“Embodying classical aesthetic, music and culture, Benjamin Skepper is a musician with an extraordinary sense of the contemporary” (M. Pugliese, Director Museo 900 for Rolling Stone Italy)

 

Benjamin Skepper creates experimental, innovative and multidisciplinary artworks that seek to expand our perception, and collapse the borders that divide us. Intensely research driven, he is particularly focused on the application of new technology and scientific innovation within the context of contemporary sound and visual arts practice. He actively explores the human body as a musical instrument, issues around human identity and human rights, and the relationship of sound and medicine (neuroscience and genetics) in the context of human and medical healing.

 

A Melbourne born classically trained musician, Benjamin operates at the confluence of art, science, technology, fashion, modern classical and the avant-garde. A respected performer, composer, art director, published author and scientific researcher (most recently MIT Leonardo Journal 2020), he is a cultural advocate with deep interests in Russia and Japan. His talent and curiosity have taken him across musical boundaries and artistic borders for which he has garnered international acclaim.

 

A child prodigy, commencing piano at two years of age, Benjamin began touring at seven as a solo pianist, boy soprano, ballet dancer and the youngest self-taught harpsichordist in Australia. He embarked on his first international solo piano tour at 10 years old, performing a Mozart concerto with full orchestra in New Zealand, as a Suzuki Music Young Ambassador. His passion continued with studies in the violoncello, touring and performing with symphonic orchestras and chamber ensembles nationwide.

 

Alongside his two decade long professional classical career, Benjamin also completed an Arts/Law degree with Honours at the University of Melbourne, majoring in Public and International Law, specialising in Children’s Rights. A qualified solicitor, he remains actively involved in human rights and children’s policy, working and travelling extensively in Asia and Europe, volunteering with NGOs and donating work to charities including Médecins Sans Frontières and Red Cross Japan.

 

In 2008 he established “contrapuntal” in Tokyo, a creative enterprise and cultural think-tank, which operates globally. Over the past decade, he has established an international practice in site-specific multi artform installations, encompassing large scale commissions and live performances, art direction for major brands, sound composition, and production. Clients range from Museums, Festivals, commercial and luxury brands, fashion, TV, theatre, film and government organisations.

 

Under contrapuntal he also launched his independent music label with five self-produced solo releases, licensing original music for film, commercials and online digital content, collaborating with major record labels, including Colombia Music and Ninja Tunes, and a music video exclusive with VICE (THUMP) Australia.

 

In the field of contemporary art, he has presented performance art works and sound installations worldwide, most recently at the National Gallery of Australia with Nakaya Fujiko (Canberra), the inaugural contemporary Art Bienial “Astana Art Show” (Kazakhstan), Museo del Novecento (Milan), “Culture Warriors”, Australia’s first Indigenous Art Triennial at the National Gallery of Australia (Canberra), as artist in residence at “No Mans Land” (French Embassy, Tokyo), “Sight & Sound: Music & Abstraction in Australian Art” (Arts Centre, Melbourne), “Rooms” International Fashion and Design Trade Fair (Tokyo), White Trade Fair (Milan), “Art After Dark” for the National Gallery of Victoria’s exhibition “Napoleon: Revolution to Empire” (Melbourne), and as a headline performer at MONA FOMA 2013 (Tasmania), dubbed a festival highlight by curator Brian Ritchie. By special invitation from The Hermitage Foundation (Russia), Benjamin performed at the opening of “Manifesta 10”, The European Biennial of Contemporary Art (Saint Petersburg). He recently undertook a sound-art residency at Klanghaus (Austria) with Mia Zabelka, and particiapted in an underground exhibition in Shinjuku Tokyo with Yoko Ono.

 

In the emerging field of Art + Science, his sound work was commissioned for transmission into Outer Space and the ISS from MONA (2015). In 2016 he was appointed a Fellow of the Moscow State Conservatory, as a researcher in the ground breaking field of music and genetics, with the Russian Academy of Sciences. As international Ambassador to that project, he presented a world premiere of genetic music in Vienna at the Symmetry Festival (2016), research findings recently published by MIT Leonardo Journal (2020).The first resident artist at Science Gallery Melbourne, he was commisioned to create a new live performance artwork for the inaugural exhibition opening “Blood” (2017). Further consolidating on his body of work in Arts and Sciences, and combined with his love of audio visual live performance, he premiered a new work “Praeludium & Fuga” (2019) at the Moscow State Conservatory to a sell out audience (live album forthcoming). In collaboration with Radugadesign, this was the first work of its kind to be presented at the esteemed classical music institution.

 

As a cultural advocate and consultant, he has worked closely with local and federal government bodies to research and identify international collaborations and exchange opporunities as Australia’s Cultural Ambassador to Russia.

 

Artist features include Rolling Stone Italy + Russia, AMICA Italy, GQ Japan, L’Officiel Kazakhstan, and Good Weekend Magazine (Australia). He also holds multiple Brand Ambassadorships and endorsements, including YAMAHA Music and Ableton (Germany).

 

Benjamin is currently working on the launch of a new arts festival and music app, and just published a book “Artist Thinking”, with Japan’s premiere publishing house President Inc, to expand on his creative ideas in the sphere of art, innovation and sustainable futures. On March 11 2021, he launched a new documentary project series called “Our Story by Benjamin Skepper”, with accompanying music video, to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Tohoku, Japan, featured in FORBES Japan and NHK National TV.

 

His next major project is an avant garde feature performance at the National Gallery of London for their inaugural Summer Party fundraiser “The Alchemists Feast” in June 2022.