DrTimothy O’Dwyer


Dr Timothy O’Dwyer

Head, School of Contemporary Music
  • PhD (Music), Queensland University of Technology, Australia
  • BA (Music), Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, Australia

Dr Timothy O’Dwyer is a world-renowned saxophonist, composer, soundpainter and interdisciplinary collaborator. He is as adept at traditional to freer forms of jazz and improvised music as he is realising the most complex contemporary classical notated scores.

Dr O’Dwyer’s career as a saxophonist, composer and educator has constantly stretched across borders of genre, performance practice and art forms. Trained as a jazz musician at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, he furthered his studies with a tuition grant from the Australian Council for the Arts in 1995, studying with new complexity composer Richard Barrett in Amsterdam and visionary saxophonist and improviser Evan Parker in London.

This diversity and commitment to excellence is evident with the breadth of projects and artists he has been involved with whilst living in Singapore, from performing with jazz musicians Jeremy Monteiro and Andrew Lim, to collaborating with Singapore director Ho Tzu Nyen, Malaysian composer Chong Kee Yong and members of the Observatory.

During the 1990’s, Dr O’Dwyer was a seminal figure in the avante-garde music scene in Melbourne Australia. He was a founding member of the punk-jazz group, bucketrider (1992), that went on to release four acclaimed CDs including tributes to Sun Ra and late period John Coltrane. The group also performed with international rock groups such as Zena Geva (Japan) and Sonic Youth (USA). He was one of the founding directors of the longest running weekly improvised music event in Australia – The Make It Up Club – that is still presenting weekly programmes to this day.

He has been a member of the contemporary classical ensemble ELISION since 1994, premiering many new works for the saxophone and composing works for the ensemble that have premiered at arts festivals throughout Australia, Europe and Japan, including the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (UK) and Radio Bremen (Germany). He is also a current member of the Australian Art Orchestra, whom he regularly tours with in Australia and also to China.

He formed the Tim O’Dwyer Trio in 2005, which has since released two CDs and performed at important jazz festivals in Australia, Southeast Asia, Japan and Europe including the 2010 Montreux Jazz Festival. Dr O’Dwyer has performed and recorded with some of the most prominent jazz musicians in Australia. Internationally, he has won the Bell and Aria awards for best jazz album as a member of the Australian pianist Andrea Keller’s group.

In collaboration with his team at the School of Contemporary Music, Dr O’Dwyer authored the first ever degree programmes in Popular Music and Jazz in Singapore. As the Head of the School since 2009, Dr O’Dwyer has brought transformational change over the past decade, allowing young musicians to develop their own musical voice, creating new works across the pop, jazz, electronic music and classical genres. He serves as an expert on various boards and committees on education and music in Singapore.

  • The Fold: Musical Monads, and Baroque Assemblages, in Symbolism: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Critical Aesthetics (2019)
  • Everything Old is New Again: Musical Appropriation in the 19th and Mid 20th Centuries, in ISSUE 06 Citation: Dejavu, ed. Venka Purushothaman, LASALLE College of the Arts (2017)
  • Diversity as a Strategy, in Sounds Australian: Journal of the Australian Music Centre #65 (2005)
  • Adequate Returns, The Next Generation, in Sounds Australian: Journal of the Australian Music Centre #54 (1999)
  • Academy of the Arts of the World (Cologne), Fellow (2013–2014)
  • Dean's Commendation Award, Faculty of Creative Industries QUT, For Excellence in Doctoral Study and Research (2014)
  • Aria & Bell Jazz Awards, Andrea Keller’s Bartok Project (2003)
  • Asia Link Residency; Japan (2003)
  • Radio Bremen (Germany) Recording Scholarship (2002)
  • Arts Victoria, Recording Grant, bucketrider (2002)
  • Le Bahns Connective Residency; Brussels  (2002)                              
  • Australia Council, New Work (ELISION Commission) (2001)
  • Green Room Award, Clocked Out Productions (2000)
  • Arts Victoria, Presentation and Promotion (Make it Up Club) (1998–2000)
  • Australia Council, Professional Development Grant, Composition Studies with Richard Barrett (Netherlands), Saxophone Studies with Evan Parker (UK) (1995)
Research and Practice

Published works (select)

  • Water Pushes Sand (AAO), Jazz Head; Australia (2017)
  • Tim O’Dwyer’s The Fold, Leo Records; UK  (2016)
  • Solo, HYSTERESIS, UJIKAJI; Singapore (2015)                  
  • The Mirror Unit, Wind Makes Weather Creative Sources (PT) (2015)
  • Tim O’Dwyer Trio, Falconry, Idyll Giant; Australia (2010)
  • Tim O’Dwyer Trio, Broken River, Idyll Giant; Australia (2006)
  • bucketrider, l'evenements, Dr Jim’s Records; Australia (2004)
  • Solo, Multiple Repeat, molecular music projects; Australia (2003)
  • ELISION, Chaya Chernowin, Mode, New York (2003)
  • Andrea Keller’s Bartok Project, ABC Classics; Australia (2002)
  • bucketrider, la baphomet, Dr Jim’s Records, Australia (2001)         
  • Solo, Solo Sax Show, Voxaustralis; Australia (1998)
  • bucketrider, guignol's band, Dr Jim’s Records; Australia (1998)
  • ELISION, The Intertwining – The Chasm, Institute of Modern Art; Queensland, Australia (1998)
  • The Ugly Sisters, Solid Compilation, Larrikin; Australia (1994)


    • Varsha, Singapore International Festival of the Arts; Singaore (2019)
    • Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society (SIFAS) Intercultural ensemble, SIFAS Festival, The Esplanade; Singapore (2019)
    • C.H.O.P.P.A Festival of Experimental Music, LASALLE College of the Arts; Singapore (2019)
    • Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society (SIFAS) Intercultural ensemble, SIFAS Festival, Chennai Kutcheri; India (2018)
    • T-Rex, The Esplanade; Singapore  (2018)
    • Australian Art Orchestra, Water Pushes Sand, Australian tour to launch album, Darwin Festival of the Arts, Jazzlab Melbourne, University of Tasmania, Museum of Old & New Art (MONA); Tasmania, Australia (2017)
    • Simon Nabatov – trio performances with Daryl Irvine; LASALLE College of the Arts Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2017)
    • Evan Parker, John Edwards, Mark Sanders, The Vortex; London, UK (2017)
    • Mirror Unit German Tour (Tim O’Dwyer, Georg Wissel), German tour; Berlin, Dresden, Kassel, Hannover and Cologne, Germany (2017)
    • Mirror Unit SEA Tour, Silpakorn University Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Kuala Lumpur, CHOPPA Festival LASALLE, Singapore (2017)
    • George E. Lewis, Tim O’Dwyer, Voyager, performance as part of a week-long artist in residency by GL, LASALLE College of the Arts; Singapore (2016)
    • An Irish Circus (2016)
    • Frank Gratkowski and Tim O’Dwyer, electro-acoustic duo, LASALLE College of the Arts; Singapore (2016)
    • Carl Stone, Tim O’Dwyer, Dirk Stromberg, Music Salon; Singapore (2016)
    • Anthony Braxton Tribute, Music Salon; Singapore (2016)
    • T-Rex – Baybeats Festival; Singapore (2016)
    • Sound Bridge Festival; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2015)
    • SOLO – series of performances in Singapore to launch new CD featuring Metasax hybrid instrument; Singapore (2015)
    • Water Pushes Sand, Australian Art Orchestra; Chengdu, China, OzAsia Festival and Melbourne International Festival of the Arts, Australia (2015)
    • Various performances and collaborations, Erik Satay and the Kampong Arkestra; Singapore (2015)
    • Tours throughout China and Sri Lanka, including the Music Matters Festival, Shangyin Trio (2015)
    • Tony Buck, Rudi Hall, Sebastian Gramms, Tim O’Dwyer; Loft, Cologne, Germarny (2014)
    • Axel Dorner, Steve Heather, Jan Roder, Tim O’Dwyer, Miss Hecker; Berlin, Germany (2014)
    • Magda Mayas, Richard Scott, Steve Heather, Tim O’Dwyer, Sowieso; Berlin, Germany (2014)
    • Erik Satay and the Kampong Arkestra – debut performance of Singapore Soundpainting ensemble, BluJaz Café; Singapore (2014)
    • Various performances, Liquid Architecture Singapore, LASALLE College of the Arts; Singapore (2014)
    • Presentation and performance of METASAX project, Earzoom Festival IRZU, Sonic Arts Festival; Ljubljana, Slovenia (2014)
    • Inside the Saxophone, collaboration with German filmmaker, Florian Baron, Marina Bay Sands ArtScience Museum; Singapore (2014)
    • Timothy O’Dwyer, Nabatov, Gramms, Nilessen, LOFT; Cologne, Germany (2014)
    • Mirror Unit, Peter Kowald’s ORT; Wuppertal, Germany (2014)
    • Installation and performance, Protean Territories (2014)
    • Tim O’Dwyer Trio – tour of Rheinland Germany; various regional cities in and around Cologne, Germany (2014)
    • The Fold – Dance Project, Cologne, Germany (2014)
    • Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts; Hong Kong (2014)
    • Mike Cooper/Tim O’Dwyer, Café OTO; London, UK (2014)
    • SOLO, UK tour, various cities including Goldsmith University and Huddersfield Universities and at Peter Wiegold’s Club Inegales; UK (2014)
    • SOLO, Temporary Art Tower, Cologne, Germany (2014)
    • Translocal – Ad Hoc; Peter Kowald’s ORT; Wuppertal, Germany (2014)
    • The Fold (KöLN project), MusikFabrik, in collaboration with the Akadamie der Kunste der Welt; Cologne, Germany (2014)


    Conference papers

    • Jazz Education in the Lion City: Building a Jazz Programme in Singapore, a Bridge Too Far, Australasian Jazz and Improvisation Network
    • Keynote address, Soundpainting: A Pathway to Enable Interdisciplinary Practice, Creativity, and for Building Better Societies, ARCADE the 3rd International Symposium on Art, Craft and Design (2019); Silpakorn University; Bangkok, Thailand (2019)
    Current Practice and Research
    • The Fold: Musical Monads, and Baroque Assemblages, in Symbolism: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Critical Aesthetics, ed. by Natasha Lushetich (November 2019)
    • Developing research outputs surrounding Deleuze’s concept of Psychic Geometry and book The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque, for a chapter to be published by Routledge based around the theme of ‘embodiment’; developing this research into an opera based in part on the same text
    • Commissioned by Bloomsbury Publishing to compile a submission for their online Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, describing the history of jazz in Singapore
    • Developing the preliminary work on a critical anthology about Walter Thompson’s soundpainting, a multidisciplinary sign language for live composition that was created in the early 70’s
    Research Interests
    • Philosophy
    • Composition
    • Improvisation
    • Soundpainting