Four completely individual composers are now part of our 2021 roster as we continue our 5 year 'new music project'.
Composer, pianist and improviser Apollonio Maiello
Composer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Caitlin Laing-McEvoy
Composer, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Jovana Backovic
Carnatic vocalist, composer, music educator and mentor Supriya Nacarajan
We were excited to meet so many women composers through this process - thank you to Sound and Music for posting our call out to all women composers. Caitlin, Jovana and Supriya were part of this year's search for women composers and we are very much looking forward to learning new ways of making music as they also get to know us and adapt their musical language to our style, performance skills and quirks (let's face it, musicians have many quirks!).
Apollonio was selected from the first phase of applications in 2019 and we are very glad that he agreed to write for us.
It seems that this year we really want to work on the skills that we feel less confident about, improvisation being one of them. We would like to 'stretch imaginations' as Supriya puts it and as Caitlin says "to explore new ideas and concepts to create something touching and meaningful". Jovana quite simply talks about the love of "collaborating with other artists"- it's been way too long!
This is the gift of working with such a diverse panel of composers: we open-up new pathways and create a much wider community for Animo.
There are many reasons for choosing a particular composer to work with us: style, of course; musical background and training, though not an absolute; the ability to think outside the box, for sure; their proposal, not necessarily a deal-breaker; past compositions; not exclusively a deal-breaker... so what is it? It is a combination of many things. We want to have a great mix of styles, attitudes, brains, enthusiasm and above all the sense that together we can create something new and tailored to Animo. We've learned so much from the first year of Animo's 'new music project' and we want to make sure that the project grows even further and transforms us as well as our composers.
It is such a shame that we had to say ‘no’ to so many composer who applied; both Sarah and I know only too well how heart-breaking rejections can be.
If you are out there reading this please take it from us: 'you were all amazing!' and we wish we could commission you ALL!
What happens next?
Our composers and us will meet virtually and face-to-face whenever possible, let the conversation flow to wherever it leads us, put our heads together to decide on the most suitable work for Animo, let the composers think, plot, dream, then we all make suggestions, the composers will find out more about us through conversation or playing, we will be prepared to step outside our comfort zone and find new sounds and see where it all goes. This will be repeated several times between now and June. Eventually a final score/work will emerge and then the real work will start for us: learning to perform the score by taking into account all that process. This year, we will also experiment with playing music that’s not notated on a score. Wow!
I will be updating our blog, composers page and Facebook, and Sarah will be keeping you updated on Instagram. We will create videos where we talk about this experience in more detail. Whatever happens, we will be living, breathing and exploring 'new music' for the next 3 years!