Thursday, 21 April 2022

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European Composer Competition - Meet the finalists, today Théo Rossier


Name: Théo Rossier
Date of birth: 11/06/2002
Birthplace (or Residence): Lausanne, Switzerland
Music Education: music theorie certificate, wind ensemble conducting courses, trumpet, orchestration and harmony.
Started (music) at: 7 years old
Plays with (orchestras/bands): Harmonie municipal de Monthey, Fanfare de Collombey / Conducting the Fanfare La Vouvryenne.
Other musical activities: Piano and conducting


Can you tell something about your composition Stendhall’s Syndrome?

 Initially this work was to be called "Black Sun, the Alchemy of Darkness" in reference to an engraving I had discovered in an alchemy treatise. But as my work progressed, I found that the initial context didn't really fit with the music. Then one day I came across a video explaining the story of Henri Beyle, better known as Stendhal, his trip to Florence and therefore the origin of the syndrome. This story touched me a lot and also reminded me of the work of Maurits Cornelis Eschere known for his woodcuts with surprising and mathematical patterns which I appreciate a lot. I thought these elements were perfect for the piece I was writing. This is how "Stendhal's Syndrome" was born, a very personal work that I am happy to share with you!

Do you compose from your ‘head’ or ‘heart’?

Often, when I write after finding a concept, I like to start by throwing out the ideas that come into mind and try to write the whole piece in draft or sketch form at once. Then I take the time to rework the best for a month or two. So I would say that I start by writing from the heart and then I try to make sense of those emotions by reworking them in my head.

What (or who) influenced you in composing?

I have a lot of different influences but to name just one I would say the work of Ludovic Neurohr for Brass Band and Dmitri Shostakovich and Olivier Messiaen for their orchestral works.

How did you start composing? Was it a logical next step after playing/studying music?

I first started using the Finale program when I was 9-10 years old which was installed on my father's computer and which I used to play video games. I mostly enjoyed writing random notes and hoping they sounded good! When I got my own computer, I was able to continue writing. I started to learn about music theory, orchestration, ... and started to compose more "seriously". Finally, for me it happened by chance.

Do you use a pattern when composing? Hours at a time or whenever you find the time, by day or night, in complete seclusion or not…

Most of the time I start by finding an artistic, literary or social concept and then I think about it for a few days. Then, when I manage to free up two or three days where I can be alone and devote myself completely to writing, I make a lot of sketches and try to write the piece in ‘one go’ and rework it later. I often get more inspiration at night and while watching a series or anime in parallel...

What do you like the most about composing?

What I like most about composing is having the possibility to express all kinds of feelings, to tell stories or describe landscapes through music and thus transmit and share my vision to those who listen to my music.

Do you have you own composing-style? Can you describe it?

I think I have my own style which I am trying to develop and improve all the time. My goal is to be open to a lot of different music styles. If I had to describe it at the moment I would say that it is a rather descriptive and imaginative style with a search for the musical colours.

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