Sheree Clement’s music is intricately overlaid with timbral color and organized around a line or two. While the surface traces ample twists and turns and rhythmic complexity, the forms of her music frequently include ‘drive-by’ references to the shapes of various classical forms in miniature. Trios, Variations, and Ritornellos all have their place in her works along the way to revisiting familiar sounds in new contexts.
She writes, “I’m fascinated with using perspective and structure, timbre and orchestration to build musical narrative from reimagined fragments of tunes. I want my audiences to hear a musical idea and then to rediscover it, whole-ly or fragmented, from a new perspective. I want the listener to come to understand the idea’s true contents and implications by hearing it in fractured perspectives, compressed time, and fractal-ized orchestration.”
Sheree Clement composes contemporary classical concert music. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, she moved to New York to complete a DMA in Music Composition at Columbia University and stayed to be part of the vibrant new music community.
Sheree started out composing for smaller chamber ensembles and for electronic media, writing music organized around linear, motivic material. A highlight from this time is her Chamber Concerto, for 17 players, which was premiered at the Tanglewood Music Festival, conducted by Kent Nagano, with subsequent performances by the Pro Arte Orchestra, conducted by Gunther Schuller, and a New York premiere by Speculum Musicae. It is available on New World Records. Another highlight is her Piano Preludes, a 45 minute cycle of virtuoso piano pieces recorded by Eliza Garth on Albany Records.
Over time her music acquired a lyrical, story-telling quality and more recently she’s been writing for voice including a chamber opera, Swimming Upstream, commissioned by APNM, with funding from the Queens Council on the Arts. Elizabeth Farnum, soprano and Ensemble Pi, conducted by Carl Bettendorf premiered an unstaged version presented by Musica Reginae last October, followed by a second performance at Baruch College in Manhattan presented by APNM in November. A staged production of a revised version is planned for Spring of 2021, in Maine. Dhegrae & Digression will premiere her new work,Table Manners, for soprano, mezzo, light percussion and live electronics, at Flushing Town Hall on February 23, 2020.
Her awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Goddard Leiberson Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Fellowships at the Tanglewood Festival, the Composers Conference, a residency at the MacDowell Colony and at Flushing Town Hall, in Flushing, NY, supported by Exploring the Metropolis.
Sheree lives in Jackson Heights, was President of the League of Composers / ISCM 2011-14 and Executive Director of the New York New Music Ensemble from 2014-2017. She remains on the Board of Directors of both organizations and is a member of APNM.
low-resolution images: (email me at shereeclement at gmail dot com for high-resolution).
by Tatiana Daubek
by Chris Scott-Snyder