Scott McLaughlin AHRC composition project 2019

graphic notation of different paths of harmonics

Draft visualisation of alternative paths through harmonic partials, descending from 8th partial.

I’ve just begun a new composition research project, funded by the AHRC as a Leadership Fellowship. The project runs from Aug 2019 to Jan 2021, and I’m hoping to do as many of the workshops/concerts as I can in Leeds, and make them open for students and others to attend.

The full description of the project is here, but the short description is that I’m developing compositional strategies that involve the ‘material agency’ of the clarinet. That is, using unstable sustained sounds on the clarinet that will change with minimal performer input. The way that these sounds change will decide what the performer does next, so the ‘agency’ is as much with the clarinet as it is with the performer. Instead of the performer controlling the instrument, they support the instrument and allow it to do it’s own thing.

I’m working closely with clarinettist Heather Roche to better understand the instrument and player, and collaborate on how to make these strategies accessible to all levels of composer and performer.  Keep an eye out for open rehearsals and workshops over the next 18mths, and drop me an email if you find it interesting and want to chat.