What, Why

For me, creating with sound or text is about emotional flow – searching for the rare ebb and flood of narrative 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 put music at my core. I split my initial studies between life sciences and composing, then made my way in science com­mu­ni­cations, with a much-enjoyed side gig in ballroom and swing dance. More recently, I studied composition (MM) with Elinor Armer at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and media composing (post-graduate diploma) in SFCM's department of Technology and Applied Composition.


Photo of Shawne Workman. Credit: Matheus Coura.

Photo: Matheus Coura

Photo by Amelie Hinman: Shawne Workman, during recording of When We Danced at 25th Street Recording in Oakland California

Photo: Amalie Hinman


I feel very fortunate to split my time between composing for concerts and media, and teaching courses in music technology at the San Francisco Conseratory of Music. I've been honored to receive 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.