Q&A with Qasim Naqvi

With Spitalfields Music Festival 2017 just around the corner we’ve been catching up with the artists and ensembles involved to find out about what to expect at their performances and what inspires them to create.

Here’s composer and Dawn of Midi drummer Qasim Naqvi talking about his involvement in the festival…

How have you found working with André as a part of this festival?

It’s been really great working with André. We first met in Holland at a festival and he had heard some of my solo work and since then he’s been a strong advocate of the stuff I do and has been extremely proactive in getting my music performed in Europe. I feel very fortunate to have someone like that in my corner.

What’s your involvement in the festival?

I have two pieces in the festival. Fjoloy is a large choral work and a few of the movements will be performed by the The Erebus Ensemble for the House of Monteverdi programme. Inaugural Music is an electro-acoustic work that was written for s t a r g a z e and that’s part of the Renegade New Classical programme. Both pieces are U.K premieres, which is exciting!

What can audiences expect from your performance in three words?

hmm.. well, immersion, distortion and color I hope?

How do you define the music you create?

As of late I’ve been using analog and modular synthesizers as a source of musical inspiration. Sometimes it’s a tool to create compositional ideas that are then translated into a musical language for acoustic instruments and at other times, these electrical textures are orchestrated into the work, like electro-acoustic music. Both of the pieces at Spitalfields demonstrate this process.

Other than the event you’re involved in, which Spitalfields Music Festival event are you looking forward to the most?

Well, all sorts of stuff. I hope to see as much music as possible. I guess presently I’m most intrigued by Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s music. I’ve only seen clips of it on Youtube so it’ll be cool to feel it in the flesh.

Best gig you’ve ever seen?

That’s a hard question. So often I’ve left a concert saying those words but then I see something else that blows me away, so it’s a sort of fluid concept. I will say though, there’s one show that has stuck with me in my memory of things; seeing Elvin Jones perform shortly before he departed this earth. I’ve never seen raw creative energy radiate from a person like that, especially someone who was in the twilight years. I was about 10 feet behind him and feeling his creative aura was super special.

Catch Qasim Naqvi’s work at House of Monteverdi, Saturday 2 December, 5pm and Renegade New Classical on Wednesday 6 December, 8pm. Book Now!