Hannah Hunt [Age 16, Winchelsea, VIC]

Composition: L’appel

My name is Hannah Hunt, I’m 16 years old and I’m from the small town Winchelsea, Victoria. I’m in Year 11, studying at Belmont High School. I don’t really have much a musical history. I didn’t start music when I started walking or before the age of 10. I didn’t even like music when I started in Year 7, when my parents thought playing the bassoon would be a good idea. I didn’t really enjoy it until a friend invited me to a community band which had kids and adults that loved music. From there, it was a bit of a snowball effect as I discovered that music wasn’t all that bad. In Year 9, I started doing little arrangements for a small ensemble I lead at school. As the year went on, I picked up flute and piano. In Year 10, I arranged ‘Test Drive’ and ‘Romantic Flight’ from ‘How To Train Your Dragon’, conducting my school’s senior band at the end of year concert, as well as starting up a double reed ensemble within my school. It was throughout last year and this year that I somehow taught myself how to play all the woodwind instruments and percussion. Through this year, I’ve started Unit 1 and 2 of ‘Music Styles and Composition’, which has been the little push forward that I needed into the composing world.

Composition Inspiration

I’d say that Star Wars was a bit of an inspiration to my piece. The start is so catching and seems to grab everyone’s attention, no matter where you are, so I tried to include that attention-grabbing idea in my piece. I called the piece ‘L’Appel’, which according to Google Translate, means ‘The Call’ in French. ‘The Call’ comes from a mixture of a few different things. First, it comes from the whole fanfare side of the piece; catching people’s attention. In my church, I serve on the worship team and at the start of a church service, we have a ‘call to worship’, which is getting people’s attention and calling them to start church.

In terms of actually writing the fanfare, I had decided to enter at the start of the year, but I had absolutely no idea what I’d write. A student studying composing at university gave me a few tips on how to get past ‘musician’s block’, which one of them was forcing yourself to compose for ten minutes a week. I did so, and came up with small tunes. Nothing you could call a piece, but small ideas I could bounce off in the future. It then got to a few days before the deadline, and I had nothing. But thanks to the small musical ideas I’d composed in the past few weeks, I was able to come up with my fanfare!

Meaningful Piece

I think the most meaningful piece to me is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘How Far I’ll Go’, sung by Auli’i Cravalho in Disney’s Moana. The song isn’t just about the main character wanting to cross the sea, it’s a song about yearning, ambition and the hope for more despite not knowing what lies ahead. With ‘How Far I’ll Go’, though it may be a lyrical song, it’s the orchestral music behind it that gives the change. The composer took advantage of what he had; the two verses sound very structured and there is no flowing feel to it, saying ‘you must follow this, you must keep to this, don’t stray’. The two pre-choruses are different, using minor chords and creating a very conflicting feel; it’s as if the music is fighting against itself, trying to choose a path. The chorus is best part; here, the music is flowing and free, like the ocean. Here, the listener can relax and can feel themselves reaching out for something that they know they can get, they’re filled will a sort of hope that can let them look to the horizon, asking themselves; how far will go? Working with the lyrics, the song creates a message that has given me the strength to do my musical stuff, even when people told me I couldn’t; ‘don’t hold back because no one, not even yourself, knows your limits’.