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Lachlan Skipworth : Represented Artist

Random Audio Sample: only the ocean knows : for shakuhachi and small ensemble by Lachlan Skipworth, from the CD Shingetsu

Photo of Lachlan Skipworth

Photo: Nik Babic

Lachlan Skipworth is emerging as one of the leading composers of his generation in Australia. After training initially as a clarinettist, Skipworth spent almost three years in Japan immersed in the study of shakuhachi, an end-blown bamboo flute, and its ancient honkyoku solo repertoire. On returning to Australia, he began to hone and refine his experience into a highly personal compositional language, working closely with his principal teacher Anne Boyd.

Skipworth has since composed a body of work that displays the range and sensitivity of his craft across many genres. Light Rain (2009) sets the shakuhachi itself amongst a string quartet to depict raindrops falling gently on water, and has gone on to receive performances across Australia, Japan, and the USA. Dark Nebulae (2011) for saxophone quartet depicts the colossal rumblings of deep space by layering rich multiphonics to create thick churning clouds of sound mass. In addition to numerous international performances, the work was selected as the official Australian work to be performed at the 2015 ISCM World Music Days in Slovenia.

Afterglow (2012) was performed in the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra's Metropolis Series, conducted by leading British composer Thomas Adès. The recent Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra (2014) was premiered by the West Australian Symphony Orchestra with soloist Ashley William Smith and conductor Baldur Brönnimann, subsequently winning the prestigious 2015 APRA Art Music Award in the Performance of the Year category. In 2015 Skipworth had new works presented by Musica Viva, Synergy Percussion, The Song Company and the Darwin Symphony Orchestra.

Skipworth holds a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Western Australia (2004) and a Master of Music (Composition) from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (2010) where he studied with Roger Smalley and Anne Boyd respectively. He is also active as a shakuhachi performer, having spent two and a half years from 2005 in Japan studying with Kakizakai Kaoru and revered master Yokoyama Katsuya. In 2010, he undertook a two-semester kontaktstudium with Prof. Jorg Widmann at the Freiburg Hochschule fur Musik, Germany.

In 2011 he received a fellowship from the prestigious Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, undertaking a six-week research trip to Japan, Europe and the USA. In 2009 he was composer-in-residence with the Japanese traditional instrument ensemble Aura-J in Tokyo as part of an Asialink Performing Arts Residency. He has been selected to participate in a number of composer workshops, including the MODART and CYBEC programmes in Australia, Ensemble Modern at Tokyo Wonder Site, and the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival in Massachusetts, USA.

Lachlan Skipworth — current to August 2015

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for
2013 Art Music Awards: Work of the Year: Instrumental Finalist dark nebulae

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Piano trio : piano trio (2015) Commissioned by Julian Burnside for performance by Musica Viva Australia.
Digital sheet music sample Confluence : prepared vibraphones, humming, tuned gongs (2014) Commissioned by Sound Collectors.
where the mountains meet (solo bass guitar) (2013) Commissioned by Charles Davidson.
Afterglow : chamber orchestra (2012) Commissioned as part of the CYBEC 21st Century Australian Composers Programme
Kinu (quintets: keyboard, string, woodwind) (2012) Commissioned by the ASO as a part of the OzAsia festival 2012.
Nezasa (octets: oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, violin, viola, cello, double bass) (2012) Commissioned by Ars Musica Australis.