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Shiva Feshareki: The innovator who doesn't try to be original

Shiva Feshareki: The innovator who doesn't try to be original
From BBC - December 6, 2017

In 2004, at the age of 17, Shiva Feshareki won the BBC Proms/Guardian Young Composer of the Year with her first composition called In The Attic.

Mixing acoustic instrumentation with live sampling on turntables has now earned her an honour for innovation at this year's British Composer Awards.

We have been speaking to her about how she works.

What was your reaction to winning the innovation award?

I was incredibly excited, really surprised and could not quite believe it - it's amazing.

What does innovation mean to you?

All composers are innovative in their individual way. In my work, I am always trying to reshape and rethink what I do as an artist and to try to have a different perspective than the one I have at the moment.

I am trying to broaden my perspective so I can understand how music has a broader relationship to other aspects of life, so, because I have this curiosity, that's where the innovation comes from.

Working within electronic music and classical music, you must have so many influences, is it hard to stay original?

I never try to be original. I just always have a curiosity for understanding things I do not currently understand, so I am always trying to dip my toes in as many genres and scenes as possible.

I have always had a broad taste in music but I also listened to things that were going on at the time. Now it's much easier with the internet.

When did the turntables come into it? Were you a fan of classic hip hop DJs like Grandmaster Flash, DJ Kool Herc and Public Enemy's Terminator X?

I get asked that a lot, but I did not really think about it that much. I was going to house parties and there were really incredible DJs and I just had this immediate interest in turntables - not necessarily in the DJ form but in the physicality of the decks.

Is there any snobbery in the classical world about using turntables, existing sounds and music to make new things?

Have you noticed more younger people getting into what you are doing with music?

How important is the visual aspect to what you are doing?

It can make for a challenging, even unsettling, experience - are you worried about audiences being put off by what they do not quite understand?

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