> [Archived] Interviews
Interview with conductor and composer Simona Strungaru
The Radio Big Band gives a unique concert during the International New Music Week. The orchestra will perform Gates, a work for organ and big band written by conductor Simona Strungaru. The event will take place on Thursday May 25th at 19:00 at the Radio Hall. Learn more about Gates from Simona Strungaru, in the interview she gave to Viorel Grecu.
The Radio Big Band will perform in a less usual context this Thursday. Can you explain in more detail what it's all about and what you will be performing at the Sala Radio?
On May 25th we will have a concert as part of the International New Music Week. It's a work I composed for this occasion, for big band and organ, a very rare timbral combination. We are delighted to have the largest organ in the country and even in South-East Europe at the Radio Hall and it will be joined by the sound of the big band.
The music we have composed has jazz influences, but is very appropriate for the International New Music Week. It's contemporary music, but very diverse and it proposes a lot of moods for the audience and for those who play it. It is structured in 12 parts, that is to say in 12 gates, that is the title of the work - Gates. Basically, it's a journey of a soul who walks around and is influenced by what he sees beyond these gates through which he enters and in which he discovers very different worlds.
Is this the first time that the Radio Hall organ has been used in a Big Band concert?
Yes. It is the first time. Worldwide, this combination is not often used.
Let's also say who will be on the organ and what other elements will the performance have?
The soloist of our concert is the organist Eduard Antal, an accomplished musician. And the audience who will come to the hall will also enjoy the visual mastery of artist Ioana Halunga (Inkspective), who will be mapping the organ of the Radio Hall in a creation inspired by the musical content.
So, it's a multi-sided show that appeals to multiple senses.
You said there is a jazz influence though. How much of the work is jazz, how much contemporary music or other influences?
There are no influences, it's at the level of approach, in that there are sections of the piece where the Big Band members will perform as improvising soloists.
This is the first time the Big Band has performed your composition since you've been conducting it. For future seasons, are you planning such a project with compositions by you or other members of the orchestra?
For sure! We are very open to such projects. Several times at least orchestrations by Big Band members have been used and as long as there is material or as long as this material can be created especially for the Big Band, we will play it with great interest because it is important for people to get in touch with as many creative ideas as possible. And Big Band musicians are instrumentalists, very creative musicians.
Translated by Andreea Petrescu,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu