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

Benjamin Raymond (Age 18, Tas)

TO COUNTRY: The Leaves of Our Ancestors

I am an 18-year-old college student simultaneously studying music in Year 12 and at university level. I began to play the flute in Grade 5 for Southern Tasmania’s Combined Primary Schools Concert Band program. I also began to play piano soon after taking up flute. And for the past two years I have been expanding my interest and skills in percussion.

I began composing in Grade 9 as part of my learnings in high school music class. I was ineluctably drawn to composition. It was exciting and compelling; I could feel it expanding my mind in thrilling ways. I hear the music instantly in my mind. I hear the melody and the chords and the parts for all the instruments.

My dream and heart’s desire are to pursue a career in acting, and composition for films, musical theatre, and maybe, perchance, to compose a future theme for the Olympic games.

Composition Inspiration 

The Leaves of Our Ancestors was inspired when I was walking to the bus stop one morning and saw autumn leaves flying about in the wind. And I sensed the sound of echoey voices. I could have sworn that there were echoey voices right behind me. I was being buffeted by a chilly and freezing wind blowing up faster and faster and harder and harder, making me take cover under the bus stop shelter. This experience of the blowing wind, the swirling leaves, and the sensing of the echoey voices, inspired the name of this composition.

The music came to me instantly as I walked along and then as I rode on the bus to college that day. The melody came first and later I enfolded inspiration from ‘The Beast Dies’, another of the numbers from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast by Alan Menken. I added chords when I came home from college that day; and wove through the steady, flowing melody, the pitches of the Bb major scale.