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Three Composers in BBC Now’s Composition Wales 2020

Three Composition students will have their music performed at BBC NOW’s Composition: Wales 2020 concert tomorrow. The annual event, which showcases Wales’ best composers, features Tayla-Leigh Payne, alongside Jasper Dommett and Luciano Williamson, who have both been chosen to take part in the event in previous years.

A Clockwork Portrait by Tayla-Leigh Payne

'My piece takes on this idea of your different thought processes throughout a day. It represents how things sporadically come up and interrupt your routine.

Then, all thoughts and consciousness come together and build up to one dense texture, where every thought fights against each other before cascading over.'

How does it feel to have your composition played by BBC NOW?

'It means more than anything. It’s going to be such a wonderful experience to have my piece played by a professional orchestra.'
Tayla-Leigh Payne

Tell us about your experience with Composition

'My biggest challenge so far has been balancing the work involved with my College work, for example, having to re-write parts to make them more practical to play.

My one-to-one tutors have been especially supportive. I had writer’s block over the summer so I found it critical to have my tutors in support at that point.'

What’s next for you?

'I’m working at Wales Millennium Centre’s Hijinx Theatre, a theatre company which specialises in training actors with learning disabilities.

I also give workshops in Carmarthen every week to help actors with additional learning needs to compose music to choreograph and do a showcase.'

You can hear some of Tayla’s work on SoundCloud:

Night Music by Jasper Dommett

'When writing this piece I became interested in Béla Bartók, a Hungarian composer. In a lot of his music, he’d speak about the term ‘night music’, or a ‘nocturne’.

That’s where I started. I thought, If I were to write a piece about the night, how would it sound?

The whole piece is based on a melody that comes in through the cor anglais, and the harmony is then based off the same cord. The ending is kind of a reverse of the opening where notes slowly start getting pulled away to thin the melody out.'

What have you learned from the competition this time around?

'I think people underestimate how much work is involved in composing for an orchestra. You need knowledge and understanding about how all instruments work and how they interact with each other.

It’s important to take on advice from performers who know their instruments so that they are at ease playing your music.'
Jasper Dommett

'I’ve had lots of support with this from my one-to-one tutor, Joe Davies. Joe really helped by suggesting what I could change to make my work cleaner and clearer, but also told me to not be so hard on myself, which gave me confidence.'

What else have you been working on and what’s on the horizon?

'I’ve been commissioned to write a fanfare for Girton College in Cambridge, the first all-female college in the UK.

I’ve also been working on a piece for over a year, the Rothko Project, inspired by his pieces at the Tate Modern.'

Jasper’s Soundcloud:

Kemal at Gallipoli by Luciano Williamson

'It’s a seven-and-a-half-minute tone poem detailing a small skirmish in Gallipoli in the first World War.

Turkish field general Mustafa Kemal Atatürk ordered the charge on the British and Anzacs troops so the piece tells the tension of that battle, which structured the music.'

What does it mean for you to have your composition played by BBC NOW?

'It’s great to have the chance to work with a large orchestra. I was part of the scheme two years ago with a shorter piece, so this time I’ve tried ideas that I’d never get to do on a smaller scale.'
Luciano Williamson

What are your next steps?

'I’ve had an offer from the Royal College of Music for the Artist Diploma course (in composition), and I’m going to keep writing music to evolve my style.'

Luciano’s Soundcloud:

You can hear our students’ pieces at the FREE concert in the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay on Wednesday 4 March at 7pm

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