What first attracted you to composition?

Like many young adults I’m sure, creativity was one of the few ways I learnt about freedom of thought and expression. The works of other musicians and artists became a place where my own ideas and values began to emerge. Composing was a space of discovery, solace and personal strength.

Where do you tend to find inspiration for your work?

Fantasy, escapism and dreamlike worlds have often been recurring themes of my earlier music. What has recently captured my attention, however, is examining and confronting our current situation – taking responsibility for the world we live in. For me this has specifically been about creating artistic opportunities for new music and composers to be part of the bigger picture.

Kitty XiaoPianist and composer Kitty Xiao.

How were you first inspired to create music for old pianos?

My relationship with music began with piano. As a child, hours a day were spent at the piano, a second-hand piano – the cheapest one my parents could afford at the piano store. My first compositions were composed at an old piano, and much of my newest works are composed on...