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

Listen to Dion’s composition performed by the QYO Chamber Orchestra.

Dion Spyropoulos [Age 19, Vic]

Composition: Hair Fanfare

I’m Dion Spyropoulos and I’m a second-year Interactive Composition student at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. I’ve always loved experimenting with music and sound. My biggest influences have been Greek folk music, video game and film soundtracks, musical theatre, and EDM.

I started piano lessons in grade 6 but I didn’t have the patience for practice, preferring to just make up tunes of my own. But I didn’t start formally studying composition until 2017 in year 10 when I started studying VCE Music Styles & Composition. My final composition for this subject, Stroll of Pride for wind quartet, was selected to be performed in the 2019 Season of Excellence Top Sound concert. Later, I was given the opportunity to write and arrange a piece for my school’s string orchestra, which was performed at the Ivanhoe Grammar 2019 Winter Concert. I also did music and sound design for numerous student films and theatre productions.

Now, at Interactive Composition, I’ve been immersing myself in the wide variety of musical approaches the course covers. Having come from a more classical musical background, writing for chamber ensembles, I’ve been particularly interested in developing my skills in electronic music production and sound design.

Composition Inspiration

The main melody for Hair Fanfare popped into my head in 2020 during lockdown. I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the idea of going to the hairdresser in-person, even when restrictions were (sparingly) lifted. So, my hair just got stupidly long, longer than it’s ever been. It definitely didn’t look great, but it’s not like I was going anywhere or meeting anyone. I’d just catch myself in the mirror messing with my ridiculous hair. It was honestly a weird little source of entertainment for me during lockdown. So, I wanted to write a piece that was playful, goofy, and a little bit dramatic.

The original theme is somewhat influenced by Greek Hasaposervika music with its melodic shape and rhythmic patterns. So, when it came to arranging it for orchestra, I looked to Dances of Galanta by Zoltán Kodály as an example of folk techniques reimagined in an orchestral context. Of course, Dances of Galanta comes from a very different cultural context, but Kodály’s orchestration techniques still gave me a solid framework for reorchestrating my own work.