Gabriela Ortiz interview with Gustavo Dudamel


The LA Phil and Gustavo Dudamel performed Corpórea by Gabriela Ortiz in a digital concert available here.


In addition to the video performance, Ortiz and Dudamel had the opportunity to have a conversation about her work, the Pan-American music scene, and the two sides of being human.


Here are some excerpts of this interview:

We are doing this beautifully mad thing – putting together an orchestra to play and make music that moves us. You are part of our family, of the Philharmonic, and we thought of you immediately and your wonderful work Corpórea. It has a very unique energy and is so well written. Tell me about the piece.


When I write music, I am always swinging between the rational part, how we function mentally, and the irrational part – the instinct or institution, the magic part. I think you also go through this when you conduct – one part plans the rehearsal to be very productive – how you are going to distribute the time, what parts you are supposed to rehearse. But then comes the magic part – suddenly, there is intuition, suddenly you change your mind. I am always between the planning part and the intuition part. The last movement, which is the one you’ve been working on, is very rhythmic, very visceral. That’s the idea – how to get to this primitive, obsessive drive. It is playing with the pendulum between the spiritual and the visceral. Because I am Latin American, that rhythmic part is an important characteristic of my work.


Speaking of which, you are also the curator of our Pan-American festival, which we cannot start now for obvious reasons, but it will happen. It is a wonderful, beautiful initiative. Tell me how you see the Pan-American music scene.


I believe the American continent offers enormous perspective and diversity. If we think of it from Canada to countries like Argentina or Chile, it is vast. As a curator, I want to make sure that diversity is shown and that we break stereotypes a bit – the culture of Argentina is not the same as it is in Colombia or Venezuela or Mexico, but at the same time, we have many things in common. In Europe, they have a wonderful tradition, but it is a tradition with a long history. In America, there is a freshness.


Being connected through diversity is the spirit of our culture. I love it because the moment we do concerts again, we will start with this wonderful festival enriched with all of your knowledge and love for this music.


And my love of the Los Angeles Philharmonic community. I have always said that the orchestra and your vision, Gustavo, is a community vision. I love that the orchestra is seeing its surroundings. It is seeing its city, which is a community with enormous diversity and multiculturalism.


The orchestra has to be a reflection of its community. It has to embrace all cultures because that is the beauty of what we do. We build bridges and that is what enriches us as humans and nourishes the art that we make.


Read the original interview here.


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