Born October 29, 1956, in Cherry Point, North Carolina, and raised in New England, Mitchell Clark is a composer, musicologist, and writer about music. His works as a composer have been performed throughout the United States, and in Europe and Central America. Over the past decade, he has had several works commissioned and performed by Essential Music of New York City. Events with Essential Music have included a one-composer retrospective in 1990 and the 1993 premiere of Regarding Some Instances of Rarefied Air Ascending, for five percussionists playing small bells made of various materials, written for Essential Music. His Three Pieces for a Percussionist (1980) was performed by Charles Wood in Essential Music's ten-year anniversary concert series in July 1997. In May 1996, Essential Music premiered The Pool, with The "Cobbling Hymn" Tune, for piano with the sounds of elephants on tape, with a postlude for solo violin, at Washington Square Church, New York.
In September 1997 pianist Margaret Leng Tan performed The Pool, with The "Cobbling Hymn" Tune -- with the postlude played on toy piano -- as part of Clemson (South Carolina) University's Technology in the Performing Arts series, curated by Lee Morrisey. Ms. Leng Tan has also performed The "Cobbling Hymn" Tune by itself, in its toy piano version, in recent concerts in Paris and Honolulu. His celebrated piece for three cellos, Wake (1989/1993), was given its European premiere in May 1996 by members of L'Octuor de Violoncelles, as part of the 4ème Rencontres Internationales d'Ensembles de Violoncelles, in Beauvais, France, and a new work for four cellos, A Tango, with a Reprise & a Double of the Tango, was given its world premiere in Moscow in April 1997 by the Moskau Cello Ensemble.
He has published several articles
about the qin, investigating less-often explored aspects of the
instrument, including a history of the use of the qin in Vietnam
(Nhac Viêt: The Journal of Vietnamese Music 4/1; Spring 1995)
and a study of traditional Chinese poetry on the subject of the aeolian
sounding of the qin (Experimental Musical Instruments 10/3;
March 1995). An expanded version of the latter essay was presented as
a paper as part of SoundCulture 96, San Francisco, April 1996.
His concerns in traditional Chinese music and contemporary Western music
come together in "Zephyrs: Some Correspondences Between Bai Juyi's
Qin and La Monte Young's Composition 1960 #5", included
and Light: La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela (Bucknell Review
40/1), edited by William Duckworth and Richard Fleming. He is a regular
contributor of articles and reviews to Experimental
Musical Instruments. His interview with pianolist Rex Lawson is
included in Experimental Musical Instruments 11/3 (March 1996)
and is reprinted here
on this Other Minds website. Another article originally in Experimental
Musical Instruments, "Some Basics on Shell Trumpets and Some
Very Basics on How to Make Them" (12/1), may be found at the on-line
Mitchell Clark served as General Manager at Other Minds from 1995 until April 1998. Until August, 1999, he served as Executive Assistant to Executive Director, Charles Amirkhanian. Previously, he was Outreach and Public Programs Assistant Coordinator at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco from 1988-1994, where he was active in presenting a wide variety of Asian contemporary and traditional performing arts, both in the museum and in Bay Area schools. In 1987, he was assistant to La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela for the MELA Foundation presentation of Mr. Young's 30-Year Retrospective concert series at Dia Art Foundation, New York City.