Kent Clelland (b. 1971) is an American Composer of acoustic, electronic, and electro-acoustic music. He holds a Bachelor of Music Composition from Ithaca College where he studied under Gregory Woodward and a Master of Music Composition for interactive computer music technology from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) where he studied with David Rosenboom, Tom Erbe, Morton Subotnick, and Wadada Leo Smith. An accomplished performer of electro-acoustic compositions, Clelland’s debut onto the European new music stage was as the live electronics performer in the Daniel Rothman Ensemble; including “Cézanne’s Doubt” (Musikprotokoll Graz, 1996), “Fool’s Wind” (ZKM Eröffnungskonzert, 1997), “Yes, Philip Android Dream Electric Sheep” (Pro-Musica-Nova Bremen ,1998), and “En Coup de dés” ( SWR New Jazz meeting, 2003). Between 1997 and 2005 Clelland worked closely with the Heinrich Strobel Stiftung Experimentalstudio für Akustische Kunst as both a producer/performer of Electro-Acoustic works as well as the software developer responsible for creating the performance interface to their digital matrix mixer. During his time at the Strobel Stiftung, Clelland worked with Wolfgang von Schweinitz, Peter Ablinger, Marc André, Isabel Mundry, and Vinko Globokar whilst mentoring under André Richard. His work at the Strobel Stiftung led to a longtime partnership with Joachim Haas, with whom Clelland founded the music software company FreQ Laboratories. FreQ Labs specialized in manipulation of frequency domain audio signals for realtime peformance of electro-acoustic music. Their technology was brought to market by the Berlin company Native Instruments as the products “NI-Spektral Delay” (2000) and “Vokator” (2002).
Clelland moved to the EU in 1997 and currently resides in the north of Switzerland. During his formative years in the USA, Clelland’s hunger for experimental music was insatiable. In New York he attended masterclasses with Karel Husa, William Bolcom, Lou Harrison, and Warren Benson (Ithaca College). Whilst at the Aspen Music Festival his attention was drawn from Jacob Druckman’s composition seminar by the presence of the Buchla 100 in the electronic music studio. Between seminars Clelland spent the entire summer learning everything he could about modular synthesizers and tape music. This led him on his path to CalArts where he would study with the original owner of that particular Buchla 100: Morton Subotnick. Clelland specifically searched out CalArts because of David Rosenboom’s work in Brainwave Music, and together they developed the technology to realize Rosenboom’s “On Being Invisible II: Hypatia Speaks to Jefferson as if in A Dream” (OBI2). OBI2 was premiered at the Krannert Center of the University of Illinois together with the final live performance of Salvatore Martirano‘s “L’s G.A.” OBI2 also gave Clelland the opportunity to work closely with Robert Ashley who performed the part of Jefferson in the New York premiere of OBI2. Aside from the Brainwave control for OBI2, Clelland developed a realtime video playback system triggered by Markov Chains controlled by the brainwave performers. It was this experience with live visuals in the early 90’s which culminates in his live performance ensemble line_code who perform experimental ambi-media concerts with self coded software instruments.