By Sharon Brassey-Brierley on

Interview: Composer Kate Moore “...my way of telling stories”

Interview: Composer Kate Moore “...my way of telling stories”
Composer Kate Moore

Kate Moore is a composer of new music born in the UK, brought up in Australia, whose mother is Dutch. Kate obtained her masters degree at the Royal Conservatorium in Den Haag and has lived in The Netherlands for ten years.

Kate, tell us about your dreams of a music future as a child

I was born in the UK and my parents moved to Australia when I was seven where I went to school and university. I then came to The Netherlands to complete a masters degree at the Royal Conservatorium of The Hague. I grew up playing the cello and piano. I was always a composer and artist, writing down pieces from the moment I learned to read music as well as drawing and painting. I had to choose between going to art school or music school. Music was the one for me. I think music and art are very closely related.

Who were the persons who supported you and what encouragement did they give?

I have had many inspiring and supportive teachers and have always been around talented musicians and communities that support arts and music. In primary school I played in school orchestra and the Sydney Schools Youth orchestra. In high school my music teachers where very encouraging. Both the head of department and my own classroom teacher were composers and they encouraged me to pursue composition. I was also playing cello in the SBS Radio and Television Youth orchestra as well as a chamber orchestra, piano trio and a number of other chamber ensembles. It was this experience from a young age that gave me the drive to continue studying music at university and become a professional musician.

Why did you choose your particular musical instrument?

I first played the piano. I was always improvising at the piano in the house – it was my way of telling stories. I wasn’t really that keen on piano lessons and not really into practicing scales but I kept on improvising. My mother enrolled me in recorder class but I was such a little rebel that I never turned up – then my mother enrolled me in violin class and I didn’t want to do that either. So I decided cello was for me. I don’t know why. But now I know that it’s because it’s the best instrument and the only one really worth practicing scales on.

What is your relationship to music?

Music was full of colour and took you lots of places that everyday life didn’t. It was an obsession and I remember fretting about not being able to understand how a certain piece of music was able to be so beautiful. I would practice something over and over again until I could do it or listen to an LP over and over again to try and figure out what it was in the music that made this sort of magic.

Explain the inner drive that motivated you to continue on your musical path

The biggest motivation and drive is to finish a piece so that it is perfect and beautiful. It means that I can own it. Even though you can’t hold music or put it on a shelf and it is ephemeral, by performing a piece or writing a piece you internalize it and it becomes your own.

What draws you to participate in a composition workshop in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq?

I want to make music with people, all people, young and old, big and small, people who have lots and people who have little, bold and shy – really everyone – because music is for everyone and it is an international language so everyone in the world can talk to each other, and laugh together and tell each other stories.

Find out more about Kate at composer of new music

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