humans of mac+mae: Claire Cowan

Hello, my name is Claire and I’m a composer and I’m writing a violin concerto. This is my piano which I compose it and it is my favourite and most precious possession in the world.

It is a Yamaha piano from a man who stripped back the whole thing, it was an old piano that we was used in a school and he stripped back the whole thing and replaced it with new strings so it sounds great inside and has new hammers.  You can see that was all scratched up and he sanded it all back and made it good as new.  It’s a beautiful honey colour. 

It is my number one tool that I use to do my job.  It sounds beautiful and I take it every place I go, I’ve moved it around all the different houses I’ve lived in and it makes great music.  This is where all the magic happens.

Claire Cowan has composed countless scores for film and theatre, but six years ago, she realised no one was playing the work of Estonian composer Avo Parte.  She and a friend took it upon themselves to change that and The Blackbird Ensemble was born.  The Blackbird Ensemble has a rotating cast who create theatrical musical experiences in unusual venues.  They aim to move you, groove you and improve your expectation of a ‘classical’ experience.

Blackbird Ensemble present ‘Dreams this Friday at Auckland’s Town Hall as part of the Auckland Live International Cabaret Season 28 Sept – 02 Oct.  

Inspired by the ‘Humans of New York’ series, we’re talking to our network find out what’s special to them, whether it’s a place, a thing, or a memory – Meet the “humans of mac+mae” –