I decided to finish my graduating recital surrounded by my friends in the QCGU percussion department. Inspired by my chorale for harmonic whirlies, ‘The Angels are Coming’, I wrote a chorale for 12 players. I’ve gone through a fantastic journey surrounded great people and I thought it’d only be fitting to work with my friends from the percussion department to symbolise that journey. This was the last piece of the recital, performed by Ba Da Boom percussion around the audience of the conservatorium theatre. It was a dream come true for me for this piece both compositionally and as a performance!
It was also my debut conducting performance! Limiting one whirlie to a combintation of notes is one of the hardest things when writing for whirlies. Because of this I wrote for 12 players, making the rehearsal process a bit challenging. It’s a hard task to get 12 busy uni students in one room at the same time! I tried to conduct and play in rehearsals and later realisedthat it’d look strange and be difficult to do onstage. To make sure everyone had cues for their entries, I decided on the day that I’d only conduct. Being onstage and conducting was great because I could also enjoy my piece from the outside!
It was an honour to share one of my compositions in my recital because composition has been something very important for me since I was 12. During my degree, I’ve written music for novelty instruments and unconventional instrumentation. Sharing it with my friends and colleagues was great because they’d all been a part of my wacky composition process and exploring weird instruments. Rehearsing for ‘Soar’, there was a lot of immaturity and mainly a lot of fun. We rehearsed in a large space, everyone took the music seriously and they asked many questions.
As a composer, having friends who give feedback and support you is a blessing. I want to thank my friends from the Queensland Conservatorium percussion department 2015 for being there for me during my percussion journey and for supporting me all the way.
Enjoy the world premiere and final piece of my university degree ‘Soar’!