Listen to Catrin’s original composition submitted with her entry.

Catrin Wood [Age 19, NSW]

Composition: Traffic Jam

I am a 19-year-old composer from Sydney and am currently in my 1st year of a Bachelor of Music Composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. After becoming more interested in composition through high school, I completed Composition electives in both Music 2 and Music Extension for the Higher School Certificate. I’ve composed for solo instruments, choral ensembles and chamber ensembles before, but this fanfare has been my first attempt at composing for a larger ensemble, a great challenge. I also have an interest in sound design and have composed for productions with Sydney University Dramatic Society as well as Little Spirits Theatre Company’s Summer season of ‘Julius Caesar’. I’m really grateful to have had such valuable opportunities and experiences with music so far especially through school ensembles and choirs such as the Australian Girls Choir.

Composition Notes

Traffic Jam aimed to take some of the sounds of a city soundscape and transform them into an attention-grabbing piece. The key motif was the trombone and tenor saxophone pitch bends that try and mimic the doppler effect created by passing trucks. The high woodwinds have more frantic and tense material which moves chromatically and never very far – just as if it was stuck in traffic. I tried to not introduce too much different musical material and stick to creating a mainly programmatic piece with the brass giving rhythmic drive to the piece with their dissonant ostinato.  It’s important to maintain a sense of fun and life in the music I write and so I enjoyed adding a range of sounds to create a rich city-like scene. You might hear things such as a pedestrian crossing signal on the marimba or car horns from the brass later in the piece, emphasised by a change in time signature. This all builds to a final flourish with the clashes in the final chord reminiscent of the ‘harmony’ of the city soundscape.