updated 30 April 2009
© Lola Joulin

Paul Clift

Australian composer born 21 March, 1978 in Melbourne

Paul Clift (b. 1978 in Melbourne) is a composer of instrumental and mixed music. Since 2016, he is based in Basel, Switzerland. His music often attempts to make concrete associations with a variety of concepts such as modernist literature, collective memory and historical musical traditions, notably through the integration of archival recordings in his works. His compositional outlook is marked by formative studies with Franck Bedrossian, George Benjamin, Jean-Luc Hervé, Fred Lerdahl, Philippe Leroux, Fabien Lévy and Tristan Murail.

His works have been performed by ensembles such as Klangforum Wien, Ensemble l’Itinéraire, JACK and Mivos Quartets, L’Instant Donné, Contrechamps, ICE, Ensemble l’Imaginaire, Proton, Neofonía, Novel Ensemble Modern, Adapter, Vortex, Argento, Cairn, Trio Sæitenwind, Sentieri Selvaggi and Vertixe Sonora. His music has been programmed at festivals including ISCM World Music Days (Tallinn), Agora and Festival Ensemble(s) (both in Paris), Weimarer Frühjahrstage für zeitgenössische Musik, ReMusik (St. Petersburg), MATA (New York), Rainy Days (Luxembourg), Musikfestival Bern, Close Encounters (Georgia), Unerhörte Musik (Berlin), Klangraum (Stuttgart), AFEKT (Berlin/Tallinn), Sounding Now (Singapore), Music and Art: Sound Correspondences (Spain), SMC (Athens) and the World Exposition in Milan, among others. In 2019, his large-scale scenic work “Portal Fantasies,” composed in collaboration with cultural historian Barbara Piatti, was premiered in the Zeiträume Festival in Basel.

Paul Clift obtained a Doctorate of Musical Arts from Columbia University, New York, a Masters of Music at King’s College, London, and participated in the two years of the IRCAM Cursus, culminating in the premiere of “With my limbs in the dark” for chamber ensemble, electronics and augmented dancer, composed in collaboration with choreographer Alban Richard. He also attended masterclasses including Royaumont Voix Nouvelles, Centre Acanthes, Domaine Forget, IMPULS, June in Buffalo, MATRIX, Internationale Sommerakademie der MDW and the Darmstadt Ferienkursen. In 2016, Paul was in residence at Villa Sträuli in Switzerland.

In addition to composing, Paul Clift is active as a researcher. He has undertaken research residencies, notably at the Paul Sacher Foundation (2014) and IRCAM (2014-15). He has appeared as a guest lecturer at NYU, UCSD, New England Conservatory, University of New Mexico, Filosofska Fakulteta (Ljubljana), University of Basel and the University of Aix-en-Provence.

Paul Clift is also the Artistic Director of neuverBand, a new-music chamber ensemble based in Basel. His scores are published by Schweizer Musikedition and are also available online Babelscores.

© Ircam-Centre Pompidou, 2009


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