Tara Creme is a composer from London who cites her dad and her piano teacher as early influences, and would like Mozart’s Masonic Funeral Music to be the last music she hears. For all that and more, read on…
Having the chance to try out ideas and sketches with brilliant musicians and refine them over time is a real treat. I’m also looking forward to meeting Dani and Raymond and the other Opus composers, and hearing everyone’s pieces.
I can’t pick just one composer so I’m going to say my late father. He wasn’t a musician but had a huge love and knowledge of music – he loved Classical music, particularly Beethoven and Stravinsky, but also Indian Classical Music and Flamenco, as well as seemingly random pop musicians. He helped teach me to listen and appreciate music, and he was also enormously encouraging about my own composition.
I find it impossible to describe my music. I do compose in various media though, including for concert, film/television and theatre. I like the varying ways of working in these different areas — I love the collaboration involved in film music — you’re one part of a whole team telling a story — and the satisfaction of completing relatively short cues with exact timings to picture. But I love the live element of concert music, and the fact that here the music is a complete piece and totally my own .
I was lucky to have piano lessons as a child and I used to make up little pieces that my teacher would encourage me to develop and write down, so it was always something I enjoyed doing. But as a teenager I dropped my instruments and didn’t take Music A ‘level. It wasn’t until university, during my Contemporary Arts degree, that I really got into composition. Music was my second subject after drama (I’d thought I wanted to be a film or theatre director) but I quickly switched to music specialism and continued from there, forming a composers group after graduating. Later, for several years I worked as a secondary music teacher during which I hardly composed – so I’ve really returned to composing in the last few years.
I don’t have a favourite to compose for and like composing for lots of different instruments and forces, and want to expand on this. I’m currently really enjoying writing for mixed voice choir, and I’m also exploring electronics in more depth in my work.
In any endeavour we need creativity. It’s a way of evolving, communicating with each other, expressing ourselves and making sense of the world. I feel like there’s a real hunger and enthusiasm for new music at the moment which is exciting.
I find composing, certainly without the stimulus of film and theatre, really difficult and I find it easy to lose confidence! I still find it hard to get what I have in my head down on paper — it’s like trying to describe a dream you thought you’d remembered well only for it to disintegrate in the telling.
Also just the difficulties we all face in life – making a living and trying to carve out proper time to compose without too much pressure. I find there’s also a lot of noise, external and internal, which I want to quieten in order to hear the music.
I’ve planned a large-scale oratorio (soloists, orchestra and choir) based on the life and trials of Joan of Arc. I actually started it a good few years ago and have a first draft of some scenes, but the project gets put aside for far too long as other things come up. So my biggest compositional ambition is to complete that and have it performed!
Have you ever been to the pub post- Sunday lunch when they’ve put the leftover roast potatoes in bowls on the bar for you to help yourself? It’s a rare treat and not usually classed as a snack but that’s my favourite. (This is a legit snack. Ed.)
You can find out more about Tara’s work on her website.