Luke Howard is a pianist and composer based in Melbourne. Recently released albums include the ARIA and Australian Music Prize-nominated The Sand That Ate The Sea and the ARIA-nominated All That Is Not Solid. In addition to scoring several films, his music has accompanied works by Back To Back Theatre and the Royal Ballet. Signed to UK label Mercury KX, he is currently working on a new record.
"For me, composition is essentially iterating on improvised ideas. Not all of those ideas make it."
— Luke Howard 2021
Musical ideas often come to me when I’m not consciously trying to write, for example whilst distracted at the piano, warming up in a soundcheck. The advent of the smartphone has made it possible to record these ideas easily. When searching for ideas for a new personal project, I will sometimes use these as starting points. Some ideas remain just that – indeed, I have been sitting on a particular melodic fragment since 2010, waiting to write it into a piece! (Writing this was a good reminder to have another attempt.) Other ideas are developed, even recorded to near release quality, and abandoned (perhaps because the playing was not up to scratch, or it did not fit in aesthetically with the rest of the album). Regardless, spending time to develop ideas builds compositional muscles that are generally applicable. The germ of an idea, if abandoned, will surely crop up later if it’s any good – this common DNA is the essence of one’s musical voice.