Nothing); Wishbox (Wired Aerial Theatre, Liverpool) and a New Mexico/USA residency production This Twisted Tale (Paper Doll Militia) supported by Creative Scotland.
Uncharted Waters (2010) - All Or Nothing. Image © Maria Falconer
YOUNG ARTISTS & AUDIENCES
Choral works for National Youth Choir of Scotland and RSNO Junior Choir include From The Edge Of The World; Mr K's Talk Without Words; Dreaming; A Lonely Ghost Boy and an interpretation of Robert Burns's Thou Gloomy December.
Theatre soundtracks for Scotland's leading children's theatre company, Catherine Wheels include a stage adaptation of Ben Rice's book Pobby & Dingan and Caged – a modern re-imagining of Beauty And The Beast.
Children's theatre work for National Theatre Of Scotland include Dennis Kelly's Our Teacher's A Troll (directed by Joe Douglas) and Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes (a co-production with Catherine Wheels directed by Gill Robertson).
Music for Scotland’s National Arts & Early Years Organisations Starcatchers includes The Attic – an immersive touring theatre production for early years children.
DPJ's chamber opera for children The Songbird – a musical response to global warming and its effects on endangered animals – is the recipient of a Herald Angel Award and two CATS AWARDS nominations.
Productions for young dance companies include Maelstrom and Inertia for Y-Dance (Scottish Youth Dance Theatre).
"a rich, atmospheric and polished piece of theatre that communicates its gothic power as much through the music of David Paul Jones as it does through the dialogue"
THE GUARDIAN (Caged - Catherine Wheels)
The Attic (2010/2018) - Starcatchers. Image © Thomas Douglas
His work in inclusive arts include collaborations with Lung Ha, including the acclaimed co-production with Curious Seed and Lyra — We Are All Just Little Creatures, composed in collaboration with actor and composer Kevin Lennon.
His work with Indepen-DANCE includes Drifting directed by Ramesh Meyyappan.
Arts projects in the field of mental health include What If by Tricky Hat Productions – written and performed by elderly performers living with dementia; In The Light Of The Moon – an ongoing community and schools touring dance production by Laura Johnston Scott exploring addiction and compulsive behaviour amongst young people and adults.
We Are All Just Little Creatures (2019) - Curious Seed/Lung Ha/Lyra. Image © Peter Dibdin
"a magical musical score composed and performed live by David Paul Jones and Kevin Lennon, featuring lushly lyrical songs, alongside moments of driven tension and wild celebration"
THE SCOTSMAN (We Are All Just Little Creatures)
Productions as an invited artist in Higher Education include Last Woman Left (2018) at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Dying and Dancing (2020) in collaboration with Christine Devaney and Edinburgh College.
He is a visiting lecturer in Acting Through Song at the Edinburgh campus of the Rose Bruford International College of Theatre & Performance, London.
Last Woman Left (2018) - Royal Conservatoire Of Scotland. Image © RCS