Every year, Sound and Music shine a light on the work of the composers who are currently in residence on our Embedded and Portfolio programmes. These are our New Voices of 2016. They are creating new, exciting and innovative music, across disciplines, all over the UK.
Elo Masing is a composer – but a “dancer at heart,” – working with Sounding Motion: the perfect residency to explore working with sound and movement. At the moment, she’s working on an installation piece that “organically blends music and movement,” bringing her creative ethic of ‘liveness’ to the forefront of her work. In our interview, Masing goes on to stress the importance of ‘being yourself’ whilst pursing a career in the new music sector – an ethos that she thoroughly integrates into her exciting and adventurous music duo Vicious Circus with Dave Maric. “Everything is created in the moment. Nothing is to be taken too seriously,” she writes…
You’ve got one word to sum up your work, what it’s all about and what it stands for. you say…
You’re working with Sounding Motion on Portfolio. What were your main goals and aspirations when you applied for the programme?
I really enjoy working with dancers; I feel I am a dancer at heart, so I really wanted the opportunity to work with Sounding Motion.
What kind of things have you been getting up to there – what are you working on?
We are working on an installation piece that organically blends music and movement.
You are ‘one mind’ of the duo Vicious Circus with Dave Maric. Your album Troglodytes Troglodytes features your “brutal manipulation” of the violin, cello and electric guitar with keyboard and electronics from Maric. Can you describe the creative process behind creating such music?
This music is free improvisation with a twist and a bit of tongue in cheek. So is the “band” biography. Everything is created in the moment. Nothing is to be taken too seriously.
The album is described as “avant-garde sideshow music,” which is certainly a fair evaluation! How did you find promoting and distributing such an album to new music audiences?
We have had some very kind reviews from a number of online magazines and some radio play. I think these have really helped with promoting. But it has been tricky. And our take on free improvisation is so unusual that I feel people often don’t know how to feel about it.
Amidst your electronic musical endeavours, you also work closely with more acoustic sounds in an ‘experimental’ manner. Do you have a preference? How do you feel the two work together?
I am myself a purely acoustic composer, I never use electronics in the music I create alone. But in collaborations with other performers who are proficient with electronics, I find it a fun and liberating experience which probably indirectly feeds my imagination in the acoustic works I make.
In regard to your current work at Sounding Motion – how do you integrate sound with movement to achieve the effect you want? What’s the process?
I would not like to reveal it yet… it is a work in progress and at this stage rather fragile.
How would you describe the relationship between sound and physical movement from a philosophical perspective?
In the beginning there was movement.
Now for some practical advice – what can you offer to other budding composers who are interested in pursuing a career in the new music sector?
Always be yourself!
Any recommendations for talent to look out for in the next year?
Concert series Weisslich and Bastard Assignments always have new exciting stuff from young composers coming on. More established Distractfold ensemble also introduce interesting new composers to UK audiences.
Interview by Emma Sugarman (Communications Intern - Sound and Music)