Desmond Clarke PhotoDesmond Clarke (b. 1989) is a composer, oboist and visual artist based in the north of England. His work has been performed and exhibited extensively around the UK, particularly in Yorkshire, as well as throughout Europe and further afield.

His compositional interests include the use of algorithmic and statistical processes, microtonality and spectral techniques to explore sounds, systems and structures.

His projects as of mid-2019 include an ongoing series of works using live-generated video scores to explore the boundaries and overlaps between notated and improvised music.


Insect – Wood Growth was written in 2013 for the Eurydice Quartet, and was premiered in July of that year in Pavia, Italy.

The piece comprises ten contiguous movements, though it’s not necessarily always clear to the listener where they begin and end. The result of this is a musical progression which is both sectionalised and continuous, that is, both rationalised and organic.

As one might guess from the title, the piece engages with different simultaneous time-scales, and tries to construct comprehensible relationships between them. This was something I personally was struggling with at the time, in music but also in general, and this piece was a way of working through that issue.

In fact, the piece represented something of a milestone within my work at that time in several ways. It unified several separate areas of work in a single composition, including the composition of miniatures, process-based fields of events and spectral harmony (-timbre), and helped me find new ways of dealing with material and form which I would go on to develop over the coming years.

click for score of „Insect – Wood – Growth“ for string quartet