Leading up to our Teleformation show, we will be writing about a few of our composers and performers! Crystal Pascucci told us a bit about herself in preparation for the big show tonight at the Center for New Music.
Tickets will be available at the door, and rest assured we will have Lagunitas beer present, as they have offered their generous support of the arts.
My name is Crystal Pascucci, and I’m a native New Yorker; born and raised on Long Island. Neither of my parents played instruments, so growing up, I had little formal exposure to music. My mother’s side of the family celebrated with music. Salsa and Merengue were integral parts of each gathering with most events centered around dancing. My father listened to 60’s and 70’s garage rock and at any given time, would quiz me to name artists on the radio.
In high school I became obsessed with Shostakovich. My affection for contemporary music grew as I learned more 20th century works. In college, I began to play free improvisation. I pulled on influences of contemporary music while improvising. Meanwhile, I chose to learn 20th century composed works, additionally, dove into new music. Most of my friends in Buffalo, NY had heard me improvise and wrote specifically for my playing style. Throughout my graduate degree at The Hartt School, I studied improvisation with Robert Black (Bang on Can) and Anthony Braxton. Later, I studied improvisation at Mills College with Fred Frith, Roscoe Mitchell, and Zeena Parkins. My aesthetic was being challenged. As it continues to grow, I feel as if it is expanding rather than simply shifting.
The aesthetic of contemporary music has always appealed to me. Working with Teleformation allows me to learn and perform contemporary music, have a dialog with composers, and examine conceptual trajectories of composition. It is a joy and passion to play chamber music. Playing in Teleformation, I have the opportunity to work in depth with other string players, bringing both a common language and individual artistry to prepare traditional and premiere works.
I believe having a conceptual starting point for the composer and performer brings additional layers of complexity to a piece. The pieces we are performing on this concert have definite and clear elements of incorporating old forms and styles. This is informative for the composer, in that it can influence compositional choices and instill restrictions that can be both inspirational and challenging. Incorporating older elements of music, such as form and style, are not new ideas, but given the material, time periods considered and ever changing aesthetic, we are yielding a different result than say, Britten and Purcell.
As a performer, I feel like I can draw on older styles of articulation and sound. In someways, it liberates the music from existing in only the contemporary music tradition, and is embraced by the past. It’s almost as if the past is accepting this new music, and offering support in which to draw from. Working with GCG and the composers has been a rewarding and growing experience. In the future, I will work to incorporate many of the practices that were used in the preparation of this project. For example, I will try to meet with the composers during the draft period, invite composers to listen after rehearsals with the group has already begun, and holding a polished dress rehearsal. I’m incredibly grateful to have been a part of a project with artistic intension and facilitating organization to yield the best possible performance of new works.
The Guerrilla Composers Guild is a fiscally-sponsored affiliate of the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the service of chamber music in California.
Please consider making a donation to help us put on our future shows! We are proud to be fiscally sponsored by the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music, and would love it if you considered donating. If you would like to donate goods or have a special request with a donation, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
The show is also supported in part by Lagunitas, and we are so excited to feature their beers for your enjoyment!