Meet conductor, oboist, sound artist and SAE postgraduate lecturer Majella Clarke

Majella is a Senior Industry Practitioner who teaches in the postgraduate programs at SAE. As a recognised expert in her field, an industry practitioner role at SAE is a professional with global experience, awards and associations to back their credentials.
SAE lecturer and classical musican Majella Clarke

– Faculty –

Majella Clarke

Whereas a senior lecturer have academic responsibilities, tertiary qualifications and publications/books and articles, an industry practitioner brings a wealth of experience in the creative industries.

Majella shares her amazing performance career and the associations she is involved with, in Australia and around the world. She also shares the highlights of teaching in the postgraduate program at SAE.

What is your professional background?

I am an Australian conductor, oboist, pianist and sound artist based between Sydney, Australia and Helsinki, Finland.

I studied a Bachelor of Music from the University of Sydney, and went on to study a Masters of Music with principal studies in conducting with Maestro Peter Eros, and recently graduated with a post-diploma in advanced studies in conducting contemporary repertoire with Maestro Arturo Tamayo at the Swiss Italian Conservatory in Lugano.

I have been coached by mentors including Rüdiger Bohn, Uros Lajovic, Colin Metters, Jorma Panula, Douglas Bostock and Sasha Mäkila. I also furthered my musical training on period instruments including the harpsichord, baroque oboe, baroque violin, and block flute through the Baroque Camerata at the Iceland Academy of the Arts and the Baroque Academy at the Sibelius Academy in Finland.

In 2020, I co-founded the Helsinki Art Ensemble (HAE!) for creating multisensorial immersive experiences using new media and exploring new performance formats, and I direct the Korvat Auki Ensemble as part of a society for contemporary music in Finland.

As a conductor, I have led professional ensembles and orchestras including Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra (Croatia), Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra (Czech Republic), BDB Musikakademie Wind Symphony (Germany), Ensemble900 (Lugano Switzerland), Pärnu City Orchestra (Estonia) and was a conductor at the 2019 Soundscape Festival in Cesena, Italy, and the 2021 San Marino New Music Festival premiering several works by living composers.

My artistic achievements include winning the 2018 Vienna Waves Music Festival Hack Day track sponsored by Universal Music Studios in Austria, and was a finalist in the EU S+T+ARTS fellowship prize in 2022. My artistic work has featured at prestigious artistic venues including the Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Finland and Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria.I also hold degrees in Science, Economics and an MBA and I am an advocate for balanced and diverse programs.

I have been an invited speaker and have published extensively on sustainability, climate change, artificial intelligence, leadership and conducting, and performing contemporary music.

Can you share some of the projects you have worked on?

I have led projects around the world addressing issues on climate change and environmental issues. The intention is to raise awareness and present an artistic perspective on climate change and environmental issues.

I have worked on O-Chain – a concept for a blockchain platform, which explores the connection between crypto commodification of ocean behaviours and cognitive artificial intelligence technologies. Check it out here:

I have also presented and played at AI events including a speaking engagement and an AI Concert & Performance.

Ochain Digital
What do you most enjoy about teaching within the Master of Creative Industries (MCI) program?

The maturity and determination of the MCI students makes teaching within the MCI program very inspirational.

What inspires you about the creative industries?

I started my musical path when I was very young however, after my undergraduate music degree, I emigrated several times and life took its twists and turns, so that I worked outside of creative industries for some years. I found my way back and have since  enjoyed the exploration of the artist identity and what that means for artistic outcomes, as well as for my own practice. Experimentalism is an important aspect of any creative practice, I find it interesting that it is also an important part of scientific practice – experimentalism is where curiosity can flourish and I really enjoy that about being an artist. Very few professions can claim that they are limitless in application – perhaps only art and the universe can make such a claim.

Where do you see the future of the creative industries?

It depends. The creative industries are very broad within their application. I think that the Metaverse will be playing an increasingly stronger role in the coming decade for shaping and driving new artistic outcomes and experiences. In my opinion, Metaverse will also play a role in establishing a new digital economy, that artists can use to innovate, protect and capitalize on their work. We already see early signs of how the crypto art scene has started creating new opportunities and ways for generating income for artists.

Can you speak to the intersection and impact of technology to the creative industries?

I think that Artificial Intelligence is already having an impact on how we view and develop our artistic practice using technology – however I also think that being human and being creative humans means that we need to thoroughly discuss the issues of ethics and aesthetics when it comes to applying AI in artistic practice.



Film students working with a camera

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