Adriel Sukumar [Age 16, NSW]

Composition: Fanfare Triumphant

Listen to Adriel’s original composition submitted with his entry.

My name is Adriel Sukumar and I am a year 11 Student at Girraween High School in Western Sydney. I was introduced to music at a young age with carnatic music lessons and piano lessons. When I was in year 1, I was invited to audition for the Australian Youth Choir, which I was part of till year 6. During year 5, I started noticing patterns in the music I played, which helped me start composing my own music at the piano (and later notating on paper). My interest in music grew greatly as I moved to high school, with many more opportunities available for me. It was in year 7, that I was first introduced to notation software through a school assignment, which helped me develop my compositional skills even further. With the support of my teachers, I continued to teach myself composition. I did this mainly by listening to pieces, looking at scores, practice, and through online resources. Currently, I am involved in my school’s Concert band (flute), Stage band (clarinet), string ensemble (violin) and senior vocal ensemble. I am also involved in two choirs at my local church as a singer/cantor, organist and flautist. I am currently preparing for my CmusA exam on piano.

Composition inspiration

I first entered this competition last year after my teacher suggested it. At that time, as a mostly self-taught composer, I wasn’t expecting to do too well but I ended up receiving a highly commended. This year, I decided that I had to do better, and ended up doing a draft which I left for a while. A few weeks before the deadline, I went back to edit it and realised that it just wasn’t good enough. For the next few days, I kept on trying to do new drafts, but I wasn’t happy with any of them. After a few unsuccessful drafts, I began work on what would become my final fanfare. I decided to use the tempo of 7/8 as I felt the ‘missing beat’ helped drive the fanfare forward. This is occasionally contrasted with a bar of 4/4 (and a 4/4 ending). I then wrote a syncopated ostinato based on the lydian mode and my composition just grew from there. It builds tension throughout the fanfare through its harmonic progression, changing time signatures, trills, rhythm/polyrhythms and chromatic scales, before resolving with a strong tonic chord.