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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

The music of Sydney-based composer Damien Ricketson is characterised by exotic sound-worlds, novel forms and is often integrated with other media. Large-scale staged works have included: The Howling Girls (2018), an opera co-created with director Adena Jacobs exploring trauma and the voice presented by Sydney Chamber Opera and Carriageworks; The Secret Noise (2014), a hybrid music-dance work that was awarded 'Instrumental Work of the Year' in the 2015 Art Music Awards and featured in the Melbourne Festival; and Fractured Again (2010), a multimedia production, which toured China and premiered in the Sydney Festival.

Ricketson studied with renowned Dutch composer Louis Andriessen and has a PhD from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Ricketson co-founded, and for 20 years was Co-Artistic Director Ensemble Offspring, a unique arts company dedicated to adventurous new music through whom much of his music has been performed. He is currently the Program Leader of Composition and Music Technology at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney.

Damien Ricketson — current to June 2018

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

Huw Belling (2004 - 2006)

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 The Day after Drowning : an echo on Satie’s Gnossienne No.1 (2016) Commissioned by Zubin Kanga.
Digital sheet music sample Rendition clinic : for three percussionists and strobe lights (2015) Commissioned by Speak Percussion.
Pipe Dreams Green (site specific live performance) (2015) Commissioned by Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre for the Way Out West Festival for Children 2015, Sydney Performed by Ensemble Offspring
Digital sheet music sample Not By Halves : for four sustaining instruments (2015) Commissioned by Musify+Gamify
Digital sheet music sample Heaven only empty : for bass clarinet, vibraphone, drumkit & turntable (2014) 'The Secret Noise' was 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’.

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