Zana Clarke : Associate Artist
Photo: Peter Biffin
Artist website: http://www.orpheusmusic.com.au
Zana Clarke (b. 13 October, 1965) began playing recorder and violin in early childhood, eventually studying recorder under Ruth Wilkinson and Hans Dieter Michatz, and violin under Anne Martoni and Marco Van Pagge. Clarke joined the Melbourne Youth Orchestra at 12 years (violin) and played with the Australian Youth Orchestra at age 14. She began teaching recorder and violin in Melbourne while still a teenager and played violin professionally in the Victorian Pops Orchestra. Clarke subsequently studied at Melbourne University, completing two degrees, Bachelor of Arts (Latin and Classics) and Bachelor of Music (Honours in Performance).
Clarke moved to Armidale NSW in 1991, where she completed a Dip.Ed. and established her current teaching studio. She taught recorder and violin individually at all levels, lectured in Medieval and Baroque music at UNE and foundered Australia's premier youth recorder ensemble Batalla Famossa. Clarke's approach to instrumental teaching has been the subject of in-depth articles in The Australian Music Teacher magazine (1998) and The Recorder Magazine UK 2003.
Clarke continues to perform and record with a variety of ensembles. Between 1990 and 1992 she performed in the Weird Sisters (contemporary trio), from 1991 to 1997 in Cantigas (Medieval quartet) and from 1995 to the present in Nardoo (contemporary improvising duo). Clarke has recorded 6 CDs with the above ensembles and 2 solo CDs.
Clarke’s composing work has focused principally on the recorder, with many of her compositions featuring vocalised recorder, a new technique she is developing where the two individual melodic lines from the voice and recorder are sounded simultaneously by the one player –eg, Ariel View of the Boarder Bridge where voice and recorder intertwine and mingle but maintain their independence through several moods - both still and calm, as well as turbulent and chaotic.
Clarke’s music reflects a variety of influences including Medieval and Middle Eastern sounds, exemplified in Cold Honey for solo tenor recorder, which explores the Turkish Pesrev form within a modal structure. The focus here is on melodic exploration and note shaping within a small compass. Mind your Step for 2 guitars was commissioned and recorded by the guitar duo EphenStephen in 2005.
Clarke is the founding director of Orpheus Music which commissions and publishes new works for the recorder by Australian composers, publishes a Young Composer Series (encouraging youth participation in composing for the recorder) and is involved in a variety of other activities centred on the recorder.
Biography provided by the composer — current to February 2006