I believe music making to be an expression of humanity transcending culture, place and time. This was confirmed for me while studying shakuhachi in Japan: despite being in an alien language, notation system and set of aesthetic values, my brain and body seemed to function just as they did when I played Brahms as a clarinettist. The commonality to both was music, these mysterious actions in time that produce beautiful emotive sound. And now as I compose for Riley Lee, Taikoz and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, I forget such notions as “East and West” and concentrate on finding a singular human expression encompassing the exciting and diverse set of forces at my disposal.

Lachlan Skipworth Lachlan Skipworth. Photo © Nik Babic

And what a palette! A few notes of Riley Lee’s shakuhachi caused me to pack my bags and run to Japan to find the source of these hauntingly nuanced melodies. And the raw power of Taikoz’s rhythms have long beckoned to my inner percussionist. More recently, I have adored delving into the endless colouristic possibilities of the modern symphony orchestra in my compositions. This opportunity to bring them all together excites me no...

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