Padma Newsome

PADMA NEWSONE was born in Alice Springs, Australia in 1961. He trained as a concert violist in Sydney, touring throughout Australia, China and the Pacific. In the mid 1980’s, he left classical performance to spend six years on an ashram in New South Wales where he taught yoga, studied Indian classical music and participated in the centre’s musical activities. Newsome began formal studies in composition in the 1990’s at the University of Adelaide and continued at Yale University on a Fulbright scholarship. His musical palette expresses colors of the modernist avant-garde, folk music from India and chamber music remnants along with energy of the pop/rock world. He composes for traditional large and small ensemble, the electro-acoustic medium, improvised chamber ensemble and music for dance, theatre and film. Padma resides in Mallacoota, Australia, where he mentors, teaches, conducts the Mallacoota Choir and is a leading light for regional community music projects.

Padma Newsome is the musical director and composer for Clogs, a new and improvising ensemble that has toured throughout Europe, the United States, Australia, and Canada. His repertoire for Clogs infuses contemporary classical music with the traditional rhythms and harmonies of folk music, driving energy of rock and ample room for improvisation. The ensemble was awarded the prestigious CMA/NEA Special Commissioning Award in 2003 in recognition of its achievements in the field of new and improvised chamber music, and has also received several residency grants from Chamber Music America. Clogs has released 5 albums and two EPs featuring Newsome’s compositions: Thom’s Night Out (2001), Lullaby for Sue (2003), Stick Music (2004), Lantern (2006), Veil Waltz (2009) on the Brassland/USA and Southern Records/Europe labels. Their 5th album, The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton was released in 2009. The record features Newsome’s new songs for Clogs with guest vocalists Matt Berninger of the National, Sufjan Stevens, and Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond. The music was composed during his residency in Ischia, Italy, made possible by a Commissioning and Residency award from the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University in 2004/5. In 2012, Clogs in collaboration with the Mallacoota Community Choir, released a 3 song EP, “The Sundown Song."