Ann Cleare

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Ann Cleare (born 1983 in County Offaly) is an Irish composer.[1] She currently teaches at Trinity College Dublin.[2][3]


She studied with John Godfrey and Jesse Ronneau at University College Cork, where she was awarded an MPhil, and completed her PhD in Composition with Chaya Czernowin and Hans Tutschku at Harvard University.[4]

On magnetic fields[edit]

Her 2011-2012 work, on magnetic fields, was commissioned by the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik and premiered by the Collegium Novum Zürich. This work, which separates the group into three chamber ensembles, uses two violin soloists as a kind of sculpted 'electric current' to propel the interaction between the musicians.

She later created a version of the piece for two violins and loudspeaker which was premiered by the Riot Ensemble in London on May 14, 2018. In an interview with Tim Rutherford-Johnson, Cleare described the work:

At the centre of two of the spatially divided chamber groups lies a solo violin. I think of both solo violins as ‘electric currents’, wiry voices that magnetically charge the electricity of the ensemble that surrounds them, wrapping layers of various sonic materials around the violins, providing what I think of as an electric cloud for the evolving violin electricities to speak from.[5]


In 2015, MATA Festival commissioned Cleare to write a piece for the Talea Ensemble, and she wrote Eöl for a collection of small percussion instruments surrounded by a small ensemble. The percussion instruments are all made with different metals in order to make use of their varied timbral characteristics. In an interview, Cleare says,

In a geological sense, the word "eolian" signifies something borne, deposited, produced or eroded by the wind. This particularly connects to the porous role that the accordion plays in the piece. It is like a medium that the other instruments of the ensemble transform and interact through. And in a mythical sense, the title alludes to Eöl, an elf from J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle Earth writings, who skillfully wove metals into various magical armors. The ensemble enacts a similar type of sonic weaving, leading to the formation of the percussionist's metallic hands.[6]

Portrait concert[edit]

On March 1, 2018, the International Contemporary Ensemble presented a portrait concert of Cleare's work at Miller Theater, including her works teeth of light, tongue of waves (a world premiere and a co-commission by the ensemble and the theater), to another of that other, the square of yellow light that is your window and Dorchadas.[7]

Selected works[edit]


  • eyam v (woven) for contrabass flute, contrabass clarinet, and orchestra (2015–17)
  • phôsphors (...of ether) for orchestra (2012/13)
  • to another of that other for trumpet, trombone, clarinet and orchestra (2009/13)
  • Claustrophobia – Four Movements for String Orchestra (2005 – 2006)


  • One Here Now: A Sonic Theatre for voices, percussion, and electronics (2017/18)
  • rinn, a chamber opera for two actors, three singers, large ensemble, and electronic sculpture/staging (2014–16)

Chamber music[edit]

  • teeth of light, tongue of waves for soprano and bassoon with bowed guitar, viola, cello, and double bass (2017/18)
  • fiáin for violin, viola, cello, electric guitar, and electric bass guitar (2017)
  • 93 million miles away for violin, cello, and piano (2016)
  • eyam ii (taking apart your universe) for contrabass clarinet solo and ensemble (2009 – 2016)
  • ore for one high reed wind instrument (clarinet/oboe/saxophone) and string trio (2016)
  • eöl for percussion solo with clarinet, saxophone, accordion, cello and double bass (2014/15)
  • luna|lithe|lair for bfl, bcl, ca, asax, pno, perc, vln, vla, vc (2013/14)[8]
  • I should live in wires for leaving you behind for 2 pianists (1 piano) and 2 percussionists (2014)[8]
  • anchor me to the land for small ensemble (2014)
  • the square of yellow light that is your window for a.sax (solo), perc, pf, (2013/14)
  • eyam iii (if it’s living somewhere outside of you) for solo bass flute shadowed by one low wind instrument and one string instrument (2013/15)
  • mire|…|veins for brass quintet (2013)[8]
  • to another of that other for trumpet, trombone, clarinet (2009–13)
  • on magnetic fields for two violins and one loudspeaker (2011-2012)[8]
  • on magnetic fields for ensemble (2011-2012)[8]
  • of violet ether for ensemble (2011)
  • moil for string quartet (2010)[8]
  • unable to create an offscreen world (c) for picc, perc, bcl, vln, vc (2010)
  • unable to create an offscreen world (b) for piccolo and percussion (2010)
  • Inner for cello/viola/violin and piano (2009)[8]
  • To Exist, Press the Green Button for picc/afl, cl, bcl, b.tbn, cymbal, vc, db (2009)
  • Dysmorphia for viola and cello (2008)
  • The Apophenia Transmissions for wind quintet (2008)
  • Dorchadas for bfl, bcl, bsn, tbn, perc, pf, vla, vc, db (2007)[8]
  • Aspira for large wind and brass ensemble (2007)
  • Day Two for violin, cello, piano (2006)

Solo instrumental[edit]

  • where cobalt waves live for solo piano (2017)
  • luna (the eye that opens the other eye) for alto saxophone solo (2013/14)
  • eyam iii (if it’s living somewhere outside of you) for solo bass flute (2013)
  • eyam i (it takes an ocean not to) for Bb clarinet solo (2009–13)
  • IRK for viola/violin with optional electronics (2006)


  1. ^ "Ann Cleare". Contemporary Music Centre. 2018-08-20. Retrieved 2018-09-02.
  2. ^ "Dr. Ann Cleare - MPhil in Music and Media Technology - Trinity College Dublin". Retrieved 2018-09-02.
  3. ^ "Ann Cleare - Music, The University of York". Archived from the original on 2018-09-02. Retrieved 2018-09-02.
  4. ^ "MATA » Ann Cleare". Retrieved 2018-09-02.
  5. ^ "A few moments with Ann Cleare |". Retrieved 2018-07-29.
  6. ^ Classicalite (2015-04-22). "EXCLUSIVE: 2015 MATA Festival Interview Spotlight - Ann Cleare on 'Eöl,' Talea Ensemble and J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth". Classicalite. Retrieved 2018-07-29.
  7. ^ Desk, BWW News. "ICE Performs Ann Cleare Composer Portrait Led By Steven Schick At Miller Theatre". Retrieved 2018-07-29.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h "PSNY: Ann Cleare Works".

External links[edit]