Eric Bai [Age 13, VIC]

Composition: Fanfare

My name is Eric Bai and I’m recently turned 14 in June and I am in year 8 at Wesley College. I have been playing music since I was four years old. In 2010, I was the recipient of the Marissa Perrin scholarship and in 2011, I started lessons with my current piano and composition teacher, Keiko who has helped me with every one of my compositions with me since I was 8 years old and taught me piano from AMEB grade 3. From then on, I composed many pieces for piano solo, entering them into an Asia-Pacific Yamaha composition. From the age of 9 I started learning the trumpet and from the age 11, I started to improvise (in the Yamaha style), where I would extend a given motif on the spot. I have entered in many piano and composition competitions, receiving the Syldon Senior Encouragement award for the Bernstein Piano Competition 2016, being chosen as a finalist for the Hal Leonard composition competition and receiving ‘highly commended’ for a few ACMF songwriting competitions. I am currently preparing for my trumpet AMEB grade 5 exam and my piano AMEB grade 8 exam. Up to now I have composed roughly 8 main pieces, 6 for piano solo, one for piano duet and the current fanfare.

Composition Inspiration

Once, my composition and piano teacher Keiko gave me a lesson using an electone which was set to the sounds of orchestral instruments. With it, Keiko started playing all sorts of fanfares talked about making a fanfare. Some of the fanfares she played included Star Wars by John Williams (a piece I have borrowed some chords from the introduction and may have inspired me a bit), the Superman Theme also by John Williams (which may have inspired me a bit too) and the Back to the Future theme. During the session, I experimented with lots of different notes and chords (as Keiko suggested that I should use more complicated chords), eventually coming up with an idea that Keiko was happy with (using chords similar to those in the Star Wars theme introduction). After this session, I had to develop the fanfare. I experimented with many different instruments and notes on my keyboard (as Keiko insisted that I should play before I write) to come up with ideas for extension. Eventually, the whole fanfare was written. I didn’t really have a piece of inspiration which inspired this fanfare but there were many fanfares that I listened to get an idea what I should write such as the three listed above.