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David Cuff: the Mood of Happiness

11 Jun 2019

I didn't start composing until my late 50s; having spent a lifetime in logistics management, I found that I was good at something completely different. This discovery proved totally refreshing and inspirational for me.

Originally from the UK, I lived in Western Australia between 2006 and 2018. A few years ago, I visited my recently deceased mother's home in a Perth suburb. My mother was a very creative and inspirational person. Driving home, a powerful image grew in my mind, and the next day I bought a keyboard, and obtained music notation software. My creative journey continued and grew from there. I’ve now “had quite enough” of managing people, have given that up after nearly 40 years, and now plan to spend much more time creating beautiful music.

My style is broadly classical, but with some experimentation. Most of my scores are short pieces for solo piano, but I have also composed duets for piano / oboe, or flute. I have also published one larger piece for full orchestra - more on that later - and have many other pieces in my unpublished repertoire. My music is, simply, targeted for anyone who wishes to enjoy it. All the published pieces so far should be fairly easy to play, so would suit learners / intermediate players, but also those who enjoy playing and listening to them in their own right.

There are many problems in the world today, so I try to write joyous, uplifting music as a balance. I hope that most of my pieces will convey this mood to the listener, and give them the chance when playing it to finish the piece a little happier than when they started. In creating a work, I try to follow the principle that, if it sounds good to me and delivers the intended mood of happiness, then others will also enjoy playing and listening to it.

I have been influenced and inspired by a wide range of classical composers, but particularly enjoy exploring the music of composers whose style strays away from the mainstream (see the score “Scharabaj” on my Musicaneo site). I plan to further develop my own style, and write longer pieces, and more which are scored for fuller orchestras.

In 2016 I wrote a piece entitled “16 Million Souls” (score available for download at no cost on my site) which is a bit different. It is in memory of those killed in both World Wars, timed as it was during a range of WW1 commemorations. I consider this as an achievement, to write a piece about a subject which has always mattered to me.

As I mentioned earlier, I have a keyboard which I enjoy playing, and find this greatly helps my personal relaxation. I am not as yet a good enough player to be able to play my own pieces fluently. So I use notation / playback software to assist. It seems to me that (whatever your views may be on such software) the methods available to composers have been transformed in recent years. It is the music, synthesized by this software, which you can hear in the samples saved on my site; I have placed them there as an aid for you, to give just an idea what the music might sound like when played on “real” instruments.

I hope my music is enjoyable.

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