Barlow was born in Calcutta, a member of the anglophone minority, of British and Portuguese descent. He studied at the Calcutta University, at the Trinity College of Music in London (Calcutta Centre), at the Hochschule für Musik Köln (Music University Cologne) and at the Institute of Sonology at Utrecht University.
He was one of the founders of Initiative Musik und Informatik Köln. In 1988 he was the director of music at the International Computer Music Conference in Cologne. From 1990 until 1994 he was the artistic director of the Institute of Sonology, at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, where he also taught in the composition department (Wilson 2001).
His students have included Missy Mazzoli, Georg Hajdu, Harald Muenz, Marko Ciciliani, Juan Maria Solare, Juan Sebastian Lach, Kristoffer Zegers, Patrick Saint-Denis, and Gabriel Pareyon. He currently lives in California where he teaches at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Compositional style and techniques
Barlow prefers traditional instrumental timbres to electronically synthesized ones because "they sound so much more alive and exciting" (Kaske 1985, 23). Although for this reason most of his works have been written for traditional instruments, he has frequently used the computer to generate the structures of his works. His comprehensive theory of tonality and metrics was first tested in the piano work Çoǧluotobüsişletmesi (1975–79). Spectral analysis and instrumental resynthesis of human speech has also played an important role in his compositions (Wilson 2001).
- Clarence Barlow, the International Artist Database
- Clements, Dominy. 2009. "CLARENCE BARLOW—Interview". MusicWeb International (9 February) (Accessed 22 January 2010).
- Feedback Composers: Klarenz Barlow at the Wayback Machine (archived March 1, 2010) n.d. (German)
- Kaske, Stephan. 1985. "A Conversation with Clarence Barlow". Computer Music Journal 9, no. 1:19–28.
- Manion, M[ichael]. 2004. "Gimik: Initiative Musik und Informatik Köln r. V.". Cologne: Gimik e. V. (Accessed 22 January 2010).
- Toop, Richard. 2008. "Kulturelle Dissidenten: Die Stockhausen-Klasse der Jahre 1973 und 1974". MusikTexte: Zeitschrift für neue Musik, no. 116 (February): 46–49.
- Wilson, Peter Niklas. 2001. "Barlow, Klarenz [Clarence]". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan Publishers.
- Clarence Barlow's Website at UCSB, Department of Music
- AUTOBUSK - Barlow's "Pitch and Rhythm Generator" software
- Clarence BARLOW page at P-ART
- Official site
- Some MP3s of Barlow's work
- Interview with Clarence Barlow by Bob Gilmore (2007) in Paris Transatlantic Magazine
- Interview with Musicweb International
- archived Culturebase article