Introducing Eugene Marshall, one of the freshest voices in Australian composition and current President of the Royal College of Music. His piano piece Behind a Broken Sky is receiving its world premiere this Saturday at the Concert in Three Halves.
What do you love about the piece you’ve written? What makes it stand out?
This piece is the first composition of mine in two years! Half way through my Masters degree at the RCM I suffered a crippling creative block that rendered me emotionally numb in all facets of my life. It’s taken me this long to fall back in love with music and re-engage with my craft. With this piece I notice a new direction in my compositional style; I seem to be taking more care with the placement of notes like they are precious commodities.
Is there a particular moment we should be listening out for?
Around half way through the piece becomes quite muddy, and a moment later everything clears up with crisp, simple chords. When I hear it I always envisage someone walking out of a tall maze into a vast, open field.
If you could speak to one composer, who would it be and what would you ask them?
I reckon Leonard Bernstein would be an amazing drinking buddy, and would provide some thought-provoking conversation… He seems to be too awesome for his own good! If I could only ask him one question, it would have to be “Which composers do you hate and why?” I bet he’d have some pretty convincing reasons!
To hear Gene perform his piece for the first time this Saturday 12th December, click below: