THIS IS SAMANTHA FERNANDO

The Journey Between Us is a highlight of the London Sinfonietta’s 2015/16 season – a night of new music and storytelling at Southwark Playhouse on Thursday 11 February 2016, repeated on Friday 12 February 2016. Short stories by contemporary authors such as Raymond Carver, read by acclaimed actress Lisa Dwan, are interspersed by four movements of music from Samantha Fernando, illuminating the words.

Whilst she works on the commission, we asked Samantha to answer some quickfire questions on her highs, her lows and her best musical joke.

This feature was originally written for our London Sinfonietta Pioneers in November 2015.

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What do you regard as your greatest artistic achievement?

My saxophone quartet, 4 Illuminations. This piece was a turning point for me where I started to approach writing in a different way. I wrote the piece on a residency at Royaumont Abbey in France in 2012 and it was performed by the Xasax Quartet. I am hoping to have it performed in the UK soon.

What’s the most unusual performance/collaboration you’ve been a part of?

A project called Turn the Page with my aunt Sumi Perera, who is a printmaker. I had to record the sounds of page turns, without music, in time with a particular edition of a Beethoven Piano Sonata! This recording was part of an art installation presented at the 2008 Book to Book exhibition in Leeds Art Gallery.

If you could have dinner with three composers from any point in history who would they be and why?

Sofia Gubaidulina, Kaija Saariaho and Chaya Czernowin. Three amazing role models right there.

What do you fear?

Phone conversations with people I have never met.

What’s currently on your coffee table at home?

The Lonely Planet Guide to Cambodia! I am going there in December with my husband for our honeymoon.

If you could have any other profession, what would it be?

Anything that involves living in the South of France or Italy!

Describe your compositional style in three words.

Erm.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life?

My family.

Tell us your best musical joke.

This always makes me giggle:

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