Christopher Clarke

Christopher Johann Clarke Shirui is a Singaporean fretted instrument performer currently pursuing a Masters in Music Composition at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore [2017-2019]. He graduated with First-Class Honours for his Bachelor of Arts (Music) and was awarded an Honourable Mention for the Phillip Holt Prize from the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts [2017] after studying the mandolin, classical and electric guitar under the tutelage of Paul Mitchell-Davidson, Jim Faulkner, and Steve Berry.

As a composer, Christopher’s undergraduate research was in the understanding of how different notation-types influence our behavioural field, and how this can apply to compositional gestalt, relating to how the musician perceives notation from both a sonic and visual viewpoint. Finding a happy medium in software, hardware, composed music, and performance – His work spans from indeterminacy and agent-based compositional algorithms to building and designing analog hardware synthesisers from recycled materials – a combination of cross-genre multidisciplinary devices that runs the gamut of musical experimentation. Hyphenating to other mediums of musical expression, Christopher often embodies concepts of acoustics and psycho-acoustics in his composition through computer music devices such as MaxMSP, and various other clients for synthesisers such as SuperCollider. He is interested in pursuing further research/education in acoustics. Christopher is currently working on realtime Audio DSP interfaces with machine learning environments, and is investigating the usage of metacognitive data derived from such experiments to challenge issues relating to the human perception of audio.

Aside from Composition, Christopher has also performed both as a band member and session musician in numerous musical acts, notably : "Sonic Escapade" — a collective of musicians lead by Dr Michael Spicer. Specialising in Contemporary Improvisatory Music, Sonic Escapade gave Christopher the chance to conduct workshops, along with Dr Spicer, in Improvisatory Music at Keele University (UK) in 2011 and numerous workshops in collaboration with NLB throughout 2014 and 2015.

Having worked as a recording and mixing professional for over 10 years (as well as learning it at a university level), audio engineering and studio/live-sound acoustics are second nature to Christopher. In 2015, he played a major role in developing and producing the music of local band, "Flame of the Forest", and helped them release an EP (Flame of the Forest), along with an album launch on Orchard Road. During his time with Flame of the Forest, Christopher also performed for Presidents S.R. Nathan, Tony Tan, and many other members of parliament.

Having a deep interest for early music since he was young, Christopher can also be occasionally sighted playing the theorbo with early music groups around Singapore – a form of professional enjoyment that contrasts the many commitments Christopher has; He is also a lecturer at Singapore Polytechnic and Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, teaching modules ranging from acoustical science to computing in music.