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Damien Ricketson : Represented Artist

Much of my work explores creative responses to the poetics of incomplete knowledge and broken modes of communication.

Random Audio Sample: Some shade of blue : underchin tarhu & centaur vibraphone by Damien Ricketson, from the CD Between the keys

Photo of Damien Ricketson

Photo: Martin Brady

Damien is a Sydney-based composer, artistic director and academic. Seeking a music for the body rather than the brain, his work is characterised by unusual instrumentations, open forms and is often multisensory in nature integrating sound with other media.

From 1995-2015 Ricketson was the co-founder and Co-Artistic Director Ensemble Offspring, a unique arts company dedicated to adventurous new music through whom much of his music has been performed. From 2015-2019 he was the Program Leader of Composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney.

Ricketson completed a Bachelor of Music at the Sydney Conservatorium where he studied with composers such as Bozidar Kos, Richard Toop and Martin Wesley-Smith prior to studies at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague with renowned Dutch composer Louis Andriessen. He holds a PhD from the University of Sydney where he currently teaches.

Many of Ricketson's more substantial works have been show-length staged productions including: The Howling Girls (2018), an opera co-created with director Adena Jacobs exploring trauma and the voice presented by Sydney Chamber Opera; The Secret Noise (2014), a hybrid music-dance work; and Fractured Again (2010), a multimedia production both presented by Ensemble Offspring.

Ricketson has received awards including the international Music Theatre Now Prize (2018) and 'Vocal/Choral Work of the Year' in the 2019 Art Music Awards for The Howling Girls, as well as the 'Instrumental Work of the Year' in the 2015 Art Music Awards for The Secret Noise. His works have featured in the Sydney and Melbourne festivals, toured repeatedly to China and represented 'Oceania' in the Tokyo Festival.

Ricketson is a Senior Lecturer at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney.

Damien Ricketson — current to December 2021

Studied with

Bozidar Kos (1992 - 1995)

Richard Toop (1992 - 1995)

Martin Wesley-Smith (1992 - 1995)

Louis Andriessen (1996 - 1998)


Collaborated with

Ensemble Offspring (1995 - 2015)

Claire Edwardes

Matthew Shlomowitz


Teacher/Influence on

Andrew Batt-Rawden (2003 - 2006)

Huw Belling (2004 - 2006)

Elizabeth Jigalin (2014 - 2016)

Cameron Lam (2007 - 2010)

Jack Symonds (2008 - 2009)

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
The Secret noise : chamber ensemble Created with support from the Australia Council for the Arts (music & dance initiative), the City of Sydney and Ensemble Offspring’s ‘Noisy Egg Creation Fund’
Digital sheet music sample Touch Point : for solo violin (2022) Commissioned by Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM), The ANAM Set.
Borderlines (clarinet with live electronics) (2019) Commissioned by Ensemble Offspring with the generous support of Ensemble Offspring's Noisy Egg Creation Fund for Jason Noble.
Digital sheet music sample Seated Backwards (piano with pre-recorded sound) (2019) Commissioned by Alex Raineri for Bloodpaths
Digital sheet music sample The Howling Girls : opera for soprano, teenage chorus and electronics (2018) Commissioned by Carriageworks, Sydney Chamber Opera.
Digital sheet music sample The Day after Drowning : an echo on Satie’s Gnossienne No.1 (2016) Commissioned by Zubin Kanga.

Analysis & Media

- Article: Sound of music for Sunday's silent stars

- Program note: Six Song Fragments

- Review: The Song Company 18 October 1992

- Program note: Shoal

- Review: The Song Company Cage Uncaged 15 September 2007

- Video: Hectic Ras El Hanout