Listen to Raphael‘s original composition submitted with his entry.

Raphael Luxton [Age 19, WA]

Composition: It’s now or never

My name is Raphael Luxton, and I am currently in my second year at WAAPA studying composition and music technology.

From early in my life I was indulged in music. Our family owned an upright piano that I toyed with quite often. From the age of three, I attended weekly Cottage School of Music Junior classes with Danielle Joynt. I don’t remember too much about these classes, but I remember having a blast with the circle dances, singing games, and wind-up car toys – of course. I graduated the Junior classes with Danielle when I was five, moving to Micheàl McCarthy’s cottage music classes at age six.

Around then my brother had been learning guitar for a couple years, and I had been accompanying him on our djembe. We would busk in Perth City as a little duo band, playing pop songs and earning a little pocket money. I then began piano lessons which I received throughout my education.

I studied film at John Curtin College of the Arts, sparking my interest in film music. I created piano arrangements of my favourite pieces from film/TV scores.

Since arriving at WAAPA I’ve thrown myself into the world of orchestral music, discovering and studying many inspiring works by great composers and writing music of my own.

Composition inspiration

My inspiration for the piece came from the very first bar – a simple musical idea, full of character and excitement with a very rhythmical identity. After establishing this idea in the first bar with the two horns, I explored, expanded and developed the idea as much as I could in the thirty seconds (I did go over thirty a little bit, oops), leading to a magnificent and exciting ending.

The decisions I made on where to take the piece while composing it were certainly influenced by some of my favourite composers. Stravinsky’s exploration of dissonance and irregularity, Ravel’s rich harmony, and Williams’ grandioso finishes.

The piece is titled “It’s now or never” because of the sense of urgency and hesitation at the beginning of the piece. It’s like the piece is hesitant to progress in the second bar with the woodwinds, then the sudden accent of the whole orchestra in bar three loudly exclaims It’s now or never! 

I can’t go without commending the former winners of the competition from WAAPA who I admire as they certainly inspired me to enter the Fanfare Program.