Congratulations to the candidates who have been chosen for this year's Todd Corporation Young Composers Award.
Abhinath Berry Prologue from Metamorphoses
This work is a larger tone poem for orchestra. In this work, I have developed a series of musical cells into a larger orchestral texture. These include the rising octatonic figure in the bass, and the chromatically descending augmented chords. In this movement I have sought to create a sense of stability and homeostasis. However, the use of dissonant suspensions and instrument combinations suggest a darker undertone.
Eva Bedggood Azimuth
Azimuth is a scientific measurement of observation involving the size and structure of celestial bodies floating in space; there is less order than the original ideal of celestial harmony, the trajectory will vary, as will their mass. This piece is a representation of this idea of smaller and larger bodies of matter passing each other in the cosmos.
The idea is that the quiet introduction and resolution of the piece is like the white noise of the universe: it is large, and we are small and insignificant by comparison. The piece builds with interjecting ideas in a way that gives an impression that there are things moving through this large expansive plain. It builds higher and higher with the passing of more celestial objects and worlds, before receding , as we ponder the large expansive space once more.
Jack Bewley Vignette sought peace
At the time of writing this piece, it was clear that in my life and in the world, it was difficult to feel calm and well. This short piece is my attempt to musically represent various states of the ubiquitous communal agitation and anxiety we live with at this present time.
I'm aware that with the scale of recent events, everyone has reacted differently and this feeling of unrest I currently battle with has manifested itself within us in many different ways, so my hope is to not appear gratuitous in representing this feeling with loud, fast passages. Indeed, the piece is meant to move between intensity and sanctuary, but on the whole, the musical material of this work is frustrated and unsettled, simply because this is how I would best represent this time if I wanted to be honest. In fact, my personal feeling is that it would almost be apathetic for me to write about something else.
Joshua Turner Autumnal Equinox
As with his previous works, Autumnal Equinox uses a wide variety of harmonies to evoke colour and interest within the piece, particularly using stacked fifths to create large, open soundscapes.
Throughout the piece, two intertwining atmospheres present themselves; a quiet, idyllic setting that represents cold, lonely mornings and the bold and exciting theme that represents a band of children setting out on an epic fantasy adventure, throughout the colourful, falling leaves.
Liam Furey The Silence of Kilsmister Tops
The Silence of Kilmister Tops was originally written for solo piano in 2020, taking inspiration from a walk I took up the Skyline Walkway near my home in Crofton Downs. This was during New Zealand's Level 4 Lockdown in response to COVID-19. The top of this hill gave views over Wellington City. From the top, I remember the experience of hearing nothing.
No noise pollution from city life.
No sound of human technological marvels.
Only a gentle breeze and the rustling of the long grass remained. I looked over this view, with strong, contrasting feelings juxtaposed on top of each other in response to this silence: a sense of meditation and peace, with an underlying discomfort from the absence of human livelihood. This piece, in its unfolding of space, melody and surface activity, is an abstract representation of these feelings.
Mallory Stevenson Moss-asphalt introit
In simple terms, moss and asphalt describe how this piece occupies space, while the religious introit describes how it occupies time. In my choice of sound, I thought of the wood, metal and hairs that make up the orchestra, focused particularly by reference to the quietness of suburban road islands and of the city's secluded, overgrown places. This sound is ordered into a prayerful chant, strict like a jazz chart, and filled with enough mirrors that all directions fall into each other.
Micah Thompson Vignette
The letters of poet John Keats (1795-1821) was the main gestation for this work. Particularly a letter to his brothers George and Thomas Keats, dating back to 21/12/1817. In this letter he coined what is known as ‘Negative Capability’, which, in short, is the capacity to experience emotional content despite intellectual confusion or uncertainty. The way Keats expresses the most powerful imaginative and creative feats without needing to resolve the intellectual problems that snag along the way, is something I find hugely stimulating. For me, a parallel musical example that I have enjoyed exploring is the way different musical materials, that bring with them different histories and issues of identity, can seamlessly coexist within one expressive language. This short vignette explores the complex relationships between different historical materials, within a single expressive language.
Thomas Bedggood Íkaros
Íkaros is inspired by the ancient Greek legend of Icarus, the boy who flew too close to the sun and fell. When I was a child, I was always drawn to this myth. To me, the story has many layers and narrative colours that make it a rich source of material. This work seeks to produce the vibrant colours, textures and energy with which I view the legend in my mind: the dripping viscosity of the wax as the wings are made, the juddering, complex boil then loss of gravity as flight is achieved, then the all too quick end – all suffused with a colour palette dominated by golden hues.