Jules Maxwell's career in music began in rather unlikely circumstances.
As a politics undergraduate at Queen’s University in Belfast he hooked up with the drama society and began composing music for their productions. Up to that point he had no intention of working professionally as a musician. Subsequently however, this unlikely group of actors, writers, directors and musicians went on to form Tinderbox Theatre Company and from 1988 through to 2002 Maxwell composed for fifteen of their shows.
One thing led to another and during this period he also began picking up work as a composer for contemporary dance, working for 4 seasons with Limerick based Daghdha Dance Company. He moved from Belfast to Dublin in 1994 and forged an exciting relationship with fledgling animation house Moving Still with whom he collaborated on 2 series for television.
1997 marked a significant turning point in his career. He made the soundtrack for Oscar nominated short film Dance Lexie Dance directed by Tim Loane, an old college friend from Queen’s, and also collaborated with Wayne McGregor for the first time on an audacious dance project called Cybergeneration for Belfast Festival.
Ultimately these successes led to more and more opportunities in London and he moved there in 1997. Since then he has composed music for countless theatre, dance and film productions. He has worked with Israeli choreographer Jasmin Vardimon, Wayne McGregor, Jane Mason and Cathy Marston before spending a year in Antwerp working with Retina Dance Company.
Film remains an area of intense interest and over the last 6 years Maxwell has composed soundtracks for Terry Loane, Colin Bateman, Suzanne Arnold and Lucy Baldwyn. He has also forged a long standing working relationship with Devon based choreographer and film maker Jane Mason, and has created soundtracks for all her theatre and screen projects to date.
Yet through it all Jules Maxwell’s roots are as a piano player and he continues to play and write with various bands and artists. In Belfast he collaborated for a number of years with Brian Houston. He also played piano with Peacefrog, Iain Archer, Disraeli Gears and with these artists over the years opened for the likes of INXS, Van Morrison, David Bowie, Elvis Costello, The Cranberries, Squeeze, Hal Ketchum, Jools Holland and Nick Lowe. He has written and recorded extensively with Ken Haddock and is currently working with another Belfast protégé Foy Vance.
He has released three albums of his own to date. Bolt is an eclectic collection of songs and instrumentals. Hard Shoulder is the 1998 piece devised for Retina Dance Company for his quartet The Jules Maxwell Project. Candy Floss is an exploration of childhood through soundscape and lullaby.
In 1998 he began a ten year project entitled Nil Pointe which will eventually culminate in the release of an album of songs which have failed to get past the preliminary stages of the Eurovision Song Contest. He has successfully received rejection for six entries to date: Little Tiny Raindrops (1999), Your Future’s Just Begun (2000), Every Little Thing I Never Bargained For (2001), True to You (2002), Oo Be Do Believe (2003), My Baby (2004).
Jules Maxwell was awarded the James Kilfedder Arts Award in 1997 and the Bass Ireland Award in 2003 for his pioneering Red Room Sessions.