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I believe that the human experience (on both the physical and psychological level) parallels universal tendances: chaos / order, growth / entropy, and integration / disintegration. These are the principles I try to express in my music. I express these by way of musical archetypes, perhaps in the same way that Van Gough expressed joy by the spiralling of his trees or flowers. By using compositional techniques: different juxtapositions of registers, rising, falling gestures, rhythmic diminution and expansion, random sequences of musical events, use of different scales and motives, colours and textures I have tried to give musical expression to these archetypes.

It is not possible to categorise, label and understand the gamut of internal and external human experience but I guess this music is my attempt to do so. As a bird sings as an expression of its being so humans make music as an expression of theirs. Though I am trying to bring the listener (and myself) into a higher awareness, one can only come to that awareness by honouring the human experience, the working of the mind and its disturbances. These disturbances must be acknowledged in order to move beyond them into higher spheres. To me listening to music and writing music is somehow an attempt to understand my experience and give meaning to this life I have been given. As I journey out-ward into the world, music is the journey in-ward.

Besides the work of other composers and various ancient music, a strong influence for me is the sounds of nature. My piano work The Waves was inspired by the nature of waves in the ocean. In As all the Heavens were a Bell, I tried to create the sound of wind, birds, insects, animals and the industrial world of man. I attempt to evoke the feeling of the sun, the majesty of the moon. I like to use the sounds of breath through the instruments, which is how the piece begins and ends. I have always enjoyed the sounds of the musicians taking their breath and made sure not to cut it out during editing. The breath is so crucial; the breath is the beginning and sustenance of all life. We are if nothing else, breath.

Poetry has been an essential influence on my work. In my last couple of years at Victorian College of the Arts I immersed my self in the poetry of Sylvia Plath. I would memorise many of her poems and in writing my music I tried to recreate the feeling that a certain poem gave me. When I went to New York in 1996 to study clarinet I also did a course in poetry where I was first introduced to the poetry of Emily Dickinson. I found her fascinating and felt strong links with Plath. I was boarding at the time with a humanities professor at my school (The Manhattan School of Music) who gave me an amazing video with Adrianne Rich, Joyce Carol Oats and other inspiring people speaking about Dickinson. And this is where I first heard Dickinson’s poem #280 “I felt a Funeral, in my brain,…”. As all the Heavens were a Bell takes its title from a line in this poem, written in 1861. When I read this poem, something resonated inside me, I felt she expressed something profound and important. The evocation of a cosmic inner world of anguish and transcendence. The kind of world I try to evoke in my music.

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