Skip to main content

Composer Spotlight Q&A

How did you get into composition?
My compositional journey began with the double bass lessons I took at school, when I thought I’d give writing my own music a try. I wrote a few cringe-inducing pieces and shelved the idea of composing for a few years until I began piano lessons. My piano teacher was very involved in ensuring that I was aware of the theory underpinning the pieces that I played, which rekindled my love for composition. I continued to compose solely for enjoyment until I applied to the Royal Welsh, where I am currently studying for my undergraduate in Composition.

What sort of music do you like to write?

I compose both instrumental work and electroacoustic work. In my instrumental work, I enjoy exploring the connections and differences between tonality and atonality, and how I as a composer can exploit these areas to from individual microcosms of sound. My electroacoustic and acousmatic work is centred around creating vast spectral spaces, which are freely morphed and manipulated. The most important aspect of my work is that it is always geared to what will be most unexpected, most surprising.

What excites you most about being part of Opus 1?

Getting the chance to collaborate with the amazing musicians of Britten Sinfonia during the compositional process to create a new work over an extended period of time with the aim of a public performance will be an entirely unique and new experience for me.

What 3 pieces of music would you have on a desert island?

Kaija Saariaho – Nocturne for Solo Violin
Max Reger – Die Nonnen
King Crimson – Epitaph (Ideally the live version from Mexico)

What is the best snack?

Can’t go wrong with a packet of salt and vinegar crisps.

About Harry

Harry is a Cardiff-based composer and pianist from Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. They are currently studying for their undergraduate degree at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. They currently study under Joseph Davies and Ceri Tippetts. Harry’s music is centred around the concept of surprise and sudden change, creating vast and ever-shifting sonic spaces.