In this series ‘Ones to watch,’ we catch up with an up and coming composers to talk about their latest work, what drives them and to find a bit more about them. Nina Lesperance from SOUNZ caught up with Immy Moore to learn about her composition ‘Raindrops in Mist.’
Kia ora, my name is Immy and I’m a composer. I graduated from the New Zealand School of Music – Te Kōkī earlier this year with a Bachelor of Music majoring in Instrumental/Vocal Composition.
‘Raindrops in Mist’
Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your piece?
The inspiration for this piece came from a walk up Te Mata Peak in Hawkes Bay, my hometown. It was gently raining and there was this mist everywhere. My mum and I were walking through a clearing surrounded by trees and it was a beautiful sight. This experience became the basis of a piano piece I was working on for a composition assignment.
What features or segments within the piece are you most proud of?
The opening is my favourite part. These notes were the first thing I came up with after my walk up Te Mata Peak, and they really remind me of this experience. When I revised this piece earlier this year, I kept the opening exactly the same.
Tell us about when it was performed and how this made you feel?
This piece was first performed in my composition class in 2019 by Liam Furey, a talented pianist from NZSM. I revised the piece for a concert organised by VICWIC (Victoria Women, Non-Binary, and Genderqueer in Composition) in July 2021. I was thrilled that Liam was happy to perform it again! I felt that Liam’s interpretation aligned well with my intentions for the piece, and he performed it beautifully. Hearing my revised piece brought to life was special, and hearing it in this particular concert made it even more special.
Is the Piano your main instrument you compose with?
My compositional process always starts at the piano, because it is my instrument and most of my ideas come from playing. I usually write pieces for small chamber ensembles, often including piano. I love writing for woodwind, harp and strings.
Do you have a composing process that you follow?
I don’t have a strict compositional routine. I’m currently studying towards a Bachelor of Science with Honours (Psychology), so I just compose whenever I feel like it! As I mentioned, I often come up with my ideas at the piano. Sometimes I record these and come back to them later.
When I have a more solid idea for a piece, I like to sketch out rough ideas on a blank piece of paper (a tip I got from a fellow composer while I was studying). These usually look like scribbles but help me to visualise things like the structure and trajectory of the piece. I like to notate by hand as much as possible before typesetting the piece on Sibelius.
Do you have any other performances the SOUNZ audience should keep an eye out for?
I don’t have any performances coming up, but I do plan to extend Raindrops in Mist (again!) for Liam to perform in the future. Keep a look out for that!