Alec Bowman_Clarke is a multi-hyphenate polymath, a storyteller who works across creative disciplines including film, photography, and music. Having played bass guitar and Hammond organ since the age of five, he brings a melodic sensibility to his projects — whether that’s shooting atmospheric music videos for cult rock stars or bringing a grimy indie edge to fashion brands’ photo shoots.
Alec has shot album covers and done promotional filming work for Hudson Records as well as the legendary Rough Trade, all while holding down an independent career as a musician.
Having released two records on Corduroy Punk Records, the artist’s haunted take on folk (the song “Deleted Scenes” manages to be both soothing and tormented, as joy melts away into melancholy) is distinctive.
Alec has a classic approach to session bass playing, motown-style, which includes putting a sponge under the bridge & utilising heavy flat-wound strings. This is so he can channel the spirit of his heroes, artists like Ron Carter, James Jamerson, Wilton Felder, Carol Kaye, Donald Dunn, Jimmy Smith, and Shirley Scott.
The bassist plays on fast-rising, singer-songwriter (and wife) Josienne Clarke’s records – including ‘A Small Unknowable Thing‘ & ‘I Promised You Light’. Alec’s distinctive Ableton programming on ‘Doubts Run Out’, by 2PrivateMatters, Alec & Josienne’s duo, channels dread, euphoria, electronica, and folk in equal measure. The pair’s creative, genre-fluid union blossoms from the remote Rothesay, on the beautiful small Scottish island of Bute, where time seems to stop.
As a filmmaker and photographer, Alec’s influences are wide-reaching. He’s inspired by the likes of Vivian Maier, Sofia Coppola, Vuhlandes, Lynne Ramsey, Eli Vicks, Mike Gray, Stanley Kubrick, Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry, Karel Chladek, Nick Fancher and Ally Green. This means he’s an expert on executing the one-point perspective, psychedelic lighting, and creating romantic characters that stand out on the screen; three skills all evident when watching one of the artist’s own fast-growing portfolio of short films & music videos, typically released through Massive Overheads Productions, a partnership with author Andrew Leach that has resulted in a film collective that funds rising artists and gives them a platform to host their work.
A self-starter, Alec the storyteller has a deep equipment cupboard, using a Fujifilm GFX100s & a selection of GF mount lenses. He also uses a Pentax 67 camera with the legendary 75mm f/2.4 lens, a Canon F-1 & a Profoto 3 strobe / Aputure 3 continuous light set up kit, and a wide collection of filters that lend themselves well to experimentation. Alec uses Adobe Lightroom & Premiere Pro with LUTs by Cinegrading for post processing.
For potential clients and brands, he’s a one-stop shop in photography and filmmaking, able to direct, edit, grade, and also handle cinematography.
When it comes to a philosophy, Alec wants to prove that anyone from any background can create art. He subsequently hopes to mentor young artists and filmmakers, particularly from working class backgrounds, providing them with tips on how to navigate the industry and how to carve out a creative niche so they can generate a self-sustainable income. His own skills reflect a deep connection with a grandfather who showed his grandson 35mm photography and how to play the organ at the local chapel—Alec would love to spark someone else’s imagination in a similar way.
Every new week presents a fresh creative challenge for Alec Bowman_Clarke, who hopes to create a varied body of work over the coming years. This is hopefully just the beginning.
Rough Trade Records (Josienne Clarke), Hudson Records (Salthouse, MG Boulter), Corduroy Punk Records (Josienne Clarke), Massive Overheads Productions, Will Varley, Josienne Clarke, Jim Moray, Salthouse, Watercolour Music, Hackney Road Studios, Wyse, Paul Mosely, Jill Lorean, Roddy Hart, Badly Drawn Boy, The Magic Numbers, Matt Robinson, Dave Hamblett, Jenn Butterworth, Mary Ann Kennedy, Darren Black, Seth Lakeman, Andi Ashen, PicaPica, Anna Tivel, Antler, ThousandFurs, Lukas Drinkwater, Junior Bill, Sophie Jamieson, Burd Ellen.