Adam Vincent Clarke (b.1992) is an Antwerp-based sound-artist and composer of contemporary music. From Canada to Germany to Belgium, he is a vagabond of Canada’s east coast.

Adam draws inspiration through storytelling and folk tradition; seeking out nuances of language, instrumentation, performance style, and coupling this in his writing. He seeks to initiate a dialogue through performance and in so doing pursues work that confronts and connects, often composing with a tone of gewaltsame Schönheit (Violent beauty). His music presents distant stories, images, and vibrant abstractions of an interpersonal nature. This desire for dialogue and story led him to the world of dance; ballet & contemporary, theatre, and chamber music. Adam is co-founder of the dance-theatre company Âmok/Âmok.

‘Y Tú’ (2018) & ‘I don’t (we) know‘ are ballet pieces created in tandem with choreographer Daniel Domenech for the Royal Ballet of Flanders. These works combine live instruments with soundscapes & recorded dialogues from people all around the world, from battlefields to the beaches of Crete, all abstracted and weaved together into cohesive works of stage, movement, and music. ‘Three Memories’ released by the Four Aces Guitar Quartet in 2016 through Antarctica Records provided Adam with his start in Europe.

As co-founder of Âmok/Âmok, a company centred around works for stage, Adam creates alongside Lore Borremans. Works of Âmok/Âmok include Contr (a / o) vers (e / u) s (2019).

 

Adam is composer-in-residence with internationally touring group Ensemble Silakbo. Together their creations have been sponsored by the Canada Council for the Arts, toured Europe, and they have shared the stage with Antwerp Symphony Orchestra in Untitled for Vagabonds and Orchestra (2019). 2021 will have their project Est-Ouest & La Danse Balkanique tour across Europe (Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Belgium) and through five Canadian cities. 

He began his musical explorations on the bagpipes in his home of Nova Scotia, and completed his bachelor of music composition under the tutelage of Derek Charke & Dinuk Wijeratne, having also studied guitar with Eugene Cormier. In 2018 he completed his Masters Degree in Composition with Wim Henderickx – with a thesis focusing on the cross-general principals between solo cello repertoire and heavy metal music.

“…rich in sound, always surprising with new harmonies. It never becomes descriptive in an easy way but opens the imagination of the listener, only suggesting him the outline of an image, even some details that you had in mind while composing. I think that’s characteristic for real composers: they can freeze a poetic image in sound. They do more than just writing a nice tune: they paint”.

Marc van Rompaey, Radio Klara Belgium (2017)

“We have grown very fond of the Three Memories (2016). It’s a piece that’s satisfyingly engaging for us as performers, right from the start when you’re invited to search for interesting new sounds, to the moment where seemingly complex rhythms become a catchy groove. Along the way you discover beautiful melodies, frivolous or cantabile, sometimes both. You discover harmonies that are rich and well-structured.

Clarke also succeeds very well in creating a unique atmosphere for each Memory, immersing the listener in a new but somehow familiar aesthetic.

We played this piece in concerts for about a year now; and we find many people approaching us and explaining how much they enjoyed the piece, remarkably almost always for different reasons. All this ensures that we will definitely keep on playing the Three Memories, and have great fun doing so.”

Menno Buggenhout - The Four Aces Guitar Quartet - 2017