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And the world was finally right- when poetry inspires music


Sometimes writing a new work can be so frustrating, and then there are other times where something just clicks and everything falls into place.

'And the World was Finally Right' was one of those pieces for me.

Inspired by the poem 'A Brief history of Love' by Australian poet Jordie Albiston, the poem just seemed to connect to me creatively and I was able to set her words to an orchestral and choral setting. The poem was presented as part of the 2013 2MBS Fine Music FM Young Composers Competition. A national award which gives composers under the age of 30 to have the opportunity to have their work performed and aired on the radio by the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra in Chatswood NSW.

The vivid imagery of Albiston’s work took me on a visual smorgasbord which interpreted into music easily. Again my favourite time signature of the time 7/8 was by my side, and the entire piece ended up maintaining its 7/8 signature, much to the orchestras despair I am sure. Within a week I had fleshed out my orchestral and choral score, and went over the fine details the next day before sending it off to the competition (I had found out last minute of course).

This is rare for me to be able to write a work so large, so fast. I really can't explain how, other than the inspiration was right, it was perfect, and it took me creatively where I needed to be. Luckily it worked because I received the 2013 Fine Music FM Young Composer Award.

This piece was big, and I had to keep in mind the limited rehearsal times leading up to the concert, and the size of the choir. I actually thought the choir was going to be much smaller, but 80 voices ended up giving a much more powerful sound which blew me away. It was lucky I kept ideas simple, clear, and connected to the overall theme. The orchestra and choir came together very well. There are always some glitches in a performance especially one with such a large scale and limited rehearsal time with everyone.... but over all I was grateful to hear it all come together.

Competitions like these are so important to aspiring composers. There is no way I could have rocked up to QLD Symphony and asked if they could run this through with a large choir. Maybe they will perform it one day? But until then the experience I gained from the Fine Music FM competition will be one of the most significant so far.

I entered the following year, but didn't make it. But that’s ok. The inspiration wasn't right for what I entered and I knew that. But it is something I can work on and go over for another occasion.

You won’t win everything, but it’s not the end of the world. When you consider how many amazing composers there are in each suburb, city, state, country, you realise that one single person has to be picked for one single competition...... it is hard to get recognised, but you just have to keep at it.

Best advice I can offer is, don’t compete against others, only yourself. Reflect, re-listen, step away then come back to it. Be harsh but be kind to yourself too. Be ok with failure and learn from it and when success does arrive, grab hold of it as tightly as you can and enjoy the ride!

Everyone no matter where they are in their career is still learning something new each day about their art and themselves.

Below is a YouTube video of the performance or you can choose to hear a sound cloud link which has a higher quality recording.

-Rachel

Soundcloud Link:

https://soundcloud.com/rachelmerton/and-the-world-was-finally-right-rachel-merton-jordie-albiston

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© 2017 BY RACHEL MERTON MUSIC.