Sean Clarke is a an award winning composer and sound-artist who’s interests explore personal and environmental contexts acting destructively on composition and how this process can lead to innovation. Clarke engages with with both digital and physical work and regularly collaborates with researchers and artists from other disciplines. His recent interests explore experiments regarding the efficacy of binaural beats, sound association and satiation and their agency on composition and explorations into the sonification of material and data.

He graduated from Roehampton University, London in 2009 and from 2010 pursued a career as a composer. Clarke has a host of film score works and has been screened and exhibited in London, San Francisco, Eindhoven, Dublin, Tokyo, Amsterdam and Berlin to name a few.

His work has lead to a number of acclaimed outputs; notably awarded projects: ‘Acoustic Osteology,’ a speculative sound work harnessing ultrasound technologies to code music into the body at ‘Radical dB’ Etopia, Spain, and ‘RE/ME’ an experiential tool to investigate the effects of vibrotactile and sound stimulation, a collaboration between Neuro-Scientists, Psychologists and Artists awarded by DART and ArtShare. As well as, ’Drones with Desires,’ an artwork Clarke collaborated on composing an adaptive “neuro-soundscape” that played as part of an algorithm based on MRI brain data and most recently, ‘Graphene,’ a sonificiation and material exploration shown at the Design Museum, London.

Sound works (notable projects) _
+ Electrostabilis Cardium, Foley and Sound Design, 2013

A 2013 work by artist and designer Agi Haines, Electrostabilis Cardium is a filmed speculative surgery based around the project Circumventive Organs. The soundscape was created to be as close as possible to that of the sounds heard during a real surgical procedure. This involved creating foley for various medical instruments and as well as designing the ambience of the environment. The work has been shown internationally in:

Brave New World, Leiden, Netherlands, 2018., Robot Love, Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven, Netherlands, 2018., NRC Live: Robotisering, Rotterdam, Netherlands, 2018., Partos Innovatiefestival, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2018., Besiendershuis, international science film festival Nijmegen, 2018., Taiwan Design Expo, Taichung, Taiwan, 2018., Bienale Daejeon Museum of Modern Art, South Korea, 2018., HR Community Dag, Zaandam, Netherlands, 2018., De Fabrique, Utrecht Netherlands, 2018,. HVA Onderwijsconferentie, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2018., MOCE, Rotterdam, Netherlands, 2018., Werktop, Den Haag, Netherlands, 2018., Fotodok, Utrecht, Netherlands, 2018., The Fourth Industrial Revolution, Predidio, San Francisco, USA, 2017., ABU Congres, Haarlem, Netherlands, 2017., HUBOT Next Nature Network, Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven, Netherlands, 2017., Annual meeting of New Champions, World Economic Forum, Dalian, China, 2017., Temptation of Immortality, Kopernicus Science Centre, Poland, 2016., Dream Out Loud, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2016., Habitats, White Box, Portland, Oregon, USA, 2016., Inoculum, CLB Berlin, Germany, 2016., Playing Life, Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven, Netherlands, 2015., Playing Life, Transnatural Gallery, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2015., Hemma i Framtiden, Nationalmuseum Design, Stockholm,

Sweden, 2015., Bio:Fiction Film Festival, Helsinki, Finland, 2015., Technophilia and the Corrupt Body, Menier Gallery, London, UK, 2015., BioFiction Film Festival, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2015., Bio:Fiction Film Festival, Waldkraiburg, Germany, 2014., Bio:Fiction Film Festival, Linz, Austria, 2014., Design Matters, London, UK, 2014., Grow Your Own, Science Gallery, Dublin, Ireland, 2013.,Mastering Design, MUDAC, Lausanne, Switzerland, 2013., De Gezonde Mens, Designhuis, Eindhoven, Netherlands, 2013.

+  Beautiful Technology, Composition, 2013
An advertising campaign for Vauxhall: Insignia; Beautiful Technology took the form of an animated advertisement by Grey Matter LTD. The concept of the advertisement was to distill the intricacy offered by this vehicle, into comprehensible simulacrums found in nature: a butterfly, a dolphin etc. The score was composed in line with this; an effortless, evocative piano melody demonstrative of simplicity in something seemingly complex.

+  Commoditised Warfare, Composition and Foley 2013
A speculative design project by Yosuke Ushigome, proposing a world where spectacular events are custom-designed to replace traditional warfare as a means of solving seemingly chronic conflicts. The project took the form of physical toys that required foley elements to simulate various sounds. As well as this, a pastiche of an advertisement for the toys was filmed. A score was composed for this film as a caricature of the traditional regal ceremonial music. The work was included as part of the “Design and Violence” exhibition at MOMA.

+  The Cunning Folk, Composition, 2014
A combination of interviews and reenactments, The Cunning Folk tells the story of the Lancashire witch-trials, the biggest witch trials in UK history. The score was composed using authentic 17th century folk instrumentation, predominantly: piano, lute, tabor, shawm, hurdy-gurdy and crumhorn. It was syndicated by SkyArts and aired throughout 2015.

+  Drones With Desires, Composition and Sound Design, 2015
A 2015 work by artist and designer Agi Haines in collaboration with Marcel de Jeu, Jos van der Geest, Sean Clarke, Jack McKay Fletcher, Christos Melidis, Vaibhav Tyagi and Marcel Helmer. An MRI of the artist's brain was taken by neuroscientists at Erasmus MC Rotterdam and coded into an algorithm that learns about its anatomy and environment as the drone moves throughout the space. As the drone learns the network updates telling us how the plasticity of the brain might change if it was in a completely different anatomical structure. The drone makes decisions based on comfort and curiosity, moving its wings to navigate. As it does so connections in the network alter their strength to replicate learning behaviour as it develops in the human brain. Within the gallery space a neural soundscape can be heard and represents the most active nodes in the network and a live feed of the changing network itself. The sounds, when triggered by the artificial neural network, would work to create a compositional soundscape that would evolve as the drone moved through its environment. We did this in the form electroacoustic composition played acousmatically within the exhibition space, using practises from video game music scores to create repeating sounds that initiate upon the manifestation of certain environmental factors. As the drone moved through this space the sensors on its body would react to objects in its path. This reaction would be processed by the artificial neural network and manifested within the audible composition in real time. Almost as if it were the drones own voice. The voice box of sounds used for the project came from physical recordings and digital generation of sounds used in the making of the project. Some were recordings of MRI scanners, motors and gears, some were bodily sounds recorded from the artist herself; such as stomach gurgling, fingers rubbing, heartbeats, and the digital sounds were representing the movement of data between sources. These sounds were designed to create a soundscape that was reminiscent of the mixture of the body and technology, this combination in a sense was how the drone was conceived. This work has been discussed in further detail in the paper:“Drones with Desires: Compositional voice for inanimate life-forms”

+  Bisensorial, Composition and Sound Design, 2016
Bisensorial was developed as part of the event: “Hack The Brain”, at The Waag society, Amsterdam in collaboration with Dr. Diego Maranan, Agi Haines, Jack McKay Fletcher, Ricardo Mutuberria and Kim Jansen. The brief of “hacking yourself for better or for worse” was taken on in the form of a wearable tech based upon Dr. Diego Maranan’s research prototype: Haplos. We added a bio-feedback loop driven by an evolutionary algorithm and a Muse E.E.G headset that adjusted based on the response from sound stimuli (an arrangement of composed binaural beats, isochronic tones and musical fragments) as well as the vibrotactile stimuli from Haplos. This project would lead into two separate projects: Conversations with Myself and RE/ME.

+  Drones, Composition, 2016
A TV pilot starring Nicholas Pinnock and Mark Stanley and directed by Anthony Alleyne. Drones was a mystery show that told the story of a digital virus turning free thinking human beings into autonomous “drones”. The score was brooding and powerful, dissonant and textural and was closely tied into the sound design. The score established themes for the main characters as well as the overall tone for the series.

+  Paradis, Composition, 2016
A British/French feature length comedy movie directed by Neilson Black; with a strong independent festival run. A French writer

living in London suffers from addiction. To help deal with this becomes a born again Christian, and along his road to recovery reconnects with an old flame whom is also in need of healing.

+  Sunburn, Composition, 2016
A British/Spanish feature length horror movie, directed by Anthony Alleyne and shot on location in Spain. The story explores themes of isolation, trust and xenophobia. It tells the tale of Mike, a young American tourist that goes looking for his missing friend in an isolated Spanish village. Here, he gets embroiled with an alluring local woman who soon becomes obsessed with him.

+  Conversations with myself, Composition and Sound Design, 2017
After being invited to The Science Gallery Dublin, Trinity College’s weekend Hack The Brain event, myself and collaborators Jack McKay Fletcher and Dr. Franćois Lemarchand used research from our Bisensorial prototype to develop the project, “Conversations with myself”. Taking it’s title from the 1963 album by Bill Evans, we developed a synthesiser that would generate tones autonomously based upon your biological outputs. We used an E.E.G to measure your global brain state and a breathing band to measure your heart rate. These metrics would then influence the initial generation of tones from the synth. As you play along and “jam” with the synth, your bio-metrics would be continually measured and using an evolutionary algorithm, would compare your new response with that of the previous response from the last iteration of tones. Over time, the machine would learn to develop a rapport with the user and their play style.

+  Acoustic Osteology, Sound Design, 2017
An awarded project from Radical DB, Etopia - Centre for Art and Science, Zaragoza, Spain. This speculative project was developed in collaboration with Designer Agi Haines and investigates how current methods of the medical use of sound might develop to code sound into the structural fabric of the body. The growth rings of bone develop with time similarly to the growth lines on a tree, these lines have been photographed with a microscope and then traced. The data from these traces was then translated to a chromatic scale revealing a complex auditory soundscape. The exhibition included two interactive spinning discs (made from enlarged microscopic images of bone rings) which produced sound when turned, and a 3d printed sculpture of an ultrasonic emitting device.

+  RE/ME, Composition and Sound Design, 2018
RE/ME is an immersive, interactive, experiential installation and research project funded by DART (formerly DART17) and Artshare. RE/ME is an experimental technology that uses vibration and sound stimuli to change bodily self-perception. Running over the course of August 2018, Sean Clarke, Agi Haines, Dr. Diego Maranan and Dr. Frank Loesche invited people to join us at the Swissnex building on Pier 17, Embarcadero, San Francisco to experience RE/ME. RE/ME: was an 8 foot purpose built pod, akin to that of an isolation tank.. On the bed of the pod, we installed a series of small motors that ran the entire surface area of the bed, these motors would output patterns of vibrations. Along with this, we installed speakers that would play monaural tones. The experience: Users arrive and would be asked various questions about their bodily self perception. They would then draw themselves and be asked to perform a series of movements. After completing these initial tasks, they would lay down and be enclosed into the pod. Whilst laying there they would feel a series of vibrations and hear a composition of tones. The sound would also help to create the conditions of a “sonic cocoon”, helping to immerse and isolate the user.

+  Swissnex ‘Nextcasts’ series, Composition, 2018
The “Nextcast” podcast series conceived to discuss emerging innovation in tech, arts and the sciences. The opening theme reflects this by building an aural crescendo of innovative technologies and moments in history that have led us to this point in time. Think of it as a “...previously in ‘Human Innovation!’” highlighting key points in the history of humankind, guided by some of the most influential and groundbreaking inventions and discoveries. From the initial spark of fire to technologies pushing the boundaries of space travel, the sounds selected were based on subjective opinion and artistic license.

+  The Cubicle, Composition, Sound Design and Foley, 2019
The Cubicle is a project from Kilter theatre group. Devised as an educational art piece, it uses the traditional ideas around consumer marketing to posit a change in how feel about ourselves and overall body positivity. To do this, Kilter created a changing room-like-cubicle, which people could step inside of and experience a performance by the members of Kilter theatre group. In the initial run of the project, Kilter felt that the experience would benefit from more immersion. After consulting with Kilter, it was decided that creating and playing an immersive soundscape to play alongside the performance, one reflective of the traditional “shop changing room” environment, would aid this. This was achieved by recording sounds such as clothes hangars moving, zips and curtains being pulled and people talking, and then creating a surround sound composition of these recordings. Along with this, a song was written and recorded and mixed to sound as if it were being played within the shop, further simulating the “shop changing room” aesthetic .

+  Graphene, Composition, 2020
As part of a recent Design Museum London residency, designer Marta Giralt began an exploration into the relatively new material: Graphene. The initial proposition was to “record Graphene”. The final outcome was a 15 minute sound piece composed using sonification techniques developed collaboratively with David Bridges, PhD. The sample of Graphene was imaged using a S.E.M

(Scanning Electron Microscope) at the nature lab at Rhode Island School of Design, USA and then sonified by analysing the luminosity values across that visual data and then arranged using sensibilities from Electroacoustic composition and music for film. The work was exhibited at the Design Museum, London (UK) as part of the “Cosmic” residency from January - April 2020.

+ Contagion, Composition, 2020
A sonic exploration that covers several stages of diffusion, i.e., the experiential states before, during and after the contagion has spread through an environment, using contrasting auditory tones to express an established norm, the dynamism of states bought on during contagion, and ultimately the resolution resulting in permanent changes to the environment. The composition moves through 4 separate states of contagion: Status A: an established norm, Status B: an encroaching Contagion, Status C: first signs of recovery, Status D: a synthesis of the preceding compositions and permanent resolution. The piece was composed by creating a visualised model of the spread of a contagion using data from covid19 R0 rate of transmission. The model was then sonified with David Bridges, PhD.

 

 

Sound works (overview) _
works encompass composition and sound design for film, installation, products and other media.

+ Four Times, Composition, 2010
+ Jack’s Ashes, Composition, 2010
+ Psychosomatic Communication, Composition, 2011
+ Tunnel Vision, Composition, 2012
+ The Everlasting Race, Sound Design, 2013
+ Me-Loop, Composition, 2013
+ Commoditised Warfare, Composition and Foley, 2013
+ Mutable Drugs, Composition, 2013
+ Electrostabilis Cardium, Sound Design and Foley, 2013
+ Proof, Composition, 2013
+ Comfort In The Wild, Composition, 2013
+ Delivery, Composition, 2013
+ 2 Days In January, Composition, 2013
+ LadyFrotto, Composition, 2013
+ Bone China, Composition, 2013
+ The Caves, Composition, 2013
+ The P.A, Composition, 2013
+ Steve/Sculptor, Composition, 2013
+ Beautiful Technology - Vauxhall Cars, Composition, 2013

+ Instinct, Composition, 2014
+ You’re Right About Left, Composition, 2014
+ Tell MAMA - Anti Hate Crime, Composition, 2014
+ The Cunning Folk, Composition, 2014
+ Buzzkill, Composition, 2014
+ The Night Calls, Composition, 2014
+ Aberration, Composition, 2014

+ Set Point, Composition, 2014

+ Revulva, Composition, 2014

+ Tracks, Composition, 2014
+ The Voice, Composition, 2015

+ Molly, Composition, 2015

+ Night Journey, Composition, 2015

+ Strange Love, Composition, 2015

+ Wyrdos, Composition, 2015
+ Unwritten, Composition, 2015

+ Drones With Desires, Composition and Sound Design, 2015

+ Bisensorial, Composition and Sound Design, 2016
+ Drones, Composition, 2016
+ Paradis, Composition, 2016

+ Aves, Composition, 2016
+ Mary, Composition, 2016
+ Sunburn, Composition, 2016 - 2018
+ Conversations With Myself, Composition and Sound Design, 2017
+ Acoustic Osteology, Sound Design, 2017
+ Vista Lake, Composition, 2018
+ RE/ME, Composition and Sound Design, 2018
+ Swissnex ‘Nextcasts’ Series, Composition, 2018
+ The Cubicle, Composition, Sound Design and Foley, 2019
+ Graphene, Composition, 2020
+ Contagion, Composition, 2020
+ Untitled Video Game, Composition and Sound Design, 2020

Talks_
+ Clarke, S., Haines, A., Fletcher, J., Maranan, D. S, Jansen, K., & Mutuberria, R. (2016). Discussing the project “Bisensorial”. Hack the Brain (The Waag, Amsterdam, The Netherlands).

+ Clarke, S., Haines, A. (2017). Talk and panel discussion: “Acoustic Osteology: Music, Health, Ultrasound and Data Encryption”, Radical DB (Etopia - Centre for Art and Science, Zaragoza, Spain).

+ Clarke, S., Fletcher, J., Lemarchand, F. (2017) - Lecture on projects “Bisensorial” & “Conversations With Myself” (Science Gallery Dublin, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland).

+ Clarke, S,. Haines, A, Maranan, D. S, Loesche, F. (2018). Lecture on “RE/ME: Collaboration and Cognitive Innovation” (University of California Berkeley, Cognitive Science Department, California, USA).

Awards_

+  Clarke, S., Haines, A., Fletcher, J., Maranan, D. S, Jansen, K., & Mutuberria, R. (2016). Bisensorial, Hack the Brain (The Waag, Amsterdam, The Netherlands).

+  Clarke, S., Haines, A. (2017). Acoustic Osteology, Radical DB (Etopia - Centre for Art and Science, Zaragoza, Spain).

+  Clarke, S., Haines, A., Maranan, D. S, Loesche, F. (2017). RE/ME, DART17 Residency Award (Brussels/San

Francisco).

Sean Clarke

   Composer