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. First up is John Rimmer, composer, horn player, teacher and one of the most respected figures in New Zealand composition.
What does a typical composing day look like for you?
Very free-form but usually I compose in the morning for a couple of hours, then again later in the day for an hour or so. It very much depends on the type of piece, the pressure of a deadline and other musical activities.
Please describe the space where you compose your music. What makes this space special and why have you chosen it?
I have a studio where I compose mainly because of the equipment that I need to use. I also compose sometimes at the piano in another more spacious room.
What equipment do you have in your space? Is there anything special, interesting or quirky about it?
Nothing out of the ordinary. I have two computers with sound creating software and a keyboard.
Please describe your typical composing process. Does it change with each piece?
This depends on the piece. If it’s a piano piece then I compose mostly at the piano starting with a few rhythmic and melodic shapes which are then expanded. If it’s a computer generated piece then I work exclusively at the computer with a limited palette of sounds.
What are you currently working on in your space?
I’m currently about to start a choral piece, a setting of a poem by Joy Cowley. My most recent work is a computer generated piece entitled Hokusai Reflections’. One can listen to it at https://soundcloud.com/user-865131494 along with my other electroacoustic/sonic art pieces.
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