James studied guitar with Lucas Michaelidis, and composition at the University of Melbourne under Dr Stuart Greenbaum and Dr Elliott Gyger. He won the Trio Anima Mundi International Composition Competition in 2010 with his piece Ardipithecus.
Under the direction of Professor Stephen Lias, James participated in the inaugural program Composing in the Wilderness in Fairbanks, Alaska. While living in Edinburgh, Scotland, James completed a quartet for steel-string guitars.
In addition to his composition work, James runs the online interview series The Stringdom, featuring interviews with musicians from all around the world who play interesting or unusual string instruments. The Stringdom has now covered four continents, featured thirty interviews, and clocked up almost one million minutes of viewing time on YouTube.
Currently, James is working on trio arrangements featuring 10-string mandolin, as well as exploring pieces involving live looping and electronic manipulation.