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Meet composer
Ivan Clayden

In this series, we present our new composers. We are proud to introduce Ivan Clayden.


Please tell us about yourself and what you do. 

I am a composer and performer usually based in Wellington, but mostly found hiding away in central Otago - as of writing this I am currently in Iceland doing top-secret Icelandic things.

I studied Composition under Michael Norris at NZSM, graduating in 2018 and since then most of my energy has gone towards writing works for solo instrumentalists or chamber groups. Recently a focus has been on incorporating technology with limited parameters and established uses, like a loop station, in creative ways for solo instrumentalists. I am also regularly engaged in environmental sound composition, creating works for multiple speaker arrays which utilise field recordings I take whilst out hiking in NZs beautiful landscapes.

Performance-wise I play the French Horn and over the last few years have performed regularly with Orchestra Wellington and various other Groups around the Wellington area. In 2018, I was a finalist in the NZSM Brass Player of the Year competition.

One of my achievements is having watched The Lord of the Rings movies far too many times. I’d have to say my favourite scene would be in the Fellowship of the Ring when they run through farmer Maggot’s crop, that, or the “so it begins” scene in Two Towers.

Please choose 2-3 of your works/albums and tell us about them.

In my most recent work - Aeolus for solo piano and loop station, I explore ways of the performer being accompanied by changing ‘sustain chords’, adding only the decay/held aspects of the chord to the ongoing loop whilst the piece evolves as certain figures come and go, always changing the atmosphere of the work.

IHC-005 is my fifth environmental sound composition. Recordings made from contact mics on a wind turbine create an ever-evolving sound world which through little tweaking I bring out different aspects of the sound to the listener's attention in a mix for 5:1 speaker array.

A personal favourite work of mine is Susurration for solo Bass Clarinet. This piece has extensive use of multiphonics and with a focus on the natural flow of breath aims to bring out some beautiful yet subtle intricacies in sound from the instrument.

What are you working on at the moment?

I can’t give away too much yet but a work for alto saxophone is currently baking away in the oven. The performance sometime in early 2020.

How can people connect with you?

Would you like to tell us anything else?

I never miss breakfast


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