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 that he began to craft his imagination for beauty and truth, 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 England, to seeing his orchestrations for a multi-movement concert mass performed in a Vatican-sponsored arts festival in Rome, to his Audible award-nominated work as a narrator for audiobook stories of all sorts, Joel has seen the fingerprints of God’s hand at work using the creative and the beautiful to enliven our knowledge of truth, and realign our vision to be able to see God’s dynamic Kingdom at work in the world.
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 Evangelical missionaries in Vienna, Austria, and can’t recall a time in his life—or the life of his family—without either music or ministry. Those stewardships followed Joel even into his college years, as he received his degree in music composition from Berklee College of Music, and have finally come full circle as he completes postgraduate studies in theological aesthetics at the University of St. Andrews, where he will prospectively receive a masters in theology in 2018.