Hometown: Monument, Colorado
Education: BM in Composition, Berklee College of Music
MLitt, ITIA, University of St Andrews
Joel is interested studying the role church aesthetics might play in gospel witness. This stems from his overarching interest in sacramentality, especially in nature, and how an “enchanted” view of creation might affect the notion of revelation in spaces of Christian worship. He is also interested in the way music might articulate unspoken sacramental realities, and more specifically within that study, he is curious as to how sacred music explicates elements of Eucharistic liturgy.
Joel has worked widely in both film and concert music as a composer, orchestrator, and conductor. He has provided original music for numerous feature and short films, and has seen his concert music performed across the United States and in the UK. His work as an orchestrator has taken him into widely varying projects, from feature documentaries for PBS, to orchestral concert performances in Rome for the Vatican-sponsored Festival of Sacred Music and Art.
Joel has found often found himself wearing other creative hats as well, including that of audiobook narrator, where he has specialised in children’s stories, that of nonfiction author, and that of songwriter, through his band Two Benedictions, which he co-helms with his sister, current ITIA PhD student Joy Clarkson.
Joel finds a particular affinity for the great outdoors and just completed his first ascent of Pikes Peak, a Colorado “14’er” which overshadows his hometown. He is excited to become acquainted with the radically different and yet equally glorious natural landscape of Scotland.