Joe Cutler was born in Neasden, North-West London in 1968. He began learning the violin and piano from the age of eight and started to compose soon after. In his later teens he became increasingly involved with playing keyboards in various pop and soul bands.
After high school Joe began studying music at Huddersfield Polytechnic. In an environment highly geared towards original composition and contemporary music, his imagination really took off and it turned out to be a very positive and rewarding three years.
1993 was a formative year in Joe’s development. Post-graduate life had become too academic and stifling so he moved to Poland where he was awarded a Polish Government Scholarship to study at the Chopin Academy of Music with Zbigniew Rudzinski. In this new environment his pieces found a new directness and freedom of expression. The scholarship was extended to three years and currently he combines working in both Britain and Poland.
He has also received performances further afield including South Korea and Canada. Performers have included London Sinfonietta, Lontanok Alain Trudel, Delta Saxophone Quartet and Ensemble de Ereprijs (who have included Sal’s Sax on their recently released debut CD).
Screaming229a performed by Apollo Saxophone Quartet and On the Edge performed by Stephen Gutman, were included in the Cornelius Cardew Composition Prize Workshop of 1996.
In addition to concert music he also loves the stimulation of collaborative art-forms and has written the scores to a number of films (with the Polish-based Korean director Moon Seung-Wook) and also has worked with choreographers from such dance companies as Dzazzex (Holland), Stuttgart Ballet and NEI Dance Theatre (Poland).
His music often draws upon extra-musical influences such as the writings of Jack Kerouac, Primo Leivi, Sylvia Plath and Kazuo Ishigura, or the paintings of William de Kooning. Sal’s Sax employs pounding jazz-inflected urban rhythmic textures, whilst On the Edge for solo piano explores initially a highly delicate and sonorous sound world as single notes ring out like bells from another world. Shamen for sol trombone and resonance sees the performer taking on the role of a Yaqui-Indian shaman calling up the God of the Cactur, and Mind-Games for sol percussion, which explores a young girl’s mental breakdown, contrasts wild ritual-like drumming with ghostly introspective gong and mark-tree textures.