About the Composer

Josephine Macken is a composer and improviser based in Sydney, Australia. Co-founder of SPIRAL Ensemble and the lost+sound collective, Josephine is studying a MMus in composition on scholarship under Prof. Liza Lim at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music as a participant in the 2018–20 Composing Women Program.

Her work has been performed internationally by Claire Chase, Sydney Chamber Opera, the 2018 Sydney Symphony Orchestra Fellows, Onsombel Ensemble, SPIRAL, Ensemble MUSE, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Noveau and Mivos quartet. Josephine was awarded participation in the 2017 Ensemble Offspring Hatched Voices Program with soprano Jessica Aszodi, embarked on an exchange program with the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in 2017 and was invited to present her work at Harvard and Columbia University in a delegation from the Sydney Conservatorium in late 2019.

Josephine markets and manages new music showcases programming emerging artists with the Lost+Sound collective, as well as performing frequently with SPIRAL and Onsombel Ensemble. Her work engages with abstractions of the uncanny, informed by her research in the field of speculative realism. Both performatively and compositionally, Josephine’s compositional process is deeply collaborative, straining to reconcile the ungainly distinctions between the performer’s voice and the voice of their instrument, examining breath as gestural language and facilitating occurrences of psychoacoustic phenomena in performance.

Recent Work

Still -or- Invitation at Dusk

for soloist; alto flute, alto voice & electronics

premiered by Claire Chase & Levy Lorenzo

29 September 2019

view score


for mixed quartet; c trumpet, clarinets, percussion & double bass

premiered by ELISION Ensemble

30 July 2019

view score

© 2020  Josephine Macken