Clare Johnston (Melbourne) – 3rd Place with Leaving
Clare began writing music when she was eleven and is a composer, songwriter and pianist. She completed her Bachelor of Music at the University of Melbourne in composition with first class honours under the guidance of Dr Elliott Gyger, Associate Professor Stuart Greenbaum, Dr Kevin March and Dr Katy Abbott.
Her works have been performed by Syzygy Ensemble, The Icon Trio and advanced performers at the Melbourne Conservatorium. Clare is also a songwriter and two of her songs were shortlisted in the Australian Songwriting Competition in 2013.
Leaving is an exploration of form and texture. The first section has a driving feel due to its agitated rhythms, whereas the second section is more flowing, lyrical and reflective. Further contrast is provided in the third section, as it is bright, lilting and more rhythmically complex.
The second and first sections then return respectively with alterations to their original material. A broad range of the guitar is used and often two parts or voices can be heard simultaneously in the texture.
This piece is inspired by the different emotions people experience when someone they care about is leaving their life.