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Sarah Nemtsov

What would be important for you when curating a concert / festival?

I don’t know if I would ever be curating a Festival, organizers would hate me since I am chronically late with answering emails and almost always have my phone in silent mode.

Would you write for an ensemble that consists only of men / women / queer people? Why, or why not?

I am writing for people. I love working with talented, crazy, demanding and committed human beings. I am happy if I have the opportunity to work with a mixed, open group. I have written and worked with groups of men who were very open and curious and I have had encounters with women who have adopted patriarchic structures in their thinking and were subtly suspicious of women composers, I have met queer musicians who would hide their identity for not being labeled. An all male program or group is still the usual, it would be really nice seeing an all female concert not labelled as such or – let’s say – a program with arab composers not mentioning it (or without this typical middle east, oriental context). I am waiting for it. I wished a quota wasn’t needed. I think I share this experience with other women composers/female artists: sitting at a panel as the only woman thinking about whether you are invited because of your work or because of your sex. At least you see, awareness is raising. But there is still a long way to go. Identity is complex and in a way necessarily a paradoxon. Let’s open the doors. I love you, people.

What do you want to find out with your music?

The in-between and beyond, what we cannot say, what moves us, what we mourn, what brings us to a place of reflection and vulnerability, utopia: freedom and empathy, polydimensional structures, depths, strictness, chaos, raw energy and the beauty of the imperfect, broken, all this mess we are living in. Ah, and the sounds, and the noise. I could write something about instruments or electronic music, multimedia or formats, but it’s all only the surface.


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