CHRIS RAINIER is a South-African born performer and composer from Melbourne, Australia, now based in London. He received his PhD in Music (by Research) from the University of Huddersfield in 2022, under the supervision of pianist Philip Thomas. In addition to his thesis The Letter : The Intersection of Biographical Context and Creative Process in the Music of Harry Partch - his doctoral research included outcomes pertaining to performance, recording, transcription and instrument-building. 

Rainier has presented performances and workshops relating to Partch's life, music and guitars at various universities and institutions around the world. These have included the Harry Partch Archives at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Slade School of Fine Art (London), the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London), the Kunitachi College Of Music (Tokyo), the Orpheus Institute (Ghent), the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the Royal Conservatory of The Hague and the Mozarteum University of Salzburg. As a long-standing member of the Dutch ensemble Scordatura, Rainier has performed much of Partch's early chamber music, as well as the work of numerous composers whose music explores tuning systems outside of equal temperament. Additionally, he has collaborated with various craftspeople in the UK, Europe and Australia to co-create replicas of a number of Partch's unique musical instruments.

Rainier's most recent release of his own music is Sorrowful Songs of the Silverswords [2023]. This collection of semi-composed and improvised pieces utilises his replica of Harry Partch's first Adapted Guitar 1 - a microtonally fretted steel-string guitar - as well as a number of custom modified capos, enabling harmonies and melodies previously physically impossible on this instrument in its original configuration and tuning. This year has seen
 the release of Chris Rainier Sings The Music Of Harry Partch, which includes interpretations of the composer's early compositions
for voice and microtonal acoustic guitars, most of which date to the 1940's.

Over the last decade Rainier has also explored extending the sonic possibilities of the lap steel guitar - particularly the acoustic, hollow-neck Weissenborn - beyond its historical use and context. Using many of the instrument's traditional techniques, he has pursued new musical territories within an improvisational framework, embracing a disparate range of musical influences. Some of his explorations in this context can be heard on the album man and the echo [2014]. Rainier has performed on the Weissenborn both solo and in collaboration with other performers, in a diverse range of concert venues, festivals, art galleries and non-traditional performance spaces, often improvising live soundtracks to film. Solo tours in Europe, Japan, the USA and Australia have seen him share the stage with Masaki Batoh (Ghost/The Silence), Taku Sugimoto, Tetuzi Akiyama, Giovanni di Domenico (Jim O'Rourke), Angharad Davies, Juliet Fraser, Owen Gardner (Horse Lords), Yuri Landman, Andrew Tuttle and Mike Cooper.


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