Isaac Barkley is a musical force to be reckoned with. A junior at Raytown South High School, Isaac brings an ambition and skill to composition that demands attention. He not only composes and transcribes the pieces he writes for the Raytown South Symphonic Orchestra, he conducts the orchestra as well. Isaac is a multi-instrumentalist and someone who is deeply interested in evolving as an artist. It's our pleasure to introduce you to Isaac Barkley.
Tell us about yourself and your work.
Isaac Barkley. I'm 16 years old (junior in high school) and I've been composing music since 1st grade. My compositions include piano solos, orchestral pieces, hip-hop/rap songs and beats, etc. I enjoy listening to many different styles of music and I like to reflect those in the music I write.
Where have you performed and who has performed your work?
I've performed some of my piano compositions in recitals and the symphonic orchestra at Raytown South High School (which I play the violin in) has performed two of my orchestral pieces.
What's your composing process like?
When I compose, I start with a small idea. Once I think of that idea, I have to get it down on paper or a recording before I forget it. It's nothing forced. Then, I take that small idea and expand it with more complex ideas and emotions. And in the end, I have a completed and satisfied result. When I first composed, I transcribed my music on staff paper. Now I use programs to write my music including Finale, Garageband, and Logic Pro.
How do you balance school with composing?
I compose music year round. This year, I have the pleasure of being able to write music during part of my school day. I'm taking a two hour Digital Media Technology class at Summit Tech Academy. In this course, I am able to explore new music programs, and I'm learning how to mix and produce music.
Who are your musical influences?
My musical influences include producers such as Gawvi from Reach Records, orchestral composers such as Hans Zimmer, and piano soloists such as Yiruma.