THE WHOLE STORY
From the soaring, cinematic sounds of his film music to the beloved characters he has brought to life in his audiobook narration, Joel Clarkson is an award-winning composer, author and voiceover performer who is known for the vibrant colors he uses in each of his creative ventures. He began his career in film music, and it was there where he began to craft his imagination for creative truth-telling, as he collaborated on films and TV programs whose stories took him around the world. From an inner city classroom in Los Angeles, where a troubled child learns to articulate his challenges at home to his teacher, to the heartland of Texas, where, through the production of the classic film Giant, a small town grapples with engrained prejudices, his work taught him how the knowledge we accept as truthful, we must first come to love through imagination.
That engagement with imagination has carried him along through every new vocational encounter. From providing original sacred music for church choirs coast to coast in the United States and in the UK, to his Audible award-nominated work as a narrator for audiobook stories of all sorts, Joel's curiosity continues to drive him into new genres and formats, and to seek collaboration with many other artists from a variety of backgrounds.
That highly-collaborative spirit has opened up an exciting venture in recent years with Joel's sister Joy Clarkson, herself an accomplished communicator and doctoral researcher in theology at the University of St Andrews. Together, Joel and Joy are the Two Benedictions, a sibling songwriting collective. Through their two collections of original tunes, Sun of Man and Honest Songs, they have delved into the warp and woof of living, loving, dying, and longing for the hope of new life.
Joel’s passion for the interplay between the creative and the spiritual began from the very beginning of Joel’s life. He was born to two American missionaries in Vienna, Austria, and can’t recall a time in his life—or the life of his family—when either music or spirituality didn't saturate day-to-day life. Those stewardships followed Joel even into his college years, as he received his degree in music composition from Berklee College of Music, and came full-circle at the University of St Andrews, where he received his Masters in Theology in 2018. He remains in St Andrews where he is pursuing a PhD in Theology.