Julian Cafarella was born in Melbourne in 1947 and grew up in the Dandenongs to the East of that city. He was educated in Melbourne and has Honours Degrees from Melbourne and Latrobe Universities specialising in History and Philosophy of Science and Philosophy.
From his earliest years he showed an interest in composing music but his education directed him towards the Physical Sciences and Mathematics. These remain for him interests which he still holds dear and pursues passionately to this day. He has nevetheless become deeply involved in the composition of electronic music using computers having composed only fragments of scored material for varied (and sometimes unspecified) ensembles before 1980. In 1981 and 1982 he recieved instruction in composition from Felix Werder at the Council of Adult Education in Melbourne, and in 1990 studied briefly under Peter Meyers.
Since 1991 he has composed a large number of electro-acoustic works for computer and synthesiser often ambient in style, and other more abstract and conceptually more interesting works which involve the use of electronic techniques and computer. These works use the electronic medium in a more sophisticated way than the earlier ambient tonal music with which he started his compositional journey.
Currently also in 2008 the focus of his musical ideas is on rhythm and cadence especially as they apply outside the realm of strictly tonal music and also in the capturing of the human voice in discursive mixed media composition. His reading has also told him anew what his ear never doubted, namely that there is always a Psycho-Acoustical principle at work that unifies the Subjective and the Objective sides of musical art which means that it is also to be thought of as a science as the ancients once believed.
In his Electronic Music it would generally be fair to say that he starts from the actual sound and plays around with it electronically until the shape of a musical work begins to develop. This emphasis on the sound itself is for him directly a consequence of the constraints of the electronic medium. In his earlier years however he tended to write fragmentary episodes of music for quite large ensembles without usually specifying the exact make up of the ensemble. It is thus true to say that in this and in many other ways the medium of computer music has proven both liberating and thrillingly illuminating in his compositional development by allowing him to transform genuinely musical ideas into sound canvasses.