Bachtrack is asking the same six questions to many composers this month as part of its focus on contemporary music. Here’s what Peter Reynolds had to say.

1. What influences are important to you and your music? Do you choose them, or do they choose you?

Influences come mainly from non-musicians: visual artists, poets and other artists. Musical influences usually come from friends or my students whose ideas are incredibly fresh.

2. What (if anything) do you want listeners to take away from your music?

Listeners take away what’s important for them, not necessarily what’s important for me. I’m very happy with that.

3. Is there a composition of yours which you are most satisfied with? What makes it successful?

Yes, the piece I’m planning now: everything is still possible.

4. How important is new technology to you as a composer?

It hasn’t been important up to now, but it’s going to be in the next year or two – which is great.

5. What music do you enjoy listening to?

I’m most excited by new or unfamiliar music.

6. How is composing changing, and where do you want new music to go in the future?

My own music’s changing a lot at present. I don’t think that I ought to tell other composers where their music should be going.

Peter Reynolds was born and studied in Cardiff. His music has been performed in Britain, Europe and the USA and broadcast on Radio 3, BBC Wales and BBC Television. He joined the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff, in 1994 as a part-time member of the academic staff and has also been a tutor of composition there since 2002. He was Composer-in-residence with the Young Composer of Dyfed between 2010-13.

In addition to his work as a composer, he was Artistic Director of both the Cardiff-based PM Music Ensemble, which he formed in 1991, and the Lower Machen Festival (1997-2009). He is also a writer on music and published a history of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in 2009.

Recent works include footsteps quiet in the shadows (String Quartet No.2) for the 2012 Monmouth Festival and Moon-ark, for cello and string orchestra, for the 2013 Lower Machen Festival. Earlier this year he was awarded a Creative Wales award from the Arts Council of Wales to develop new compositional work during 2013-14. He also currently working, in collaboration with the poet Francesca Kay, on a commission from Tŷ Cerdd that will tour to audiences aged between five and eight in 2014. His music has been recorded on the Signum, Meridian and Contemporary Welsh labels and can also be found here.

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