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Fandalism Composer Interview: Electroacoustic Musician Sabrina Pena Young Dishes on Desert Islands and the Trans-siberian Orchestra

Fandalism Composer Interview: Electroacoustic Musician Sabrina Pena Young on How She Became a Composer

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How long have you been playing?
I started playing the drums when I was 10, and like any little girl, I wanted to be a famous rock drummer when I grew up! In college I became obsessed with electroacoustic music, and mixed that with my love of rhythm and anything futuristic to create the experimental sounds that characterizes my work today like Libertaria: The Virtual Opera and World Order #5.
What was the first concert you ever went to?
Man, there were so many incredible concerts, but a few that I remember was seeing the Florida Philharmonic play Alan Hovhaness: And God Created Great Whales, seeing Laurie Anderson in Concert in Miami, and checking out the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I just love mixing electronics with classical. It's epic to me.
What gear do you use?
I have a Malletkat, midi keyboard, and Logic, with added programs like East West Symphonic Choirs and a whole lot of percussion toys and hand drums.
What are you looking for from Fandalism?
Love connecting to other musicians and hearing what's going on out there in music, especially stuff that is new and cutting edge.
Who was your biggest musical influence growing up?
I'd have to say as a kid my biggest influence was my drum instructor Jed Davis down in South Florida. Jed opened up my eyes to the world of West African music and 20th century composition. In college I had amazing teachers like Clare Shore, Paul Reller, Kristine Burns, and Fred Kaufman guide me in my compositional pursuits. I was fortunate, I had many, many people help me along the way.
Are you in a band? Have you been in bands?
Man, what type of band have I NOT been in? I've played in everything from Latin jazz to experimental Goth to orchestral and Christian alternative. I've been the tambourine girl, the conga queen, and the timpani goddess. Just moved to the area in Buffalo and itching to start performing again, so who knows, maybe I can hook up with a western New York band soon. Would love to jam out again on a regular basis!
If you could jam with anyone, who would it be?
I'd love to experiment in percussion with John Cage, jam out on the congas with the Trans Siberian Orchestra, do a duet with Laurie Anderson or Bjork, and just jam with Phil Collins and Sheila E.
What's the biggest audience you ever performed to? What's the smallest?
I'm guessing the biggest was probably over 1000, but I'm not sure. As for small, I am a classical musician, so small is as small does, some performances you were lucky if your prof and a parent or two showed up! A couple of memorable concerts include the world premier of my multimedia oratorio Creation for the Millikin University Women's Choir and Percussion Ensemble. It was amazing, at this church, standing ovation. So great! Another great performance was of Virelaan, this creepy multimedia and percussion piece that took place at the haunted Albert Taylor Theater on Halloween. I dressed up like a slashed vampire. So sweet!
You're stuck on a desert island and only get to bring one album with you. What do you pick?

I'd have to say that I would probably take my Enya album with me, just because, if its just going to be me and the beach and the whales, man, I will take advantage and relax and drink the coconut milk while listening to her soothing sounds.



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