Rivers of Babylon

Keith Clouston

Keith Clouston first became interested in the Arab lute or oud while teaching English in Algeria in the 1980s. He went on to study oud at the Tunis Conservatoire and subsequently learned to play in a variety of Arab styles with teachers from Egypt, Palestine and Iraq.

In the 1990s, he toured Europe, the USA and Brazil with world music diva Natacha Atlas, playing oud, electric guitar and bouzouki. He also played on two of her albums including her French Top 20 cd ‘Gedida’ and its spin-off hit single ‘Mon amie la rose.’ Performances in the UK included Queen Elizabeth Hall, Shepherds Bush Empire and the Glastonbury Festival as well as performances on BBC Radio and BBC TV’s ‘Later with Jools Holland.’  

For the last ten years or more he has been active as a composer of incidental music for theatre. Credits include the Bristol Old Vic, the Royal Court, the National Theatre, the Barbican, the Old Vic and the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). Currently, he is involved in two shows at the RSC: ‘The Winter’s Tale’, in rep at the RSC’s Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon; and ‘King Lear’, which opens in March.

Keith first became interested in Judaeo-Babylonian music after being commissioned to write the music for the 1998 Cambridge Greek Play, Cambridge University’s triennial production of classical Greek drama in Greek. It was while researching techniques of composing music for classical Greek chorus that he became interested in the possibility of close links between classical Greek and ancient Babylonian and Judaic musical traditions.

Keith has been a member of Rivers of Babylon since April 2009.

k.clouston@btopenworld.com 07866 872892/020 8449 9868