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Leah Barclay : Associate Artist

"My work explores the infinite possibilities of sound across cultures, borders and boundaries and the role artists can play in creating social change"

Random Audio Sample: Rivers talk (radiophonic music) by Leah Barclay, from the CD Blue gold


Photo of Leah Barclay

Artist website: http://www.leahbarclay.com

Born in Adelaide, South Australia, Leah Barclay is a composer, sound artist and curator working at the intersection of art, science, technology and the environment. Her work has been commissioned, performed and exhibited to wide acclaim across Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, Europe, India, China and Korea. Barclay creates complex sonic environments with a strong focus on the textural and timbral properties of sound. These works are realised through immersive performances and multi-sensory installations drawing on environmental field recordings, multi-channel sound diffusion, live performers and ephemeral projections.

Barclay's adventurous nature has led her to complete projects on the floor of the Australian ocean, desolate lava caves in New Zealand, the Amazon Jungle and the evocative backwaters of South India. Despite working predominately in an electroacoustic domain, her work spans chamber and symphonic compositions, scoring for film, theatre and dance to interactive media, data sonification and site-specific installations. She has been invited to participate in a diversity of international residencies including Centre d'arts Orford, Académie de Musique (Canada, 2007), IRCAM Academy (2008), Art Center Nabi (Korea, 2009), Vijnana Kala Vedi (India, 2009-2010), Sound+Pansori (GyeongGi Art Center, Korea, 2010), SCANZ: Eco Sapiens (New Zealand, 2011) and Mamori Sound Project (Brazil, 2011).

As a performer her studies were initially focused on Western classical music and now revolve predominately around live electronics and the rhythmic traditions of South India and Korea. Barclay has studied percussion extensively in both countries resulting in a range of collaborations including the release of two CDs with the Nada Laya ensemble in South India and collaborations with acclaimed Korean percussionist Choi Yoonsang that have been supported by the Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture. Her academic work has been published and presented at many of the world's forums for electroacoustic music and digital media including the International EMS Network (UK, 2007, Shanghai, 2010 and New York, 2011), The World Forum For Acoustic Ecology (Mexico, 2009) and the Society for Music Perception and Cognition (Montreal, 2007).

Barclay's dynamic work has resulted in numerous awards, including the Premier of Queensland's inaugural National New Media Scholarship (2009), the Asialink Performing Artist Residency for South Korea (2009) and the HELM Award for Environmental Art (2010). She has received major grants from state and federal funding bodies to produce ambitious community projects and has directed and curated intercultural projects across Australia, India and Korea. In addition to her creative practice, she serves in an advisory capacity for a range of arts and environmental organisations, including Ear to the Earth (New York) and Noosa Biosphere (UNESCO). Barclay holds a First Class Honours degree in Composition from the Queensland Conservatorium and has studied with Stephen Leek, John Coulter, Gerardo Dirié, Kim Cunio and Alcides Lanza. Her practice based PhD has involved site-specific projects across the globe exploring the value of creative methodologies in ecological crisis and the agency of environmental electroacoustic music.


Leah Barclay — current to April 2012

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for
2016 Art Music Awards: Award for Excellence in Experimental Music Finalist for WIRA River Listening