Hello, how are you?
Where are you right now?
In my flat in the 15th district of Vienna
Which sounds surround you?
Right now I’m listening the a Mexican Band „Los Caifanes“ playing “La Llorona”, I hear the fridge and my tipping of these words … and the „translation“ of these sounds in my head, as I think about them…
Have you been productive so far? What are you working on?
Yes, I have a good period as it is the first time in my life that I do only music, no other jobs (since one and half year, thanks to a very generous grant from Mexico/FONCA).
I have been working to earn my life since I was 15, teaching a lot (which I always loved!), however I live in a kind of euphoria at this moment, being completely free and being able to dive in to music and composition as never before …
I have been composing, reading, playing, experimenting with new machines, working on a new installation and listening to lots lots of music. When confinement started we begun with my trio nyx (with Sophie Agnel and Isabelle Duthoit) a series of short pieces, one per day. This „miniatures“ where inspired on a little bestiary by Laure Belhassen “Femmes animales“- Bestiaire métaphorique. (Éditions des grands champs).
Here the whole collection of 59 little beasts which we just finished last Sunday
I’m involved in other inspiring-connecting (corona) projects: a magnetic tape exchange with 9 European sound artist, or a new interpretation of Alvin Lucier’s „I’m sitting in a room“ for confinement, with 20 different people from 20 different countries all this initiated by Jérôme Noetinger and Yanik Miossec, or as well some radio shows, podcast etc. etc.
I’m composing my first Orchestral piece after a commission of the Boston Symphony Orchestra for 2021, working on new piece for Acousmonium from The Acousmatic Project (for this two pieces I’m making a cooperation with Barbara Hannigan for the electronic! super exiting!), working on my first Musical Theater „Red Rooms“ for 2021, some pieces for ensemble (Ensamble Liminar /Mexico, Vivid Consort / Austria) … etc… I’m not bored!
What inspires you right now?
Music and Nature
Everything and everybody surrounding me
My nightmares and dreams
My plants and my cowboy boots
Reading material you can recommend?
I don’t fancy recommending. I prefer to enumerate the most important books which are on my reading table at the moment, I’m reading them (some for second or third time) or they are to be read very soon. I read always many at the same time, and I basically find always something good in a book …
• „Ten (Possible) Reasons for the Sadness of Thought“ George Steiner
• „Eine Liebe zu sich selbst, die glücklich macht“ Margarete Mitscherlich
• „Historias de cronopios y de famas“ Julio Cortazar
• „O.“ Sabine Scholl
• „Femmes animales. Bestiaire métaphorique“ Laure Belhassen
• „Learning“ Andrew Choate
• „Entretien avec Pierre Soulages“ Charles Juliet
• „Revue&Corigée 123“ https://www.revue-et-corrigee.net/
• THEORAL NO. 15 https://theoral.wordpress.com/2019/10/10/theoral-no-15-all-the-genres/
A selection (top 10) of the Music which has been running here the last weeks
• Extract From Field Recordings Archive / Toshiya Tsunoda
• Michèle Bokanowski / Cirque Empreintes DIGITALes – IMED 9525
• Kantoor Series Staaltape
• Mahler / Bernstein The complete symphonies and orchestral songs
(Deutsche Grammophon 1998)
• Marc & Olivier Namblard – Cévennes Kalerne Editions
• Carlos Campos. El Danzon Colección Mexico #78
• Die Dohnal – Sabine Derflinger (2019)
• Le Grand Silence – Philip Grinning (2005)
• Nostalgia De La Luz – Patricio Guzmán (2010)
• The Bermuda Depths – Tsugunobu Kotani (1978)
• Deep End – Jerzy Skolimowski (1970)
• Ilha Das Flores – Jorge Furtado (1989)
What’s your opinion on live-streams? You see any alternative ways to support the music community?
Live-streams and digital communication has always been for me invaluable for cooperations with colleagues in Mexico for instance (but as well Italy and South America), for some releases, making tracks, being „present“ in some live events …
It is a fantastic thing of our time and everything gets technically better and better.
In this period there were very interesting interactions and „concerts“! And here in Vienna a great group of people created the „echoraeume“, an impressive online meeting platform with a very smart program, a space to present music, thoughts and to communicate. Really great!
However : this will never replace live performances! It should be very clear for everybody! Two completely different worlds. We need all of them!
Supporting the music community means for me as before, now and ever: buying records, releases, Bandcamp, etc, visiting and paying the entry to concerts, donating to live streaming platforms (especially now!)… not taking things for granted, thinking, demanding and acting with the community.
What are you missing most? What are you afraid of?
I miss already the quietness of the quarantine …
I don’t know if it’s really „fear“, but there are some things that made me shiver in the last weeks though….
– people panicking too easily
– to see how far we are from finding solutions for ourselves … and how far we are from nature….
– and the scenario of losing the possibility of making music
What will change you think?
Change is such a complex thing. It is always a long and complicated process … I don’t believe in sudden changes… (ok, we may have more new strange laws………)
I think things may just change place, but the perversion and the beauty of the world will stay more or less the same.
For example: some people will stop flying but some others will fly even more after having felt the fear of maybe losing this privilege…. For many it is very difficult to renounce to the so called „privileges“ …
We will still burn the woods in the Amazon
Femicide in Mexico, Latin America and the world will continue
Patriarchal structures won’t move faster
Capitalism will shine …
But on the other hand, we will still make art, and have more and more beautiful gardens and woods, and respect a bit more the insects and the bees and the seas…. and we will pass the word to children, and we may slowly slowly slowly move … somewhere… just keep on doing!
While listening to this podcast I had a hint of why we can not „change“… First it was really beautiful and dramatic to listen to the life and research of American musician and soundscape ecologist Bernie Krause… but then listening to the comments of the hostess of this radio show made it clear: we are just too f*** anthropocentric…
What is the gig or occasion you were most looking for, that was cancelled in this period?
All of them…
But Darmstadt and a 2 week working in Athens with a very beautiful team of actors and musicians (Ictus Ensemble) was specially sad … nevertheless there was a big solidarity from organizers and colleagues and things do not only get cancelled or postponed, they develop in a new way… and I find this thrilling too.
Can you still pay your rent?