For more than 45 years Anne Clark has held a unique place in contemporary music.
Born in South London on May 14th 1960 to an Irish mother and a Scottish father, she left school at sixteen having never been able to really “fit in” with the constraints of the education system.
However, this in no way restricted her voracious appetite for music, books, and an inquisitiveness and practical need to be involved with the world around her.
She took a number of jobs including working as a care assistant in Cane Hill psychiatric hospital and then taking a job at Bonaparte Records, a local independent record store and label. This indeed was good timing! The punk rock scene was just about to explode into life in London. With her need for communication and questioning of formal institutions, along with so many people at the time, punk led the way to a whole new approach for dealing with music, the arts, and society itself. At that time anything and everything seemed possible.
Combining literary, socially engaged texts with innovative and genre-breaking music, she has covered every kind of style, while at the same time maintaining her own identity on each and every recording, whether it be the samples (before sampling became a concept) and electronically treated acoustics of The Sitting Room (1982), to the ground-breaking analogue synth classics of Sleeper In Metropolis (1983) and Our Darkness (1984).
Consistently looking for new ways of expression and communication through the emotion of music and language, Anne seeks to not only challenge herself but her audience also.
Going between extremes of the minimal Scandinavian jazz influences of Unstill Life (1991) to the pastoral and poetic interpretations and translations of Rainer Maria Rilke’s poetry on Just After Sunset (1997), to the full-on electronics and sparse acoustics of The Smallest Acts Of Kindness (2008), very few artists have covered such a wide spectrum over such a long and consistent career.
At the end of 2010, Anne Clark released the first chapter of a vibrant and on-going project Past & Future Tense, the first release on her own label, After Hours Productions.
Rather than turning out yet another compilation or collection of back catalogue, she decided, in this special anniversary year to invite young and innovative musicians, producers and DJs to take her material, all her material, not the most obvious numbers and to not just “remix” them but completely re-interpret them.
The result a fresh, exciting and contemporary view by a new generation of an artist who in her turn influenced them and their development in the endless possibilities of electronic music.
In January 2011 Anne, in collaboration with her long time pianist and co-composer Murat Parlak. contributed an arrangement of the Charles Baudelaire poem Enivrez-Vous (Be Drunk) to the audio book and radio play Die Künstliche Paradiese, (Hörbuch Hamburg/Radio Bremen), curated by Kai Grehn.
The project was further developed into a “live” concept with a performance at the Volkesbühne in Berlin in October 2011.
Die Künstliche Paradiese went on to win the Deutscher Hörbuch Preis 2012 and after the success of this Anne and Murat were once again asked to arrange settings for 12 Emily Brontë poems to be included in the audiobook/radio play Sturmhöhe (Wuthering Heights). This also went on to be nominated and win major audio book prizes.
In view of the public and critical response to both these there are tentative plans for “live” shows featuring the Sturmhöhe and Die Künstliche Paradiese projects.
As well as continuing to perform with her live band, in early 2013 Anne undertook a new project in collaboration with German musician and producer herrB.
Always a constant with her fans, Anne took a look to her electronic roots, and in a unique and refreshing partnership with herrB wrote and released the 3-track EP Fairytales From The Underground on her After Hours label.
After public and critical success with the project, in April 2014 the duo released their second collection of songs, Life Wires, a 5-track EP, to even greater acclaim and chart success and also undertook their first “live” shows.
In 2015 she embarked on an extensive acoustic tour with long-time musical partners Murat Parlak & Jann Michael Engel, under the title Enough.
With Enough, Anne, Murat and Jann, as the title suggests, stripped” things back to basics. The the essentials – Words, Voice, Piano and Cello.
A focus and a journey into an image by Anastasia Tyutikova.
“Deep, as we all are, in the mire of excess and overload, we invite the audience to just sit and……be…….be with them, be with the music, the poetry, perhaps a special guest. Share some conversation, some laughter, but more importantly we ask the audience to just be with themselves. With the moment. That is Enough”.
The same characters…. falling in different places….
Also in 2015, Anne took part in the Gothic Meets Klassik event at a sold-out Gewandhaus in Leipzig. Featuring orchestrated arrangements of some of her best known material, she performed with the Zielona Góra Philharmonic Orchestra.
2016 saw Anne on tour once again throughout Europe with herrB.
In 2018 Anne collaborated with German musician and composer, Thomas Rückoldt on the album Homage.
As the title suggests, the album is a tribute. A tribute to writers of some of Anne’s favourite poetry.
Sparse electronics, atmospheric piano and Anne’s unique recitation of poems by Alice Oswald, Les Murray, W.B. Yeats and R.M. Rilke, amongst others, create an achingly intimate travel into the power of words.
In 2019 Anne expanded on her collaboration with Thomas Rückoldt on an unapologetic impassioned response to the Brexit vote with the Stop Brexit single release.
Also in October 2019, she once again took part in Gothic Meets Klassik at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, this time with the Leipziger Philharmonie, under the direction of Michael Köhler.
2020 was meant to be a celebratory year for Anne.
Having been active as a writer, songwriter and performer for more than 40 years, as well as reaching a landmark birthday, she began preparations for a major anniversary tour. This was to feature long time musical partners, Jeff Aug, Murat Parlak and Jann Michael Engel, as well as introducing new members, Job Verweijen and Justin Ciuche. Songwriting and rehearsals were well underway when, simultaneously, the Coronavirus pandemic and a cancer diagnosis meant everything stopped.
The disruption 2020 brought to everyone’s lives meant looking for new ways of reaching her audience. “Live” shows and recording were no option. However, expanding on the concept of Past & Future Tense, Anne released a new album of reworkings, Synaesthesia, in May 2021. The fact that everyone was confined to home didn’t mean the music had to be. Providing an eclectic mix of fascinating interpretations by both long-time musical partners of Anne, (herrB and Thomas Rückoldt) and esteemed figures of the current electronic scene including Solomun, (with whom she collaborated for his album), Blank & Jones, Andreas Brecht and Yagya, the album showcased Anne’s continued and deep reaching influence over generations.
After a gruelling year of treatment, Anne once again began writing with her band members.
At the end of 2021 she and close friend, band member, violinist Justin Ciuche, undertook an inspired and improvisational project with cellist Ulla Van Daelen at the iconic Stockfisch recording studio with world renowned producer, Günther Pauler. The result was Borderland – Found music for a lost world (Stockfisch Records, August 2022) an intimate and intense recording of material written during Anne’s illness and recovery as well as interpretations of poems by W.B. Yeats and Mary Coleridge. The album was received with unanimous praise from journalists and public alike.
In 2022 and 2023 Anne returned once again to her love of touring and live performance.
For more details and information please visit anneclarkofficial.com