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Meet the Composer: Connor D'Netto

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His piece, Singular Movement, became an equal first at the Cybec 21st Century Australian Composers Concert, and as a result Brisbane based Connor D’Netto is able to hear his music being brought to life by the MSO at the Metropolis New Music Festival… despite the rehearsal room logistics!

There’s something special about hearing your orchestral music being performed by such amazing musicians. I don’t wait around for inspiration because I think to some extent as a composer you need to have a real foundation in your craft. Don’t get me wrong, inspiration is beautiful and brilliant, and brings so much to your work.

But for this piece I just started writing. I had a number of musical ideas, textures and other things that I thought would work beautifully for this ensemble. I certainly like to get into a rhythm when I’m working. I write in condensed periods; take a week or two trying to get the whole thing down, at the very least a draft!

But when I am writing, I like to do it all day at the piano with a pen and paper. Then I transcribe into the night at my computer. But I tend to plan everything out because it gives a sense of direction, for both you as the composer when writing, and the music itself when you’re listening. So, I don’t usually find myself going to drastically over or under time… usually…

I like to approach writing the work in a way that allows anyone with the sheet music to perform it without me being there, which is important being in Brisbane. The score music needs to have everything essential to the piece, so that anyone can realise it, but leave enough space for each individual performer or ensemble to bring their own creativity and unique performance style to the work. I love to see/hear how different ensembles take my work and it their own. Of course, there’s nothing better than getting to work with an ensemble in person. For this piece, I knew that I’d be writing for a group of fantastic players, and could just let loose.

I have had some real “pinch myself” moments over the past couple of years. It all started by winning the Australian New Works Award in 2015, which gave me the chance to work with some amazing people. But the most exciting place my music has been performed has to be at the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival last year at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. I couldn’t be there, but I wish I was. It would have been amazing to see my work performed!

Hear Connor D’Netto’s work in Metropolis #2 on Saturday 6 May.