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

Will Hartley-Keane [Age 16, Vic]

Composition: …towards a fanfare-ish ending

Will Hartley-Keane is a Year 11 student currently studying at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School.

From the outset of Will’s musical life he has been active in various ensembles ranging from large symphony orchestras to small jazz combos, his focus on Cello performance led him to a place at VCASS in Southbank, Melbourne where he studies both Cello and Bass. Will has completed his Certificate of Performance on Cello and is currently preparing for his AMus.

From 8 years old Will started playing around with writing little pieces and grooves into simple scoring software coming up with different ways he could play cello in order to get different and new sounds. This curiosity has led to compositions for a wide array of instrumental combinations from string orchestra to electronics.

Will’s (emerging) compositional voice draws influence from a wide array of sources; 20th century composers such as Olivier Messiaen, Morton Feldman and Béla Bartok, traditional Irish dances and contemporary Australian classical music, to name a few.

Composition Inspiration 

I came into this project with the concept of a fanfare being a piece of extremes. So I quickly came up with a loose form: Aggressive Start, Relaxed mid section, Ecstatic ending.

The title of the piece “…towards a fanfare-ish ending”, refers to the problems I had during the compositional process, as I thought that the material I had started the piece with could not develop effectively into a fanfare-like piece.

To get around this problem I limited myself to writing mainly for the brass throughout the middle section, producing a regal-sounding chorale. To link this chorale to the rest of the piece stylistically, the harmony is ambiguous and tense, with irregular gestures from the winds calling back to the opening of the piece.

Finally, my mission was to make sure that no matter what, the end of the piece was very, very loud and ecstatic. The ending I’ve created achieves this through use of rolling bass drum, tense harmony, and my attempt to make the loudest sound I could think of (within reason).