Meet Dani Howard, a composer and orchestrator, and one of our Programme Leaders for Opus 1. Find out more about her here:
Everything from places I go to, art and sculpture that I see, people and personal experiences.
What is your favourite instrument (or voice) to compose for?
I particularly enjoy writing for percussion and brass! I find percussion ‘unlimited’ in it’s possibilities, and I have a lot of ‘bucketlist’ pieces I would like to write with different combinations. I enjoy brass writing, because I did not grow up listening to any brass music, and I remember moving to the UK at age 18, and just being blown away by the sound of British Brass.
Why do you think creating new music is important?
Creating, commissioning, performing and listening to new music is SO important. We would be without any of ‘the greats’ of history if it weren’t for people of the time commissioning new works. Composers need time to develop their craft, and it is a hands-on learning curve that requires experience working with musicians. I feel that everyone has something to say, and while the way in which this can be expressed is different for everyone, there are certainly many of us that have music as our way of communicating, and saying what we need to say.
I am really proud of the Casa Batllo project that I completed in 2020. This was an hour of music I wrote for symphony orchestra, percussion quartet and electronics, which now is heard by over a million visitors each year. It was an exceptionally collaborative project, involving working with so many musicians, composing, recording and delivering this music. It was certainly a huge challenge which really brought me out of my comfort zone, but it also taught me so much, and allowed me to meet so many wonderful people along the way.
The Protecting Veil by John Tavener.
Britten’s Cello Suite No. 1
Harmonielehre by John Adams
Find out more about Dani on her website