When Bundaberg musician Andrew Udal composes a piece of music, he has a natural ability to paint a picture with his score.
It's this creativity that has made the 16-year-old Bundaberg Christian College student a finalist in the prestigious Commonwealth International Composition Awards.
Andrew is the only Australian featured in the finals, with his composition titled Daniel Memoria to be performed by professional musicians at London's Princess Alexandra Hall next week.
It's a huge achievement for Andrew, who has only been composing music for 18 months.
“A composer is someone who writes music for instruments and orchestras, etc to play,” Andrew said.
“I got involved in composing about a year and a half ago.
“Both of my parents are musicians and I play cello, percussion and I sing and decided composing would be a great way I could get creative and experimental with music.”
It's a passion that has already taken Andrew to the local stage, with the young musician having composed pieces locally for the Milbi Festival alongside film maker David Quarrell.
This year is the first time his music has been internationally recognised, which Andrew said he was very excited about.
“It's a really great feeling to be recognised in this way and to have your music come to life,” he said.
The inspiration for his competition piece, Daniel Memoria, came about after a bike riding incident Andrew said he had once experienced with his friend.
“My music tells the story of this memory, this journey,” he said.
“One day, my friend and I were riding our bikes and he hit a rock and was badly injured.
“The music takes you through the feelings of being involved that day and the possibility of losing someone close.
“It then ends on a higher note after everything is found out to be okay.”
Andrew said the initial composition idea took about two days to craft, which was followed by weeks of finessing before he felt it was ready for the awards.
Next week, Andrew's score will be played by professional musicians in London and streamed live worldwide.
“It will be on in Australia at about 4am but I will most definitely be up to watch it,” he said.
Andrew Udal's natural music gift makes parents proud
Andrew Udal's mum Nikki said she was exceptionally proud of her son for chasing his dream.
“We’ve always encouraged him to pursue what he enjoys,” she said.
“We’ve supported him in this by encouraging him to follow something that doesn’t necessarily give him much money, but much pleasure.”
Nikki said her son's talent to evoke certain emotions through his music would see him go far in his career.
“His dream is to be a film score composer and when you listen to his works he definitely paints a picture with his music,” she said.
“I think that is one of the unique elements of his works in comparison to many others around.
“Melody is very important to him. He wants his audiences to go away and remember his tunes.
“He is completely self-taught and hasn’t had lessons in composition and orchestration like many others. It’s really a natural gift he has.”
Andrew has big plans for future music career
With the excitement of the competition under way, Andrew said it had him thinking about the bigger picture and what he wanted to achieve in the future.
“I would love to make this my profession and become a composer in the film industry,” he said.
“This year I also have quite a few competitions I wish to participate in, including the Soundtrack Awards which I am very excited about.”
To listen to Andrew's entry for the Commonwealth International Composition Awards, click here.