The Laws of Nature

Program Notes
Heads, The (F)Laws of Nature

Plato believed that the most fundamental basis of order in the universe is the Form of the Good, "the brightest region of Being". It is simultaneously the cause and result of Nature, and anything created in accordance with it is intrinsically beautiful. A paragon utopia is, to Plato, "...a city which would be established in accordance with nature."

How peculiar, then, that his "On the Good" speech was so confusing that most abandoned the lecture before he could finish, and yet, how fitting that it would be so difficult to define a set of conditions that are profoundly affected by all human interference, including the very act of definition.

Tales, Aims

What then is natural beauty, when the nature that bounds it to real parameters is so fluid and unpredictably subjective, when the consistent loss of a traditional sense of Nature continuously redefines the Laws of Nature? Does it matter? Probably not.

If I left it at that and called it a day, though, this would be a pretty disappointing piece. In trying to provide an answer to the question posed at the head of the tale, I found that, for me, if beauty is the perfection of Nature, but Nature is made imperfect in the pursuit of perfection, then it must be adequately self defeating. Failure to meet the unreasonable standards of natural perfection is in itself a form of perfection.

Flaw is beauty. Mistake is beauty.
I have chosen to communicate this alternative perfection through both a heavily glitched time lapse of forest and bramble landscapes, and through a brief nightscape viewed through the eyes of a psilocybonic mind.
Please enjoy or don't.

Biographical Sketch
Ian Michael Clarke is a senior studying music composition at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. Currently a student of Aaron Travers, he has studied traditional composition with Don Freund, Sven-David Sandström, and Claude Baker, as well as electroacoustic composition with John Gibson and Jeffrey Hass.

Ian has been recognized for his compositional efforts as a 2010 California Arts Scholar in Music Composition and in conjunction with his academic achievements as a 2011 recipient of the prestigious Wells Scholarship. Through his affiliation with the Wells Scholars program, he secured a grant in the summer of 2012 which he used to travel to Australia and conduct research on the 20th century composer John Antill, uncovering and retrieving several rare and otherwise undiscovered scores.

Ian's music has been performed at CalArts, Indiana University and the surrounding Bloomington area, Temple University for the N_SEME New Music Symposium 2013, University of Southern Georgia for N_SEME 2014, the Atlantic Music Festival, the Electroacoustic Barn Dance Festival, the 2013 Midwest Composers' Symposium, and Princeton University, where he had the fortune of writing for the incredible So Percussion quartet. Over the course of June 2013, Ian lived in Paris and studied electroacoustic composition at IRCAM, participating additionally in IRCAM's Manifeste Music Festival.

As a composer, Ian loves the idea of creating "synesthetic music." He approaches this idea both externally by working on multimedia projects, including film score, multi-channel electronic sound art, ballet, and performance art, and internally by synthesizing other art forms into abstract and/or algorithmic ideas to be realized musically. Separate of his more avant-garde pursuits, Ian also has an intense interest in creating a new music language and aesthetic that is both intriguing to those who involve themselves in the new music world and accessible and enjoyable for those who are unfamiliar with it.