Laura Altman is a clarinetist, improviser and composer. She is based in Sydney.
A long-standing member of Splinter Orchestra and Prophets, Laura has been an important voice in the Sydney improvised and exploratory music scene for more than a decade.
Her collaborations with Australian and international musicians have seen her perform across the country and around the world, and feature on multiple recordings, notably with trio Great Waitress. Other current projects include solo clarinet + tapes + feedback, duos with Low Flung (Couch), Monica Brooks, Melanie Herbert and Nick Ashwood, as well as folk-jazz-chamber ensemble, Chaika, and Prophets’ side-project, BB+CAM.
Laura has been very active organising exploratory music events in Sydney, including the NOW now Festival and series (2010-2013) and Nights at Tempe (2018-present). She co-hosts a radio show Listening Space on Eastside FM, and co-founded the Sydney exploratory music calendar www.emus.space.
Laura studied composition at the Sydney Conservatorium and she composes and produces instrumental and electro-acoustic music. She has had works commissioned and performed by Sydney Antiphony, Ensemble Offspring, North Sydney Girls High School and ACRONYM Orchestra, and has developed exploratory pieces for primary school students. She has more recently been exploring sound installations.
As an educator, Laura has experience teaching private clarinet students, tutoring composition to senior high-school music students, facilitating school workshops and also running early-childhood music classes with Bluebell Music.
“Sitting between electronic processing and acoustic improvisation was Sydney clarinettist Laura Altman, who records her wistful, lightly muted sounds on small microphones placed beneath cans and other resonant objects, signal from which is then fed into cassette tapes whose playback is picked up again. Lovingly manipulating these devices with her feet while cupping her clarinet’s mouth against her thigh, this was a wonderfully corporeal work of gentle feedback, metallic buzzes and stop-start, warbling, acoustic noises.”
Review from Audible Edge Festival, Perth 2019 - Limelight Magazine