Clarence Barlow

British composer and teacher Clarence Albertson Barlow was born in Calcutta on 27 December 1945 and began composing in 1957. He studied piano and music theory in Calcutta and science at Calcutta University, then taught and conducted in Calcutta. Between 1968 and 1973 he studied at the Hochschule für Musik Köln in Germany with Herbert Eimert, Vinko Globokar, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Bernd Alois Zimmermann, and from 1971 he began to use computers to help write music, and studied at Utrecht University's Institute of Sonology.

He preferred the sounds of traditional instruments to electronically synthesized music, so he mostly used computers to generate musical structures.

He was one of the founders of Cologne's Initiative Musik und Informatik 'GIMIK', and he was director of music at the 1988 Cologne International Computer Music Conference.

From 1985 until circa 1990 he was one of the artistic guest directors of STEIM in Amsterdam with George E Lewis and Joel Ryan. From 1990-94 he was artistic director of the Institute of Sonology in Den Haag. He also taught in the institute's composition department, where his students included the Swiss composer Daniel Schorno, who writes:

A very sad moment with Klarenz's loss. So many memories difficult to pick ... maybe unique was the time working with him at STEIM's Achtergracht, where he was initially the first artistic director in 1985, in a characteristic late night session in Studio 2 somewhere in the 90s, mixing his then latest oeuvre from his Atari ST1040 to quadraphonic digital ADAT tape - and getting locked in overnight only to be 'released' by triggering the sirens of the burglar alarm. Countless drinks with him in his Amsterdam pied a terre in Leidsestraat district, going for late night supper, sometimes also to his beloved 'Tagore' Indian restaurant just around from STEIM, where the owner had two portraits of Clarence hanging next to the restaurant's eponymous poet's own, or his legendary composition sessions in Den Haag at the old KonCon conservatory in his 'Bea 3' studio at Sonology.

This is a great link by Scot Gresham-Lancaster.

Sad yet characteristically joyful also is the memory, together with Yoko Seyama, Dirk Haubrich and one or two others, of helping him and his long time painter spouse Birgit pack up his Amsterdam flat with a view to taking on his last and most prestigious calling as head of composition in Santa Barbara, which his friend Curtis Roads had 'bequeathed' to him. This was poignant for in order to make the move to California, Clarlo - one of the many construction permutations of his names he gave himself - had to pool all his financial resources: flat in Amsterdam, in Calcutta and let go of a large rented flat in Cologne, to initially afford the jump across the Atlantic to take up his position there.

From 2006 until 2019, Barlow was head of composition at the University of California, Santa Barbara's music department, where his students included Ori Barel and Dennis Báthory-Kitsz.

Clarence Barlow retired to Barcelona, and died in June 2023, aged seventy-seven, from complications resulting from a fall in April 2023.