For Good Measure

Da Capo Conversations with Vivian Fung and Chelsea Hollow

September 25, 2023 Vivian Fung, Chelsea Hollow Episode 69
For Good Measure
Da Capo Conversations with Vivian Fung and Chelsea Hollow
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For Good Measure, by Ensemble for These Times (E4TT)
Episode 69: Da Capo Conversations with Vivian Fung and Chelsea Hollow

Looking for a way to listen to diverse creators and to support equity in the arts? Tune in weekly to For Good Measure!

Today we revisit Vivian Fung’s and Chelsea Hollow’s perspectives on being a mother and an artist. If you enjoyed today’s conversation and want to know more about Vivian Fung and Chelsea Hollow, check them out here and here. Parts of this episode originally premiered on March 21, 2022 on Youtube, click here, and on August 24, 2020, on Youtube, click here.

This podcast is made possible in part by a grant from the California Arts Council and generous donors, like you. Want to support For Good Measure and E4TT? Make a tax-deductible donation or sign up for our newsletter, and subscribe to the podcast!

Intro music: “Trifolium” by Gabriela Ortiz, performed by E4TT (Ilana Blumberg, violin; Abigail Monroe, cello; Margaret Halbig, piano),  as part of “Below the Surface: Music by Women Composers,” January 29, 2022
Outro music: “Lake Turkana” by Marcus Norris, performed by E4TT (Margaret Halbig, piano), as part of “Alchemy,” October 15, 2021

Transcription courtesy of

Co-Producer, Host, and E4TT co-founder: Nanette McGuinness
Co-Producer and Audio Engineer: Stephanie M. Neumann
Podcast Cover Art: Brennan Stokes
Interns: Adrienne Anaya, Hannah Chen, Sam Mason, Renata Volchinskaya

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Nanette McGuinness  00:00
[INTRO MUSIC] Welcome to For Good Measure, an interview series celebrating diverse composers and other creative artists sponsored by a grant from the California Arts Council. I'm Nanette McGuinness, Artistic Executive Director of Ensemble For These Times. In this week's episode, we continue our Da Capo Conversations, a mini-series where we'll be giving familiar segments a topical twist. [INTRO MUSIC ENDS] Today, we revisit Vivian Fung's and Chelsea Hollow's perspectives on being a mother and an artist. Here's what Vivian Fung had to say.

Vivian Fung  00:39
Well, you know, I have a son now who's six, and this is gonna, this is gonna date me, but I had my son when I was 40. So I was, uh, you know, talk about late bloomer. And but I, you know, for a long time, I didn't want to have children because of the quote that you just read. But you know, things change, you need a partner, and you, your priorities start to shift. And I have to say, you know, motherhood, and this is, you know, that's, I like to talk about it, because it's still very much taboo, has been a burgeoning of creativity for me, because you're no longer focused on me, you know, it's not about me, or, and it's not about I, it's about, you know, making the world a better place for your child, for your children. And that really puts a different perspective on everything, and it puts a different lens on everything, and it becomes, so I don't know, nurturing, and that you're not just nurturing one person, you're nurturing this community, right. And it, because it does take a village, and it also makes you think about, you know, your, your impression your influence on other people. And so, composition is a means for me to do that, I think. And it's beautiful, because a lot of the compositions that I've done subsequent to that has been through the eyes of my child, you know, I've composed a piece called, it was just performed with Albany Symphony, "A Child's Dream of Toys," and it's about the journey, and it's all fast music, you know. So, I think, since having my child actually, my creativity, and my, my output has actually really increased and I compose more quickly. And with bursts of energy that I've never, that I've found that I didn't even know that I had before, you know. So it's been really quite wonderful for me, not to say that everything is wonderful about having children. And I wouldn't say, you know, to have children just because you want to be creative, right. But that's a different thing. But I think that, for me, it's just, yeah, it's, it's the opposite of what I was led to believe, you know, that once you have children, that's the end. It's for me, it's was really a beginning of another chapter.

Nanette McGuinness  03:33
Here's what Chelsea Hollow had to say.

Chelsea Hollow  03:36
How has it not? I, I feel like, certainly, not everyone needs to be a mother to learn the things that I have learned. But for me, I just cannot imagine the growth and the depth of life that I have learned to accept. I had a lot of guards up. I was, I had a lot of boundaries. And I didn't realize them until I really surrendered to the vulnerability of being a parent. I think on so many levels, that just happened for me as a mother. But I really wasn't expecting the amount of deep connection to an authentic performance that I really feel like I'm able to have now. Yeah, being a mother has given me tons of that. Not to mention just being able to get stuff done. Moms are very busy. And I was, I think, I don't know how I used to spend my time, but I find that now I'm able to get done in 15 minutes what used to take me a day to a week to do, it's, it's mind-boggling how I can practice and learn an aria in 20 minutes while attending to my daughter, who's playing Legos on the floor right next to me and playing the keyboard as I learned, you know, new melodies. But it just happens and I don't know how I would have learned that otherwise.

Nanette McGuinness  05:29
[OUTRO MUSIC] Thank you for listening to For Good Measure's Da Capo Conversations, and a special thank you to our guests for joining us today. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to our podcast by clicking on the subscribe button and support us by sharing it with your friends, posting about it on social media and leaving us a rating and a review. To learn more about E4TT, our concert season online and in the Bay Area or to make a tax deductible donation, please visit us at This podcast is made possible in part by a grant from the California Arts Council and generous donors like you. For Good Measure is produced by Nanette McGuinness and Ensemble For These Times and designed by Brennan Stokes, with special thanks to co-producer and audio engineer Stephanie M. Neumann. Remember to keep supporting equity in the arts and tune in next week "for good measure." [OUTRO MUSIC ENDS]

Today we revisit Vivian Fung’s and Chelsea Hollow’s perspectives on being a mother and an artist.
Here's what Vivian Fung had to say.
Here's what Chelsea Hollow had to say.