Clarence Barlow


Musica Algorithmica
Maria de Alvear world edition, 2018
12,5 x 14 cm
ISBN: 4260025640346



Since 1971, when I bid farewell to fourteen years of spontaneous composition, my work has been mainly algorithmic. Some compositions have been generated by single sets of algorithms designed for multiple use: in these cases the properties of the results could be derived from the input. In other cases the algorithms were used only once, with the purpose of creating a single work. The type of algorithms ranged from verbal instructions to complex computer programs. (Clarence Barlow 2011)

This CD presents for the first time such a large retrospective of the works of Clarence Barlow. The exciting arc of his compositional work, illustrated by the complexity of his pieces, shows the course of his life as a composer.

Clarence Barlow spent 36 years in Cologne, Germany, then 13 years as professor and head of composition at the Music Department, University of California, Santa Barbara. He now lives in retirement in Barcelona.

CD1 contains Im Januar am Nil, written for chamber ensemble (recorded in 1988 by Ensemble Köln under the direction of Robert HP Platz) and two works for orchestra: Orchideæ Ordinariæ and Piano Concerto No.2, contrasting with CD 2, a series of nine pieces for chamber ensemble and soloists, recorded in 2016 by members of Ensemble Modelo62 from The Hague. The works were composed between 1966 and 2015 and illustrate the broad spectrum and musical development of Clarence Barlow. They open with the twelve-tone structured work Trio for Violin, Mandolin and Piano (1966), which was never performed for fifty years. In addition, two versions of …until… will be heard. One is written for guitar (1981) and the other for double bass (2015). Furthermore, Pinball Play for clarinet and three playback tracks (2010), as well as five other works for the instrumental core constellation of flute, clarinet, violin and cello, occasionally expanded by a selection of trumpet, marimba, piano, guitar and double bass: Relationships – Version 1 (1974), Sachets de ciseaux insatiables (2002), Septima de facto (2006), vinte e cinco anéis (2010) and Für Simon Jonassohn-Stein (2012).