Kerry Barnes

Composer and Pianist

United Kingdom

Author

About

Kerry Barnes is a gifted composer / pianist based in the UK. She also writes choral works, dance music, and exam board syllabi. Kerry also enjoys her work as a classical broadcaster and music writer.

Videos

Sheets

Interview

What does music mean to you personally?

Salvation, Sanity, Therapy, Enrichment, Cleansing, Creative Fulfillment submerged in Pathology to create it!

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Yes, I think it’s an escape mechanism, for temporary human transportation. I myself ‘fantasize’ that my music brings healing to all people. I wish it could cure disease.

If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?

May I turn that round a bit and say that if I wasn’t a musician today, I would like to be a physical therapist for senior citizens, like ‘chair exercises’ sessions. It would be such a ‘release’ for everyone involved, and would of course be done to MUSIC!! …….I may even make that become a reality!

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about the future?

I am a little worried, but I think teachers have a role to play here, especially in the Classical Field. I think as part of their tuition, students should regularly attend fun concerts with their teachers, and even make their own ‘reviews’ to be published in the school newsletter, something like that!!

What do you envision the role of music to be in the 21st century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

I feel we should all use it as a ‘divine-distraction’ …..for our own souls to be restored somewhat, in an atmosphere of healing.

Do you think that the musician today needs to be more creative? What is the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

I think in today’s music business, it would help a great deal if more musicians became ‘jacks of all trades’. To expand their pathways in the creative process. An example would be to become ‘broadcasters, writers, reviewers, teachers. Use ‘Patreon’ to explore things that you might not have considered before!!

Do you think we as musicians can do something to attract the younger generation to music concerts? How would you do this?

Yes, by ‘orchestral open days’ where children can have a go at playing an instrument in an impressive building, where it makes a lovely sound. And also to performances of ‘Peter and the Wolf’ or ‘The Young Persons Guide To An Orchestra’. It needs to be kept simple and practical.

Tell us about your creative process. What is your favorite piece (written by you) and how did you start working on it?

This is a bit of a funny one!! ….I’d always loved the piano music of the late Dudley Moore, and on this particular day had been listening to one of his CDs. Anyhow, later that day I was in the bath having a soak, when a ‘melodic fragment’ came to me. I started to sing it, so as not to forget it. But it was no use, I knew I’d have to get out of the bath really quickly…….so I ran down the stairs, soaking wet, completely naked…...just to get to my manuscript paper and pencil! I named the piece “Valse Romantica” …..whereas I should have called ‘The Soapy Sonata!!’

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

Well, I’d start by playing them Hans Zimmer film music, or the music of John Williams’s Star Wars or something like that, music that would capture their imagination, and work up from there really!!!

Do you think about the audience when composing?

Sometimes I do……...especially when writing festive Christmas mood music. Where the front row of the audience can participate in the concert by playing percussion instruments and bells, that sort of thing, where there’s no music training needed!!

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

I’m very excited about the musical future!! I wrote a 6 minute orchestral Requiem for my dear little sister who died from breast cancer in 2015…….and I’m trying to find an orchestra who’d be willing to perform it. Also I would like to explore the special ‘symbiosis’ between music and healing, and incorporating elements of the Alexander Technique, which I have studied. So, as they say, ‘onwards and upwards’!!