Joel Kirk is a composer studying for a PhD at SUNY Buffalo under David Felder. He previously studied at the University of Huddersfield under Aaron Cassidy, attending masterclasses with Bryn Harrison and Liza Lim. His pieces have been workshopped and performed by ensembles such as Yarn/Wire, ELISION, loadbang, line upon line percussion, and the SEM Ensemble. At the end of his studies at Huddersfield, he received the J Wood & Sons Prize for acoustic composition and the Crabtree Prize for all-around achievement. He was selected for the SEM Ensemble’s 2018 Emerging Composers Workshop with Petr Kótik, and his paper “Initial approaches to idiomatic contemporary writing for a musical instrument: discovering methods of practice-based research” was published in the Fields 2018 issue.
Joel's Euclidean-pointillist approach to composition centres around an interest in the bizarre, involving the construction and exploration of kooky and unusual “mechanical objects” (these not only being objects in physical space, but also sounds, gestures, actions, and influential pieces of art/text). The themes of play, games, satire, irritation, and the grotesque are also key elements of his approach to imagining, creating, and developing material.