Listen to Floyd Taylor’s original composition submitted with his entry.
Floyd Taylor [Age 15, Tasmania]
As a young child I was always singing and making up tunes and I started playing my first instrument and studying music when I was 9 years old on piano. I loved playing classical music and this has evolved into a keen interest in jazz also. At age 10, I started playing guitar and that has become my primary instrument and I enjoy playing in jazz and contemporary ensembles. During high school I have learnt and played trumpet and trombone in school concert and stage bands. I have dabbled in being a singer songwriter, winning the Folk Federation of Tasmanian U/19 Song and Tune Writing Award in 2019. Also at this time I became interested in composing and sound design for film and theatre. In 2020, I was awarded a Taroona High School music scholarship to study composition. Arrival was my first fanfare composition and prior to that I have composed music scores, developed soundscapes and managed sound design and foley for short film projects.
Before I entered this competition, I hadn’t composed a fanfare. In order to write a suitable piece for the competition I listened to multiple fanfares to gain a greater understanding of the characteristics needed to create a strong and brief message in a short period of time. When writing Arrival, I started with writing a strong starting melody developing into a call and response between the brass, strings, and percussion.
One piece that helped generate ideas for my fanfare was the Horn of Plenty theme from the Hunger Games written by James Newton Howard. The main elements from The Horn of Plenty where the strong chordal movements, one in particular was the movement from the tonic (C Major) to the flat VI (A Flat Major). This created an interesting chord progression supporting the main melody and adding variance in mood.
My piece was also influenced by my previous experiences in writing film scores and playing jazz music. I really enjoyed the process of writing a fanfare as it is fun to try and create a dramatic impact in a short piece of music. For me the most challenging part of the process was writing an ending that I was happy with.