Desmond Clarke | The Open College of the Arts
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Desmond Clarke

I am a composer, oboist and electronic musician based in the North of England.

My main areas of interest are microtonal, stochastic and algorithmic composition. This isn’t nearly as technical as it sounds! I am interested in analysing non-musical sounds, processes and structures and using the results to make music. This could mean copying the density profile of a rainstorm with a string orchestra, transcribing birdsong, or using mathematical models of the growth of plants to structure a piece.

I have recently completed a PhD at the University of York, where I studied primarily with Dr Martin Suckling. My works have been performed extensively around the UK as well as in Europe and North America. Recent performances have included a viola concerto, Void-Song, with the Melos Sinfonia and violist Tim Ridout and several performances of my guitar quartet, Music for Miniature Landscapes, at European festivals by Quartetto Apeiron. I was a recipient of the 2015 Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize, and as of summer 2016 I am working on a suite of works for recorder and electronics for Chilean recorder player Carmen Troncoso.

I have taught privately for many years, and during my PhD lectured on undergraduate courses at the University of York. I also work as an oboe teacher at Bootham School in York, and as a freelance engraver and music editor.

In addition to my composition work I am a member of improvisation collective O S C ~, which specialises in long-form (6-24 hour) improvised works spanning electronica, opera, noise music and theatre.

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