The catalyst for the commission of Forces of Nature was Paul Kildea, Artistic Director of Musica Viva Australia who, after hearing my recent double horn concerto Opal, saw the possibility of a good connection. Paul thought I would write well for the energy and dynamism of Dutch violinist Noa Wildschut and German pianist Elisabeth Brauß and started the process of introducing our artistic work to each other.

May Lyon smiles at the camera.

May Lyon. Photo © Josh Smyth

I was deeply impressed with the pair’s virtuosity and expressiveness, and was very happy to hear that they agreed with Paul and would like me to write a new work for them. It is always a wonderful honour to compose for talented musicians, and it also offers a fun challenge. In Paul’s words, “Noa is so stylish and musical and fearless.” I wanted to capture this.

Part of my compositional process is through in-person collaboration and finding inspiration from the performers. However, due to the time difference and their demanding touring schedules, I instead watched videos of their concerts to gain insights into...