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15 Questions to Emily Hay

img  Tobias
Hi! How are you? Where are you?
Hello. I'm doing great and am in los angeles, ca.

The is right ahead. What can you tell us about your performance?
I will be performing on c- flute, alto flute, piccolo and as a vocalist with string bassist anthony shadduck and cellist michael intriere. We will present a series of improvisations based upon abstract, spacial forms - but otherwise completely spontaneous. I haven't yet decided if i'm using my electronic effects or not!

On a more general level: What constitutes a good live show in your opinion? What’s your approach to performing on stage?
There are many different types of 'shows', as you put it. To me, a good musical performance is one which  compels the listeners/audience to follow the performers into the abstract imagery of the mind and evokes emotions, concepts and reactions through the creation and organization (or dis-organization) of sound.  
In my own performances, i believe that my classical training and command of my instruments melds with an intuitive sense of sound and an acute  interaction/connection to the other performers such that i reach a trance-like state completely ensconced in sound with uncontrollable pictures in my mind of the relations of the sounds and where they might go!

Which of the concerts of the other artists will you definitely attend?

I hope to be able to attend the events held on the weekend and some of the weekenight performances, schedule depending.

What or who was your biggest influence as an artist?
Several early mentors had great influence on my musical development such as roswell rudd, karl berger, eli yarden, benjamin boretz and patricia spencer.  Also, my exposure to the music of stravinsky, bartok, mingus, schoenberg, frank zappa and later the works of fred frith, chris cutler and others from the nyc/euro experimental scene were profound, as well as a love of hard rock and delvings into world music.

What’s your view on the experimental music scene at present? Is there a crisis? Experimental music is always in crisis and on the fringe of acceptance by society - perhaps this is what keeps it alive and fresh.  Personally, i prefer that experimental and intellectual music be separated from certain aspects of the commercial music business and i do not judge the value or integrity of a musicial work or any musician by the amount of income generated by that work or musician.  
As for the current state of experimental music as an artform, of course the advent of use of electronics and computers to create and augment sound dramatically changed the landscape of musical thought and performance years ago.  The current expansion of those mediums is very exciting although certain essential human qualities, such as impulse and spirit, have not yet been shown to be 're-creatable' without human input.
One other aspect of the experimental music scene which i find fascinating (and which i try to embody in my own music) is that performers are constantly challenging and expanding the pre-conceived roles and physical limitations of their instruments. This not only pushes the envelope of musical thought but is, in my view, another way of expressing the chaos and angst of living in the ever-changing modern age.

Multimedia: A solution to all problems or a curse?
Having studied at ca. Institute of the arts where, i'm told, founder walt disney's original concept was to stimulate collaborations amongst artists from all mediums, i'm completely in favor of  multimedia as a form of expression, as long as the artists within those mediums are indeed collaborating and intermingling ideas and not just spewing out arbitrary depictions for the sake of a so-called multimedia piece. However, since today's audiences are so accustomed to being bombarded with multiple forms of fast-paced  stimuli, sometimes the most effective performance is the simplest.

Some feel there is no need to record albums any more, that there is no such thing as genuinely “new” music. What do you tell them?
I'm discovering alot of "new' music everyday. Anyone who claims that there is no longer any genuine "new" music today has certainly closed their ears and minds to what is really going on!
The issue is whether the album, i.e. A collection of works presented in a certain sequence, will continue to be viable as an artform in itself, or whether 'one-off' downloads/files will become the basis for disseminating music (or has it become already?).  The other question is whether a listener can grasp the entire scope of an artist's language via one mp3 file or one download and whether this will effect how musicians record and present their music.

How do you see the relationship between sound and composition?
Do you mean improvisation vs. Composition? Or the relationship between sound elements in relation to composition? In any improv and in any composed piece, the quality, timbre, attack, nuance, vibration, movement and intent of a sound effects the prior sounds, the subsequent sounds and the nuance of the gesture of sounds within the phrase.

True or false: It is the duty of an artist to put his personal emotions into the music he plays.
True.  Music without emotion, individualism and thought is merely mimicry. Perhaps this is why i left the traditional  classical music world many years ago, because to 'succeed' as a flutist, the focus appeared to be simply on mimicking those flutists who came before.

True or false: “Music is my first love”.  

Music has always been an important part of my life.  I've tried to cultivate a genuine musical sense and am accutely aware of the difference between those musicians who perform for pure ego and those whose musical voices are intrinsic to their lives.

True or false: People need to be educated about music, before they can really appreciate it.
Musical education enhances the experience and perception of music certainly. However, i think that music can be enjoyed on many levels due to its nature and that humans are susceptible to sound for many different reasons, relating back to our animalistic roots and forms of communication.

You are given the position of artistic director of a festival yourself. What would be on your program for this season?

I curated a concert series for many years and have hosted several festivals.  My personal choice of presentation would be dependent on the parameters of the performance space, funding, etc.! However, i would be currently be interested in doing a festival encompassing performers from all over the 'left coast' musical communties (l.a., san diego, tijuana, bay area, portland, seattle and vancouver).  I'd also like to do a musical exchange with japanese experimental artists at some point.

What’s your favourite CD at the moment?
I have no one favorite cd at this time, although i do continue to listen and enjoy the cd by "volapuk" released on cuneiform records several years ago. I recently received a whole box of new releases by rer records usa and my friend dave kerman's label, ad hoc records. I've been going crazy listening to the variety of music found in the catalogs of these labels!

What’s up for you after the festival?

I have a series of concert performances scheduled here on the west coast to celebrate the release of my new cd "like minds' on pfmentum records. (please visit my website for details ( i hope to organize a tour in europe for sometime next year.  Am also mastering a new cd of studio recordings with lisle ellis (electronics and string bass) and marcos fernandes (percussion and field recordings) which we plan to release in a few months. And i'm excited about editing/mixing some works recently recorded with pianist/organist wayne peet and percussionist brad dutz.


Emily Hay and Friends: Like Minds (pfMentum)
Adam Rudolph w/Yusef Lateef and the Go: Organic Orchestra: In The Garden (Meta Records)
Jeff Kaiser: 17 Themes for Okodektet (pfMentum)
Jeff Kaiser's Large Ensemble: 13 Themes for A Triskaidekaphobic (pfMentum)
Adam Rudolph Go: Organic Orchestra: 1 (Meta Records)
Adam Rudlph's Go: Organic Orchestra: Web of Light (Meta Records)
U Totem: City Of Mirrors (Cuneiform Records)
U Totem: Strange Attractors (Cuneiform Records)
U Totem: U Totem (Cuneiform Records)
U Totem: Unsettled Scores (Cuneiform Records)
U Totem: A Stab At The Residents (Cuneiform Records)
Motor Totemist Guild: A Luigi Futi (ADR Records/Cuneiform)
Motor Totemist Guild: Shapuno Zoo (No Man's Land/Cuneiform)
5 UU's: Elements (Recommend Records)
Otherparts: Otherparts (Fullscale Records)
Brad Dutz: Camel (Nine Winds Records)
Brad Dutz: Railroads (Nine Winds Records)
Brad Dutz: Making Ice (Nine Winds Records)
Vinny Golia: Vinny Golia Large Ensemble (Nine Winds Records)
I Am Umbrella: Gift of Roots & Wings (Rays & Genius)
I Am Umbrella: The Sound of Shadows Breathing on Themselves (Dragnet)
I Am Umbrella: Nowhere (Dragnet)
Steaming Coils: Breaded (Tarkington Group)
Mooseheart Faith: Cosmic Dialogues (September Gurls Records)
Kalani: Pangea (Interworld Records)

Emily Hay

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