In this series, we present our new composers. We are proud to introduce Julius Magpantay.
Please tell us about yourself and what you do.
I am a recent Composition graduate from the University of Auckland, focusing on creating orchestral, electroacoustic, and electronic music. My musical and aesthetic aim is to create music that is very personal to me but also personal in a way that can resonate with the audience. I am currently searching for work but I am also working on my own music. My most recent achievement is winning the Orchestra’s Choice Award at the Todd Young Composer Competition in Wellington in 2018 for my piece “Mono No Aware (A Sensitivity to Ephemera)”.
These days, I am living in Auckland with my cat, Gary, where I am working on my compositions. My hobbies include reading, cooking, and gaming (a lot of my compositions are influenced by video games).
Please choose 2-3 of your works/albums and tell us about them.
Inspired by Joe Hisaishi’s works with Studio Ghibli, this work is based on the Japanese concept, mono no aware. This phrase is used to describe an awareness of the ephemerality of things, an awareness of the fact that things are transient, which magnifies the appreciation of such things and kindles a gentle sadness of the thing’s passing. A common example of this is the sakura (cherry blossoms). In the Japanese spring, as the sakura blooms into their popular pink blossoms, the people gather to watch this spectacle of nature; people ate lunch under the trees while they appreciated the sakura. This is known as hanami (literally “flower viewing”). However, the spectacle only lasts for a short time, the blossoms reaching full peak in about a week. Mono no aware is applied here as the short lives of the cherry blossoms evokes a sadness after the they disappear; something so beautiful disappearing in an instant. This piece was considered for the Todd Young Composer Award and won the Orchestra’s Choice Award
This EP, released under a moniker of mine, is inspired by the moon. I attempted to create a collection of tracks that had electronic music influences (especially in the ambient subgenre) as well as some popular music elements. The tracks lean towards a dark and sparse atmosphere but with a nostalgic feeling to it.
Remnants of a Supernova
This piece was a contender for the Antipodes Suitcase Composition Competition, where a piece must be composed for three percussionists with percussion that can only fit into suitcases. I took this limitation as an opportunity to use the vastness of outer space as an inspiration. The great expanse of space is so large that it can hold so much, yet feel so empty. That is why I used sparse and minimal percussion to create this feeling of vast emptiness.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am currently working on an orchestral piece which explores the triality of an artistic triptych and translating it to music. It explores three separate themes, each seemingly disparate but all sharing a common thread. I am also working on a new electronic music project, under a new moniker.
Where can people connect with you?