Natasha Sofla is a brilliant young musician, right at the beginning of her career and working towards composition for screen. We had the honour to work with her on a piece for our arts festival last summer, and we are now colllaborating on a collection of pieces for our upcoming London event in the New Year (keep your eye out for details!) To hear more of her work, head on over to her portfolio: soundcloud.com/natasha_sofla
How long have you been composing?
Technically speaking, I have been composing since I took my GCSE in music, so for about 8 years. I only started to really develop as a composer, however, once I started university. It was then that I realised that, actually, this is what I wanted to do, and I started to take steps towards that goal.
What is it about composition that you enjoy so much?
I think the thing that I enjoy most about composition is being able to create new sound worlds, which I can explore myself through the process of writing, and then ultimately share with listeners. I really enjoy being able to shape a piece of music, to craft it into something unique that can mean something different to each person that hears or plays it.
Are there genres of music that you prefer to work within?
Generally, I work within the contemporary classical genre, though that in itself is an extremely broad term! I also enjoy electroacoustic music, and have found myself writing quite a lot recently. Film music is another passion of mine, and has been for many years, though I have not yet had the opportunity to write much of it myself, much as I would love to. Experimenting with different genres has always been a part of my work, as I find it is an excellent way of challenging myself creatively, and preventing my style from stagnating.
Who do you find particularly inspirational in the composing world?
I draw inspiration mainly from 20th century and contemporary composers in the classical world, such as Jonathan Dove, John Adams, György Ligeti, and Leonard Bernstein, and as for electroacoustic music, Monty Adkins' work has been a significant influence on mine. I also have a love for film and television soundtracks, in particular the ways in which they can create immersive, atmospheric music, which can be incredibly emotive whilst telling a story. Within this genre, one of my personal favourites is Ramin Djawadi, who is responsible for the incredible Game of Thrones soundtrack.
Where do you get your ideas from?
My ideas come from a variety of places, however their main source is from listening to the work of other composers. The more I listen, and the more I am exposed to new ideas, the more I am inspired to write! Sometimes a particular instrument or voice can inspire me, and at other times it is a certain style of writing that I become interested in trying out for myself. I have also been known to be inspired by visual art, for example I wrote a piece two years ago based on a set of paintings by Pierre Soulages that I saw in the Musée Fabre, Montpellier's main art gallery.
Tell us a little about the first piece you composed for Label, and what you're working on at the moment?
The first piece I wrote for Label was a short work for solo piano. I drew inspiration from pop/classical fusion pieces such as those of the Piano Guys, in order to give the piece a light, familiar tone, and to make it accessible to as wide an audience as possible. In terms of what I’m working on at the moment, I am beginning a second work for Label, this time an atmospheric electroacoustic piece to be played at the event in London this January. I am also beginning to delve into the realm of choral music, a genre which I have always been passionate about as a performer and a listener, but have not yet explored in composition. In summary, watch this space!
What do you most want people to know about your music?
That it exists! I'm here and I'm writing, so please have a listen: soundcloud.com/natasha_sofla