Dear Blog Reader,
This next creator is quite different from the prior artists. Instead of an individual, solo experience, Paola Prestini, a musician and writer, focuses her creative talents in collaboration with other artists. This is a woman who not only plunges into the unknown, but also prefers risks. She has courage and trust in her instincts.
The creative energy that she emanates attracts other artists who are also willing to take risks. This collaborative entity becomes the art. As Paola describes it, “…collaboration is an art and can only be learned by doing it…”
I first experienced Paola’s work when her opera, The Hubble Cantata was performed at the 2013 Bay Chamber Summer Festival in Rockport, Maine. I find her process and the resulting performances to be intriguing and moving. Below are three short videos, which she generously shared with us. Please watch all three. I think you will agree with me that Paola is an exceptional artist.
I am a composer, a producer, and a mentor. My influences range from Zorn (his music, his life) and Glass, to Beethoven, Palestrina, and folk music. I have dedicated the past twenty years to collaborating, and I have learned that collaboration can be an arduous process, and it is the balance of respecting people’s ideas, how to let certain ideas go, (and how to know which ones you will not let go) that allows you not to compromise your artistic integrity. Collaboration is an art in and of itself that can only be learned by doing it, making the necessary mistakes. My role in the process is my love of bringing disparate voices together, and seeing what emerges from the synergy. I continue to evolve because I see how different people ingest these new experiences - their rawness to the experience often enlightening certain parts of the collaborative process that were not clear to me before. Each artist’s passion for their ideas reminds me that redefining the boundaries in collaboration is a lifelong process and is absolutely connected to the project at hand, and that even in the hardest collaborative processes, ones identity is not lost, only rediscovered and reaffirmed.
Literature has played a huge role in my writing - it has always been my first collaborator; I love painting music on these canvases - the ideas on the page invite me to play and to think. It began with Neruda and Borges at a very young age, and now, I am actively reading the blog of astrophysicist Mario Livio, pouring into Jung’s Red Book, and am relishing in the poetry of Brenda Shaughnessy.
When I write, after an initial process of often puzzling mechanical work (finding the language I want to use, and the outside sources that will be incorporated), I am in a state of flow: I often cannot remember the details of writing. It is as if all the years of experience come together to transport me through the process of expressing the cumulative inspirational sources into the musical concept at hand. These moments pay for all the hard work! They are the best moments of my musical life, and even though each musical project has a different entry point, that moment of flow occurs in each experience.