One of three winners of National Sawdust’s 2019 Hildegard Competition for emerging trans, female, and non-binary composers, inti figgis-vizueta is a queer Andinx experimental composer based in Brooklyn. They write identity-focused musics, often channeling storytelling and the manifestation of non-hegemonic voices in concert spaces. inti studied with Felipe Lara, and works to create transparent, self-contained musical processes through which melodic and timbral interaction blooms and consumes itself.
inti recently participated in the 2019 American Composers Orchestra Underwood New Music Readings, and has received numerous awards, including a resident composer spot at the 2019 Mizzou International Composers’ Festival featuring Alarm Will Sound. Their music has also been played by ensembles such as loadbang, PUBLIQuartet, Hypercube, the RTE Contempo String Quartet, and Argot Duo, as well as the Shenandoah Valley Youth Orchestra and SJSU Wind Ensemble. They were featured at the New Music Gathering as a panelist in 2017 and as a featured composer in 2018 as well as at the New Latin Wave Festival 2018, curated by Angélica Negrón. When not composing, inti works as the Director of Inclusion at the Boulanger Initiative, and as a curator for Score Follower.
Invited to choose their own interviewer for this National Sawdust Log profile, inti selected the prominent composer Nico Muhly. In a wide-ranging recent conversation, the two discussed craft, identity-driven art, the prospect of working with orchestras and other strangers, and much, much more.
NICO MUHLY: I’d like to start by talking about you as a craftsperson, and I think an easy, if perhaps lazy, way to start would be to look at some music. Your scores are visually ravishing. I’m wondering what your strategy is in making the scores look so alluring.
inti figgis-vizueta: Growing up, I used to doodle and draw a lot. Public school didn’t give me much access to arts classes and I never really pursued it. So I think it’s been a lot of exploring that part of me and integrating that history into the way I think about and write music. I also just fundamentally believe that the way something looks on the page absolutely affects the way that a player engages with it.
So by providing these small modules, where I give all of this dense information and its transformation over time but in a small way, I try to give a really tasty morsel that complexifies over time. This being distinct from any kind of A to B, playing from the page situation I try to give players all this information upfront, and then they can see and hear how they fit into the total musical space.
It’s more of a recipe than a kind of aggressive notated score. But then again, what’s also interesting is just literally to hold up a page of your scores, in general there are as many words as there are what we would consider as traditionally notated objects, such as a dynamic or articulation or a note. I’m wondering if you find yourself working as hard on the text as you do on… I want to tread carefully, but, I would say, the elements of traditional notation.
I actually regularly get asked this! I’ve definitely shaped that balance from examples like Jennifer Walshe’s works such as hear we are now and My Extensive Relationship with Mr. Stephen Patrick M. I think the trickiest bit is when you introduce those heavily text-based instructions to modular systems. I’ve recently had the pleasure of studying many of Anthony Braxton’s scores and witness Wet Ink perform them so wonderfully. Also a big step I’ve taken is adding more colorful prose into my instructions.
Or poetry. I’m looking at one particular page… I would say this page is divided into three categories of information, right? There are literal pitches, organized in little cells – so, for instance, the top third of the page could literally be from In C or a piece of Rzewski – above which are small pieces of text, which can be found in traditional notation. And then we have this. [indicates score detail] I’m wondering if you can talk about what you mean by this?
Yeah—trying to make a modular piece that kind of reflects the way that I think about music. I’ve been looking at a lot of Stockhausen, or more recently Alex Mincek’s music as well as the Anthony Braxton Ghost Trance analyses.
Also being a POC in high school, we all did science—that was our ticket. So I really liked the idea of making a diagram that was similar to an electronics board.
Wait, you mean like a circuit board, or a motherboard?
I never thought about it like that. That’s really interesting.
So that’s where there’s little arrows, because it’s like the arrows of energy going into one another, and so the idea of shifting from one space of individual, unique materials—but then having these connections that are in the harmony, in some of the timbral techniques of flutter tongue or whatever, and having those things be the connecting element. So the ways in which individual players are tackling each section is the thing that’s contributing to an overall… I guess what I think of it is like the sound of intentionality. And by “intentionality,” I mean that kind of collectivity, the sound of sociality, of effort and listening and responding. There’s so much power there.
I’ve seen a lot of your scores of late and allow me to make two observations and perhaps a challenge: interpreting them requires a really nuanced sense of the English language, number one, and number two, it requires not just that nuanced sense of the English language, but an interpretive mind as it relates to that language: how would you interpret something like “trellis in bloom,” which is a charged set of words: “In bloom,” to me, has a pretty cool musical possibility; I would know what to do with that. “Trellis” would take me a minute. So I’m wondering as a prompt, what you think about the specificity? I would say “Recipe for Lightning” is handily translatable into a bunch of languages. But how do you feel that individual players react to the poetry of… not “the instruction,” but what would you call these cells? The prompts?
I think, again, the kind of overarching thread that I’m trying to weave into all of these works is this concept of intentional space, in a way that I find reflections in a lot of indigenous knowledge.
Do you mean indigenous musical knowledge?
Or general knowledge structures? Can you elaborate on that?
Yeah, like collective knowledge. The idea of engaging with the earth, of giving space, of a natural sense of life and death, of interactions with the total. I think of a lot indigenous texts and ideas around a collectivity bigger than oneself. So for me, a big influence has been Kevin Volans’s White Man Sleeps.
Which has its own very problematic non-indigenous… [laughs]
Yeah, exactly, right? But there’s something about this idea of shifting that narrative colonization where one set of musical values or structural values is being imposed on western classical spaces. So for me, then, it’s like: how can I bring that idea of collectivity and totalism, without kind of delving into the ’90s idea of integrating Eastern and Western values in ways that are very not-good?
That could be worth interrogating conceptually and not just musically. It’s tricky for any of us who want to interrogate the way that hybridity works, to criticize in general the way that any two things, even if they’re both from the same village in England—how, for instance, a folk tradition interacts with a Christian tradition. A lot of people are doing that, but it’s a big question to wrestle with.
Sure. And I think that there’s a big difference between someone like Evan Ziporyn and Steve Mackey’s indigenous-instruments piece. There are two different ways of engaging with that… [laughs]
Yes, exactly. We’ve been talking about primarily tonal music. And I would say that, just to look at your music, in a lot of cases the things that are outside of basically C major are left to the discretion of the performers. I’m wondering if you want to talk about that—in this section [indicates score] there’s literally a chord chart. This could be a popular song; it’s C, A minor, E minor, F seven or whatever it is. So what are you aiming for, in that the notation is quite… I don’t want to say harmonically static, but the gamut of pitches is limited, at least here.
Yeah, again, trying to shift out focus from pitch. If we’re talking about a kind of magnifying glass on individual changing elements, and that those changes reflect player choice, that then reflect relative positionality within the playing of the piece, because everyone starts consecutively, that the alignment of those things is just very consequential. To me, that’s a way of using pitch and using that stasis in a way that isn’t… I mean aesthetics are difficult, but in the sense that this music isn’t supposed to be pushing the listeners’ aesthetic boundaries in a very literal way…
In the sense of feeling distant from what we can recognize as a tonal home base?
Yeah, or in the ways in which expanded tonality and atonality, there’s a friction there. And I don’t want to get into “it’s a natural fiction, but we’re socialized”—they were like two different things. If this is supposed to be a re-reflection and a reimagining of these kinds of structural patterns in a contemporary and even popular context, I think that’s where that value comes from.
I would observe also that there’s a poetry to starting somewhere familiar and then finding yourself – accidentally, almost – at the will of the performer, in a sense. There’s a moment that I was looking for [shuffles score], where we suddenly get into this fabulous cello microtone—there it is, these microtones where the stability of the harmony starts cracking and shimmering. But another question for you – and again, I feel like it’s fun to dwell on technique, because I think your compositional technique is so specific and so linked up with your overall project, and linked up with how it looks and how you engage with players. When I listened to your music, and really lean back into it, I feel the whole thing is transition, where it feels like each page is its own recipe. What do you feel in terms of instructions about how to move from, for instance, this information into this information? What’s the join – the dovetail – like for you? Does it just slam into it?
I hope not! [laughs] I hope it doesn’t slam. I think that, kind of similar to the clarinet piece, the player was the one who was connecting these things. Each page was like a suite on its own, and there was the player’s ability to join these two disparate things. And the places where I found the most interest were those shift points, because the listener didn’t know about them, but I knew about them. I think it really has to do with players, which is some of the hesitancy I have about sometimes creating scores like these, because it kind of has this almost false populism, like in the way that aleatoric music gets picked up and put down by every ensemble in the world…
When you say “put down,” you mean rejected, as in it’s a pain in the ass?
“Put down” as in they do it once and it’s fine. Like, ensemble: “It’s Terry Riley’s 80th, let’s do InC,” but then there’s no expansion or growth beyond what that artifact is. And so I wonder whether by creating these places where there is, again, this idea of open work and latticework, where these are these intentional holes…
…that need to be filled. I see. So the intentionality in this same sense is left vacant by the composer, and you’re inviting the performer to…
In your experience, have you found that chamber ensembles as opposed to orchestras are more willing to take on aleatoric music?
Oh, yeah. Yeah, much more.
But with music like yours, I feel like there’s almost the thickest necessity for performance practice—so, for an ensemble to play it like 12 times the 12th not being necessarily the best, but the most…let’s call it intonian! [laughs] The project will be the most three-dimensional. And I wonder what it took to sight-read this music.
I wonder, too. It’s actually why I… I hesitate to say “protest,” but I’ve been finding it difficult with ensembles that pick up one piece once, and the rehearsal is the week before the performance, and then it’s the thing. And that’s often what’s available for me in this moment, in this kind of liminality between school and professional career and all these emerging composers things. So it’s like, how can I create something that forces people [laughs] to actually practice? Because the materials aren’t hard. All information is there; you just need a fluency in my vernacular. That’s why I want people to meet me, because it’s not that I’m giving someone this piece of paper that then they just do it and then I’m like, “Oh, I have a recording!” and throw it up on the website. And so it’s like: how to create something permanent? Because the permanency is due to its ability to always be realized in an organic way, in a way related to specific ensembles and specific players and their idiosyncrasies.
In your ideal world, if you fast forward 25 years, how would you like your work to be recorded? And I don’t mean necessarily recorded like on a compact disc; assuming we haven’t invented some space-age way to have live performance, how do you imagine your work being documented?
I hope that something like this can be done on a larger scale. I don’t mean larger scale in terms of more bodies in the room, particularly, but in terms of longer durational formats, longer practice, all this stuff. I would be most interested in multiple recordings from different years, by maybe the same musicians. I think it’s interesting how ensembles have the same name and the players change all the time, and it’s like, that ensemble doesn’t sound like that ensemble from 10 years ago. So I think even if it’s not all the same players, if it’s the same group and the same driving philosophy behind the group, that maybe seeing how that engagement changes from year to year would be the thing that I’d be interested in.
Like Meredith Monk, right? Over her career, there’s a few people who’ve remained, but in a sense there’s a performance practice rooted in the philosophy of the individual person.
Have you ever been put in a weird position of someone saying, “Do you mind just literally notating what you mean?” I don’t mean that you haven’t notated it – that’s important to point out – but to notate it in a linear “these are the notes and these are the rhythms”? I’m thinking about the clarinet piece without the fixed media—what that would look like? Is there a way to write it out so that it would look super German?
Yeah, exactly. [laughs] I don’t know…
But would you, ever? This is more me, just out of curiosity.
Sure. I think that I, in a lot of ways, have rejected a lot of complexity. The way in which I think of complexity and minimalism is like relative density of instruction over time versus changes in material, or whatever. I think that complexity is rooted in a lot of privilege, and being able to have the opportunities to have players who can really engage in that way and make this music like theirs and champion it and all that is reserved for a very particular kind of white guy with glasses. And they’re the guys who are my friends. But finding something that a lot of different kinds of players and a lot of different kinds of folks can engage with is both strategic and ethically sound and I’ve been able to implement that in my practice and in the ways in which this thought experiment is expanding. That being said, I have had people ask that, and I have done it for them.
What’s it like? You want to die, it takes forever, right?
I mean, yeah. But again, it’s not like some Ferneyhough thing. It’s more like to give them, I like to think, at most four elements of transformation at the same time.
Right. Not infinity; choose your own adventure?
Yeah. And you know that if these transformations are happening over a set of time that it doesn’t have to be that someone’s playing the organ on their clarinet, that it can be that you have one thing, and then that thing changes into this thing, and then because of that change… like, because your fingering changes, then it’s slightly out of tune and then that slightly out of tune-ness reflects this slight gliss.
What’s the version of this that exists for orchestra? Does that hold any interest to you? What would the poetic sacrifice feel like?
Trust me, that is happening right now. Two of the projects that are coming up are American Composers Orchestra in a couple of weeks and Alarm [Will Sound]. The ways in which ACO has interacted with me has been reflective of a lot of the ways in which I think organizations consume large-ensemble music. And because it’s all at the will of one conductor, the ways in which there’s this imprinted space in the piece won’t be there.
All of the things that we’ve spoken about, literally everything from when you sat down until this moment.
So, instead of doing it about choice, I sacrifice that for things like breath as duration, or duration as bow length, or duration of movement as 40 plucks each, held to the end of their resonance.
The reason I wanted to focus so much on technique and your craft: the easiest relationship that I can have with your music – and I say easy to include lazy – is between us as colleagues, like me as a craftsperson and you as a craftsperson. As people who notate things, we speak in a code, and we speak the same code to each other and we don’t need an interpreter. And what I find a good challenge is that a lot of your work is identity-related work. There’s no real good way to say that, but it deals with things that I would imagine proportionately few of the people who are going to end up realizing your words and works will relate to directly. And when I say relate to, I mean, it’s not that they can’t figure it out in some abstract way. But something like, for instance, you know, indigenous ontology, non-hegemonic voices in concert spaces, lived understanding, ancestral trauma: most of these things are—I don’t want to say inaccessible, but the way that people who are outside of your lived experience would find distant, or at least requiring a lot of time spent away from the music and in books and as observers in online spaces and so on. So I’m wondering what you feel is the fluidity in the easiest way between biography and a bigger intellectual and emotional project, and the craft that is itself so important to the way your work communicates.
I think I mentioned a little bit that—who was I talking to? Jennie C. Jones! Something that I really took away from her work was this idea that there could be an underlying value and an underlying ethic to work that then on the surface is kind of something else.
The ethic doesn’t have to be audible?
Yeah. The reason you come to my work is not that you want to explore this incredibly specific thing, but that because I can name that that thing is part of it, you can’t extricate it from it. There’s a self definition of elements that then means that you can listen to this music and feel anything you want. It’s not about these things.
About we should all put in huge air quotes, because that’s a question that people ask: What’s your music like? What’s it about? What’s this piece about? And that’s the trouble with program notes.
And that’s why, again, with this piece, it’s like three different program notes, right? The ways in which each of the pieces was put together is all of these things existing in the same space. Because, again, “What is your music about?” It’s about a lot. It’s not a purely representational or purely narrative thing. It’s not like, “This is Custer’s thing.” Like, “You hear the horns? That’s Custer.” And I feel like a lot of identity-focused or identity-marketed music is kind of there.
Ah, now you said the tricky word, right? Here’s what I was getting at: again, my lazy reaction to your music – and again, I’m using these words in deliberately problematic ways – my lazy reaction is our code, as craftspeople to craftspeople, whereas the interface that challenges me the most is unpacking and engaging with, in whatever way I can come to it within my subject position, the really important artistic aim—and I use that to distinguish it, not that it’s unrelated to the craft. I wonder if you’ve found that that’s somehow paradoxically the easiest thing to present to promoters or even an audience in the sort of vulgar, marketing way?
Yes… the marketing is tough. But something else that’s been on my mind a bit has been a lot of ’60s and ’70s art that came out of Latin America, and specifically South America. And again, definitely specific to indigenous areas, where oil companies were extracting resources and people and oil and all of these things. You can see a lot of the art kind of reflects the material that is being extracted. It’s not that it’s like a sad, soaring string section over a decimated mountain scape; it’s that you’d see the Exxon logo, but the Exxon logo is in matte black and the thing behind it is in real black, right? It’s this thing that’s so hard to distinguish. and the color itself is the reflection of the extracted material. I think of that in the music where the structure is what someone can look at that and see a sense of something.
It’s the first port of call, until you look around and realize what’s back there. Yeah. That’s sort of like a Bruegel thing, where it’s like literally, what is the foreground? Like La Chute d’Icare, the fall of Icarus is actually not the thing that you’re meant to focus on—”not meant” in scare quotes…
Yeah. There is a foreground that I am giving you, and everything that’s happening within the ensemble, within the structure, it’s not seen. And it’ll be difficult to perceive and that’s the point.
Unless a lot of people who are experiencing your work at this point in your career might be coming at it from a differently coded space. Right? If you have a concert among colleagues, for instance, and it’s people whose projects are related to yours, or people whose priorities are totally unrelated to yours, but are also composers—Alarm Will Sound is a good example. You’ll be with people who for a couple of weeks have been not around just your music but around you, and you are the best ambassador to and from your piece. It’s a generous spirit in which it’s made. So that’s just something really interesting about your work, is that there are various forms of engagement with it, and it’s unclear which is the surface and which is the foreground and background. And I wonder again, as you branch out into writing music for total strangers: What form of engagement do you hope, want, expect? How does that inform not just the historical performance practice of people who know your work and have played it for 25 years – again, we’re fast-forwarding into the future – but right now. The score arrives in the mail; how much of this do they read? Because on your website, there’s a reading list—there’s like literally a curriculum. [laughs]
Oh my God. [laughs] I wanted to provide that total. I want it to be like, here’s a bunch of stuff you can read; the individual points of it will inform what you’re seeing in this work, even if it’s just the core vernacular of it. Something like agency, and then seeing that in like something about liberation, and then being able to make that connection, that this kind of abstracted justice work is applicable to the ways in which you actually… like interactive material.
Here’s a provocative question: I think a lot of people who are fluent in that language of identity and intersectionality – this goes back to our conversation about elitism – come out of traditions where they’ve studied it in a fancy school. It’s like, people who speak this language have gone to Williams, they’ve gone to Yale, and they’ve been exposed to that information in a decidedly elite, and possibly violently expensive, institution. Not through, again, lived experience of being from Mamaroneck or whatever, but from theoretical work in behind the walls of these institutions. You’re very active online, and the internet is a great and democratic entry point for theory, but in a lot of cases the way that information got onto the internet is through an elitist structure. I’m wondering if that’s something that you think about?
This idea of thinking about indigeneity is a core part of that for myself—that I grew up away from those communities. But there’s this core something from the perspective of a diaspora of one, a research-as-reclamation kind of art. And that research is then being channeled into the music through craft. Growing up in a lot of specifically organizing, popular education spaces gives an insight into the power of this reclaimed, academic language. Repurposing and subverting the tools of oppressive institutions has been a strategy since the beginning of resistance movements.
This is the thing that I want your readers and listeners to appreciate, is that this isn’t theory being channeled through a political message; it’s through the fact that you are such a specific craftsperson that the capital-p Project works.
Yes. And I think that answers the question of the thing that we’re treading around – “accessibility” of radical ideas and understandings and the consequential way they affect my music. I think those ideas and structures are worth exploring, even if the players who most often come from privilege and elitist institutions are the folks who end up playing the music. Because its not about me bringing you into my “ethnic” space, but instead that even through the small act of performing my music, ephemera spring into existence that breathe something of mine…
People who went to just music school don’t know anything about any of that. As an undergrad, I studied postcolonial theory, and that doesn’t happen at Juilliard. Do you know what I mean? There’s a class called Humanities, and it’s like, you read Siddhartha and then you practice the violin for nine hour. [laughs]
And maybe that’s where the reliance on prose and the reliance on English and the reliance on language comes in.
The notational reliance. Because it’s not like there’s a soprano singing these texts. I mean, there has been, but… [both laugh]
But, yeah, so that it’s a complete, total system. The way in which I think about music is about overlapping systems of freedoms, of material, of gesture, of timbre, and the craft for me is the ability to create that total system. And that’s what I think people at Juilliard and music school can relate to, and then, through that, unlearn elements of really repressive pedagogy and curriculum and even philosophy that comes with an intense engagement with a history that isn’t reflective of the people whose music you are not playing.
That’s a really good way of putting it: it exists in a negative space. And there’s just one thing I want to unpack in this department. You say “expand beyond self exotifying, identity-driven narrative works.” It relates to all these anxieties that we have as composers about marketing and how you self-identify and fold your subject-position into our work and our praxis. And again, even if your identity is the dominant white identity, still people wrestle with it. But in this particular case, when you say expanding “beyond self-exotifying, identity-driven,” what exactly do you mean?
I think we’re at a point that we can talk about those nuances—and especially in music, compared to visual art, where I think these conversations happened 10 or 15, 20 years ago: the actual material and the context around the material and the way in which the material is market affects the efficacy of the material. The way in which you market something that’s like a single-variable politic: This is Latin American art, this is indigenous art, this is black art, this is queer art, this is gay art, this is trans art. When you code something so that it only has one surface shape to it, you’re doing a disservice to a lot of people, especially because we’re talking about an audience that for the most part is made up of older white folk.
I’ve found that to be changing, perhaps; At Sawdust, all over London…
I like that change…
Who doesn’t? I don’t think anyone’s mad at it. Obviously it’s easy for me to perceive change because I come at it from a position of enormous privilege, and I understand that these changes must feel almost imperceptible to most people struggling through it.
Yeah. But I think that the idea of giving someone a threshold upon which they can consume you and your experience and your relative positionality towards trauma and towards structural oppression was and is a big way to market within the social-justice machine that is now kind of driving…
Right, Big Social Justice. [both laugh]
Right? I saw a concert that was coming up at some point… it was named “All Composers Who Happen to Be Female.” That was the title of the recital. It was a graduating violin recital from a school we might’ve mentioned. And every single composer on that recital was a white cis woman. It was interesting to me that the optics around those conversations are the ones that are then driving the relative musical engagement. So trying to step away from that, and really wanting to step away from that, is that nugget of “I don’t want this to be defined by existing in the negative space.”
I foresee that more and more people are going to be playing your work, based on how it sounds. What I wish for you, as an older person, is that the cumulative effect of your music is going to be how, as they say, it has legs. And I’m wondering what you feel are the biggest challenges for you, going forward as, let’s assume, the music goes into ensembles filled with people that you don’t necessarily know, like Alarm Will Sound. And when I say “don’t necessarily know,” I mean people who aren’t in your phone. What are the challenges, and what are the delights to which you’re looking forward in that economy? So, not in the inti ensemble of your chosen family, but in the kind of weird ensemble & orchestra world that we, that we inhabit and we can change and mold—and I say “we,” I actually mean you, younger people.
Sure. This is interesting, because so much of what I think about on a daily basis is that. If we look at the folks who are the vanguard of current things going on, I think of Reich, I think of Glass. I think of you—I think of a lot of folks who were able to create a music that that was really self-sustaining. and that a lot of people really connected to and really felt. I haven’t felt this yet, but I think I’m going to start getting friction as more and more people want to play my music.
Friction meaning purchase? Or maybe you mean friction in the sense of it’ll make your hair stand on end.
Yeah, a little bit. Because I’m giving people these frameworks and blueprints – I’m not like giving them music – it’s like, as much as they might want to play a piece of mine, maybe they can’t play it, and that maybe what they come up with doesn’t sound good, and that’s that. But that’s on them, not me! [laughs]
But a lot of great music… I mean, people can’t play Steve Reich. It’s like a percentage of the population. And sometimes you listen to these performances where you’re like, “You don’t know how to count!”
Exactly. All of the things we’ve been talking about, craft-wise, is the stuff that I’m really trying to delve into, and when I send my scores to folks who I know are like craftsmen – craftsfolk – this setup [indicates score]… I haven’t seen this in something else. My favorite comment I got back on my orchestra piece: someone said it looked like homework.
That’s kind of interesting.
It was an interesting comment.
I mean, if you ever play through a Schenker diagram, it’s kind of beautiful.
Yes! They’re gorgeous.
Schenker diagrams, they’re literally just like: What is gravity? It’s a drawing of gravity, right? Where you chuck something up an octave, and then could you believe where it goes? [laughs]
Yeah, and how slowly does it go there?
It’s like the Coyote and Roadrunner, right? Where he’s like [pregnant pause, full-body gesture indicating “hovering in mid-air off the edge of a mesa”]… that’s like one of your fermatas.
Yeah. And again, you can’t Schenker this music, and I think that’s an interesting thing.
It resists forms of formal analysis. And in a sense, the work challenges one to think of it in that way. A big challenge, I feel, is going to be almost across the board of what we all deal with vis a vis programming, people who write about music, critics, people who write program notes who aren’t you – which is the thing that’s going to start happening to you – the overarching danger is “stranger danger,” right? And “stranger” in the immediate interpersonal sense, but also in the larger cyclical and structural way of subject positions interacting in strange ways. I would say, as an older person, what I wish for you is that the buoyancy of those two elements, of one thing floating in another, the capital-p Project and the craft, that they’re always in a really satisfying flow.
That’s kind of the hope—and that’s why I left school. [Both laugh] Exactly like that. That relationship you’re talking about wasn’t there.
When you say “there,” it’s like it didn’t matter?
Yeah, and it wasn’t desired. The richness of thought and the richness of the music were never held in anything like a flow and balance with one another.
We’re making a water of circular hand motions—we basically just did the Macarena, I think it’s a great way to stop. Thank you very much.
inti figgis-vizueta’s music will be featured in the Hildegard Competition Concert at National Sawdust on June 4 at 7pm; nationalsawdust.org