In our Composer Spaces series, we ask composers to share a bit about their working environment and to give us a brief insight into their process. This week we present SOUNZ Contemporary Award | Te Tohu Auaha finalist Chris Gendall.

I don’t have typical composing days. Even in times when I’m having to write for 10 hours a day, it’s incredibly irregular: late nights, early mornings, long sessions, short sessions, all of the above. This might be a personality trait, or possibly just necessity-driven – having to balance creative pursuits with other commitments!

I also don’t have a dedicated space. At times, I’ll work in cafes (while tending to my caffeine addiction). I find it easier to concentrate around distraction, and noise is preferable to silence. In times when real estate prices and conditions don’t always make for ideal situations, I’m glad that I’ve trained myself to embrace flexibility.

In order to be as portable as possible, I work with pencil and paper and use a tuning fork for pitch reference. (I eventually engrave my scores – my handwriting isn’t the neatest.)

Chris Gendall Composer Space article

SOUNZ blog is designed for expressive discussion and debate amongst the arts and broader community. This is intended to be a safe space so please remember to keep comments respectful and avoid personal attacks, criticisms of specific organisations and defamatory language. Comments are moderated to ensure that they comply with SOUNZ’s Community guidelines.