Curious Noise

Music by Damien Ricketson


About Damien

The music of Sydney-based composer Damien Ricketson is characterised by exotic sound-worlds, novel forms and is multisensory in nature. Major works have featured in the Melbourne and Sydney Festivals and been awarded ‘Instrumental Work of the Year’ in the Art Music Awards (2015). Ricketson studied with Dutch composer Louis Andriessen and has a PhD from the University of Sydney. Ricketson co-founded, and for 20 years was Co-Artistic Director of the arts organisation Ensemble Offspring. He is currently the Program Leader of Composition and Music Technology at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. His opera The Howling Girls (2018), composed in collaboration with director Adena Jacobs, was recently premiered by Sydney Chamber Opera and Carriageworks.

Photo by Eddy Summers

Photo by Eddy Summers


Visit the Australian Music Centre for artist profile, scores, collaborators and more.

Visit the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney for extended biography and academic work.

Media & acclaim


"Ricketson’s music is wild and imaginative."

"A really pleasurable kind of strange."

"I left the show covered in a light layer of sweat and a pain in my side. I still have the pain a week later, powerful stuff."

"I was suspended in that moment between being given an anaesthetic and falling asleep."

"One of the strangest and intriguing sonic and visceral experiences."

"Made me feel terrified, disconcerted and glad to be alive."


Look & listen


Rendition Clinic performed by Speak Percussion


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live performances, score followers, behind-the-scenes & interviews


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Fractured Again – photos by Jamie Williams

The Secret Noise – photos by Heidrun Lohr


The works

Selected projects


The Howling Girls

Opera co-created with director Adena Jacobs and premiered by Sydney Chamber Opera and Carriageworks (2018)


The Secret Noise

Hybrid music-dance work created with Ensemble Offspring. Directed by Carlos Gomes.

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Aeolian Playgrounds

Ongoing participatory sound-sculpture concept

Scores & Audio


Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Since 2015, I have headed up Composition and Music Technology and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney. Check out our extensive program of new music research and events.

Ensemble Offspring

In 1995 I co-founded Ensemble Offspring. 20-years later I stepped down as Co-Artistic Director. Now one of Australia's leading arts companies, check out their adventurous programs.

Background images from The Howling Girls. Photos by Zan Wimberley