Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Interview with Composer, Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri conducted by Björn Gottstein

This is an interview with Composer, Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri conducted by Björn Gottstein. 

Björn curates an outstanding collection of interviews on his website Geräuschen über Musik.

This is the beginning of the interview and the link leads to the site with the balance of the narrative.

Interview & Abschrift: Björn Gottstein

There is the instrument, there is the imagination of sound in your head, and you have to get those two together. At some point in your life you must have said that you need knew or different instruments to meet your imagination.

Well, I have been working a lot on the idea of preparation, since the beginning of my careers, I would say.

You mean preparation as in "prepared piano", as in "eraser between strings".

Yes. I started with really simple things that lead to more complex sounds. But in general I treat the instruments as objects. And I am always interested in changing the conditions in order to transform an object into an instrument and an instrument into an object. So that is why I focus a lot on the performer's behaviour, the "how" in "how we do things". The preparation is one way to modify an instrument, to expand the realm of sound. It is an interesting kind of object, because once you insert a little paper into – let's say – guitar strings, there is a little area that is isolated and there is a limitation going along with that at the same time.

from Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri's website...

Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri was born in Ptolemais, Greece. Her work includes compositions for instruments and sound objects-sculptures that she creates herself and in collaboration with artist Pe Lang. 

Papalexandri's work focuses on the production and reception of sound by questioning and transforming the role and function of the instrument as a sound-generator (object as instrument and instrument as object) as as well as the type of sound production and behaviour of the performer. 

Selected performances and exhibitions of Papalexandri's works include Tokyo Yebis International Festival for Art & Alternatives Visions, San Francisco Art Institute, de Signel, November Music Festival, Galerie Mario Mazzoli, Das Weekend Transmediale, Centre d Art Santa Mònica, Barcelona, Kunsthaus L6 Freiburg, Dialogue Festival, impuls, COMA Gallery, Ultrashall Festival, Wien Modern Internationalen Ferienkurse für Neue Musik Darmstadt, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, ISCM-World New Music Days,Festival of City BBC in performances by Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Mosaik, Ensemble SurPlus, Quartet New Generation, Orkest de Volharding, London Improvisers Orchestra among others.

In 2008 she received her Ph.D in composition from the University of California, San Diego where she worked with Chaya Czernowin, Rand Steiger and Steven Schick. Papalexandri holds degrees in music and composition from the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien and the University of London, Goldsmiths College where she studied with Roger Redgate. 

Numerous awards and grants such as the Dan David Prize in contemporary music, impuls award, Berliner Kompositions stipendien 2011, Stipendienpries der Darmstadter Ferienkurse, Kurt Weil Fellowship, the EMS residency, Stockholm and the Robert Erickson Scholarship.