Alex Clark began violin lessons around the age of 4 after being mesmerized by a fiddler on the street. It was only a few years later after playing with a string orchestra that he asked his mom for a zap stick (conductors baton) of his own. It’s safe to say the urge to create music has always been there for Alex. From violin recitals as a child to singing and playing any available instrument in a rock band in high school to the music composition degree Alex completed at Wilfrid Laurier University (which featured an important switch from violin to viola) to an Orchestra Librarian job with the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony Alex’s life has led a life rich in a variety of music making.
It wasn’t until composing a work, early in his music degree, for an ensemble large enough to require a conductor that Alex once again picked up the zap stick. Hubris allowed him to believe he could conduct the group without having formal conducting training. This experience taught Alex not only the true importance of a good conductor to an ensemble but the value of proper training and preparation in the art of conducting. Having to pass the baton to an experienced conductor for the premier of his piece was an hard yet important lesson that led to much more serious dedication to the study of both composition and conducting for Alex. Nowadays, he works regularly with a variety of musical groups leading them through a range of contemporary and classical works.
Another part of the composition process beyond the performance of the work itself is the process of creating the music. Alex uses several electronic tools that allow for composing for a wider than traditional range of musical instruments. Specializing in Logic Pro X and Finale music notation software Alex creates music for classical instruments but also electronic instruments. Alex is keen to share his ever-evolving composition process that he continues to refine which prompted the creation of the VSO SoM Introduction to Music Technology course.