For Good Measure, by Ensemble for These Times (E4TT)
Episode 73: Da Capo conversation with Elinor Armer and inti figgis-vizueta
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 Elinor Armer’s and inti figgis-vizueta’s perspectives on what it was like composing during the pandemic. If you enjoyed today’s conversation and want to know more about Elinor Armer and inti figgis-vizueta, check them out here and here. Parts of this episode originally premiered on August 10th, 2020, on Youtube, click here, and on April 19, 2021, 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 Otter.ai.
Co-Producer, Host, and E4TT co-founder: Nanette McGuinness
Co-Producer and Audio Engineer: Stephanie M. Neumann
Podcast Cover Art: Brennan Stokes
With assistance from Adrienne Anaya, Hannah Chen, Sam Mason, Renata Volchinskaya
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 Elinor Armer's and inti figgis-vizueta's perspectives on what it was like composing during the pandemic. Here's what Elinor Armer had to say:
Elinor Armer 00:40
I continued composing very much as I always did. Composing does not require being in person with anybody else, until such time as things have to be recorded, or rehearsed. And then, of course, one has to be very social, even without the social distancing. When I'm not cleaning the house, gardening, I am composing. And I am in the middle of producing a CD of my settings of poems by Ursula Le Guin, who was my good friend and collaborator and who died a couple of years ago. This is going to be a memorial album, and David Garner is going to be my producer, is already I should say, my producer, some of it is already in the can, and some of it has yet to be composed. So I am working on that.
Nanette McGuinness 01:38
Here's what inti figgis-vizueta had to say:
inti figgis-vizueta 01:41
You know, kind of before quarantine, most of my, most if not all of my projects were focused on real life interaction, on chamber music, on books or music, just ways in which everyone kind of comes together in a space and adjusts and gets closer to one another, to sound, and to, yeah, just music making in general. The shift online has presented, you know, of course a lot of challenges when it comes to the fact that there's latency, there's a lag, you know, there's no mix, sound gets lost, or it appears really randomly. And, you know, that was pretty challenging at first. In particular, there was a piece that I was developing with Kaufman Music Center and their program Face the Music, which is a kind of ensemble of high schoolers who, who play just really radical contemporary music. And writing a piece for them that was originally for real life, and then having to transition that online, in April, when all of this was still kind of new and coming together was particularly challenging. But there was just, they, they really came together in the end, and through some amazing rehearsals, some, some really kind of out of the box strategies for how to conduct, how to communicate and all that, it really came together. And so there has been a shift from that kind of initial shock, that initial paralysis, and all that towards projects and commissions that are specifically for Zoom music making, Zoom ensembles and all that. And that's actually been really interesting and really generative as a composer, kind of trying to figure out structures and forms that work, when people can't, can't be in the same space together, have to align to maybe the ghost of latency or lag or sounds that they're just kind of coming across. And that's been kind of particularly inspiring, and really kind of pushing me, pushing my compositional mind a bit. And yeah, so it's, it's, you know, it's been a mixed bag. So many thanks again to Ensemble for These Times for this space and this short interview. Thank you.
Nanette McGuinness 04:10
[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 www.e4tt.org. 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]