Tell us about what it was like working with such personal material – How did you approach it creatively, did you meet the family of the solider whose letter you selected?
I didn't meet the family and actually knew very little about the soldier. I felt Kingi had articulated really well something that many soldiers were probably experiencing - the questioning of life and the hereafter when living constantly with the threat of death. Using such personal material as lyrics didn't feel right to me so instead I chose to create a soundscape that might go some way to reflecting Kingi's thoughts and situation (he'd spent 2 years at the front).
What was the process like working with APO and Ken? What kind of opportunities did having workshop sessions afford yourself and your music? Did it help with the final work?
The workshop afforded me the opportunity to experiment with different orchestrations. There's only so much that books and scores can teach you about orchestration; being able to try out different instrumental combinations was a great advantage.
Is your work is very specific to this time and place of the ANZAC centenary? In what kind of context could you see the work performed in the future?
While the work was directly inspired by Herbert William King's letter to his girlfriend Daisy Slodel, I would like to think the piece could translate to many situations and affect listeners in some way regardless of whether they were aware of the ANZAC connection or not.