What, Why

For me, creating with sound or text is about emotional flow – searching for the rare ebb and flood of narrative, imagery, and sonority that can raise the hair on my arms. I aim to keep chasing those goosebumps through concert music, lyrics and librettos, and media collaborations. Recent projects include a commission for clarinet choir YouTube icon, a symphonic meditation on light and water in the San Francisco Bay Area SoundCloud icon, and a collaboration exploring the creation story from Ovid's Metamorphoses through artwork and music for 6 voices and frame drum YouTube icon.

Back When

I grew up in the mountains of northern New Mexico surrounded by natural beauty and music. Early lessons in Orff rhythm, piano, cello, then children's choir and student ensembles put music at my core. I split my initial studies between life sciences and music composition, then made my way in science & technical com­mu­ni­cations, pursuing music and ballroom/Latin/swing dance for fun.

Photo of Shawne Workman. Credit: Matheus Coura.

Photo: Matheus Coura

Photo: my main workspace (piano keyboard, computer, speakers, mixing board...)


I feel very fortunate to be splitting my time between composition projects—whether recorded or for live performance—and teaching courses in music technology at the San Francisco Conseratory of Music (SFCM). I studied composition (MM) with Elinor Armer and media composing in the department of Technology and Applied Composition (PSD) at SFCM. I have completed courses in choral and orchestral conducting with Mark Shapiro (European American Musical Alliance Summer Institute 2019) and Jaques Desjardins (SF Conservatory); and lessons in composition with David Conte (EAMA Summer Institute 2017), David Garner (SF Conservatory), Arkadi Serper (SF Conservatory), and Scott Wilkinson (U. New Mexico). Honors include a commission from the SFCM Clarinet Ensemble and Helia Music Collective, second prize in the 2019 SF Conservatory Biennial Art Song Composition Competition, and third prize in the 2018 SF Conservatory Biennial Choral Composition Competition. I am a member of ASCAP and NACUSAsf.