Clifton Ingram (b. 1983) is a Boston-based composer and guitarist (Rested Field). His music aims to approach and retreat from itself, consumed by a preoccupied by thresholds of musical and extra-musical materials (text, history and historiography, anamorphosis) – hidden objects and delicate obstinance, a self-devouring ornamentation of hastily decanted surfaces, music that strives toward the expression of an unreliable narrator. He has written music for pianist Andy Costello, pianist/composer Marti Epstein, clarinetist Chuck Furlong, cellist Steve Marotto, percussionist Matt Sharrock, Castle of our Skins, Equilibrium Ensemble, Joint Venture Percussion Duo, Ludovico Ensemble, Music of Reality, and Transient Canvas. From 2010 until 2012, he was a curator at Brown Rice, a performance venue for new experimental and improvised music and arts in Chicago. He holds a MM in Composition from The Boston Conservatory, where he studied under the tutelage of Jan Swafford and Andy Vores. His music has been released by Experimental Sound Studio (OSCILLATIONS 2016 Mixtape | Chicago IL) and Dismissive Records (Four Instrumentals, 2015 | Denver CO).
I must confess a preoccupation with liminality, a fascination with the thresholds between spaces or states of being. Music for me inhabits such thresholds, central to both its production and function. The composer occupies a state between potentiality and actuality; the performer a position between notation and sound; the sound itself suspends between performer and audience, ripe for interpretation. Liminality haunts the proceedings of music-making on many levels, and for this reason I prefer to believe it functions as a waking dream. I prefer music that operates with an oneiric logic, dissipating when questioned, eluding when investigated. The way I work reflects this: I draw on uncommon and archaic language in order to occupy a place between a titular concept — thought of as an eponymous entity that exists outside of myself — and a personal reading or understanding of it. My intent is not to reject self-expression, but instead to compose as a sort of predication by turning my attention externally toward my environment, setting into motion a compositional process that strives to escape from — yet inevitably ends in — self-projection. The aim, therefore, is for my scores (unrealized music) to occupy a middle ground, to lay in wait for performers.