Daniel Duque talks about his experience with the ATYP team and April Aardvark

Being able to work on this year’s ATYP production of April Aardvark has been one of my most memorable musical experiences this year. Having never written music for a theatre production before, I was dropped right into the ‘deep-end’ and it was quite daunting, but with the amazing assistance from my mentor Steve Francis I quickly became comfortable with the process and was excited to begin designing the musical language for the show.

Coming into April Aardvark from the fanfare competition, there was a massive difference in the music that I needed to create, and it was certainly a big learning curve.

April Aardvark had a very ‘urban’ character and I had to write a lot of trap and synth beats, however as a composer in the 21st century, I feel that it’s extremely important to diversify your vocabulary and so luckily making these hip-hop beats wasn’t too far out of my wheelhouse and I could successfully meet the vision that the director, Amy Hardingham had for the production. I’m sure that in previous years the music would have been a little more ‘orchestral’ because the composers coming into the program were from the fanfare competition, but I’m super pleased that I was able to deliver on my brief and continue to expand my vocabulary.

Overall, I’d say that the time I spent working with the team and Steve Francis was definitely the most valuable aspect of my experience with April Aardvark, and it’s most definitely a medium that I could see myself writing for more in the future.

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