Aaron Clarke is a composer and musician based in the Boston area. He is currently attending Longy School of Music of Bard College in pursuit of a Master of Music in Composition, studying with John Morrison. Clarke graduated from the University of Southern Maine in 2017, where he received a Bachelor of Music in Composition, studying composition under Daniel Sonenberg and free jazz with saxophonist and composer Barry Saunders.
A guitarist and drummer originally from Rockland, ME, Clarke spent his teenage years playing in various rock, jazz, and blues groups, releasing two albums during that time. While at USM, he shifted his focus to spend more time writing what would generally be termed “classical” music, composing several pieces for large chamber orchestra, as well as smaller chamber ensembles. Clarke performed in the pit for numerous musicals, participated in many new music concerts, and was active in engineering for various studio recordings and recorded concert performances.
In 2016, Clarke released “A More Perfect Union,” an album of short through-composed and free jazz duo pieces with Barry Saunders. From 2013 to 2018, Clarke was heavily involved with preparations for several productions of Daniel Sonenberg’s opera, “The Summer King” (concert: Portland, ME May 2014; staged: Pittsburgh, PA April-May 2017; staged: Detroit, April 2018). Subsequent to graduating from USM, Clarke released “Brutality,” an EP of jazz-based compositions.
After finishing his degree at Longy, Clarke hopes to write and perform his own eclectic works regularly with a group of musicians, seeking to further blur and ultimately break down the delineations between various musical genres, as well as non-musical subjects, such as politics, history, and science. In short, Clarke advocates for a “unity of knowledge” approach to composition, and anticipates spending his musical career further advancing that ideology.