Discipline: Music Composition

Sky Macklay

Discipline: Music Composition
Region: Baltimore, MD
MacDowell fellowships: 2022

Sky Macklay is a composer, oboist, and installation artist based in Baltimore. Her music is conceptual yet expressive, exploring extreme contrasts, audible processes, humor, and the physicality of sound. She has been commissioned by Chamber Music America (with Splinter Reeds), the Fromm Foundation at Harvard University (with Ensemble Dal Niente), the Barlow Endowment (with andPlay), and The Jerome Fund for New Music (with ICE saxophonist Ryan Muncy). Sky’s work has also been recognized with a 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship. Recent projects include an opera set in a uterus and three interactive installations of harmonica-playing inflatable sculptures. Sky completed her D.M.A. at Columbia University and her music is published by Edition Peters.

At MacDowell, Sky worked on a new string quintet for San Francisco-based Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, which was supported by a grant from the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program. The piece builds a surreal tonal soundscape through hyper-speed chord progressions and constantly-modulating canons.

Portrait by Aleksandr Karjaka



Sky Macklay worked in the Kirby studio.

Erected in memory of Sarah L. Kirby, who had left a bequest to MacDowell, this studio was the first — and remains the only — brick building on the grounds. Built by local mason Augustus Beaulieu, the load-bearing masonry walls rest on a fieldstone foundation. The design of the boxlike building is simple and compact…

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