Clare Johnston


Clare Johnston completed a Bachelor of Music at the University of Melbourne in 2013 and received the Esther Rofe Award for composition. In 2015 Clare received the David Henkels Award for Composition. She was selected to participate as a composer in the Walden School Creative Musicians Retreat in New Hampshire where she studied with composer Martin Bresnick and had one of her compositions performed by the Wet Ink Ensemble from New York City. Clare was also selected to participate in the Atlantic Music Festival in Maine, USA where she studied with other prominent American composers and had her works performed and recorded by professional musicians. Clare participated in AYO National Music Camp 2015 where her music was conducted by James Judd and performed by leading international musicians.

Composer website:

Featured Works

The Jive, for saxophone quartet.

The Jive is a lively piece in three sections. It employs minimalist techniques such as canon, adding rhythmic cells, cross-fading, resulting patterns and mensuration canon. Some of these techniques are used more freely than in strict minimalism. I experimented with different canonic textures and the resulting patterns created when shifting motives between the different saxophones. Motives in rhythmic unison as well as cross-rhythms are explored in the last part of the piece. Dynamic swells and funky rhythms make The Jive somewhat unpredictable…

Featured in the playlist: Small Ensemble Waves (1/3/2016)