How would you characterise your compositional language?
Eclectic! I incorporate music that reflects everything I’ve heard. It can sound neo-romantic or atonal, with hints of my West Indian background or references to my love of popular music. I also wrote a wind sextet that really wanted to sound like Poulenc, so I gave in. When there are words, they dictate the sound world.
What is your favorite moment(s) in your piece we’ve commissioned?
I really can’t choose. One great moment is when the trumpet gets the melody in the first movement recap. I had a lot of fun writing this piece, and I hope the audience will enjoy the ride, too.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I honestly feel like things come to me from God. That doesn’t mean I don’t need to work/think. But initial snippets of an idea will just pop into my head. With words, it can be a bit more deliberate. I love movies, so I try to paint a picture with the music in support of the words.
Who or what are the most significant influences on your musical life and career as a composer?
I can’t choose here, either. I will say that I might have become a composer sooner if I’d believed in myself sooner.
Hear Dr. Corley’s composition at the Spring Concerto Festival, May 19-21st, and 24th-26th, 2023.