ISSN 2605-2318


Missy Mazzoli (Compositora) 

Missy Mazzoli | Entrevista con Missy Mazzoli


She is one of the most consistently inventive, surprising and original voices of the contemporary scene and undoubtedly a composer worth following. Missy has named Mead Composer-in-Residence at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and she is working on a ballet score for the National Ballet of Canada. I have talked to her and this is what she told us.


"I am inspired by the world and the people around me. Human beings, with their endless flaws, aspirations, unpredictability, predictability and basic underlying goodness, are infinitely fascinating"

1. Ruth Prieto:
Who is Missy Mazzoli?

Missy Mazzoli: I am a composer living in Brooklyn, New York.

2. R.P.: Which characteristic defines you best?

Missy Mazzoli: I am open to new sounds and ideas.

3. R.P.: What inspires you as a composer and why?

Missy Mazzoli: I am inspired by the world and the people around me. Human beings, with their endless flaws, aspirations, unpredictability, predictability and basic underlying goodness, are infinitely fascinating.

4. R.P.: What are your musical roots (real or imaginary)?

Missy Mazzoli: I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania. I have played piano since I was 7 years old, and always played in bands, though my real love has always been classical and experimental music.

5. R.P.: In this personal "inventory" that we all have of noises, sounds, music and songs, what can you tell us about your soundscape?

Missy Mazzoli: There are a lot of “suburban” sounds – drones of air-conditioners, lawnmowers, traffic, horns.

6. R.P.: ¿What does silence sound like?

Missy Mazzoli: Terrifying.

7. R.P.: ¿Have you got a composer of reference or someone who made a special impression on you as a pianist, as an artist?

Missy Mazzoli: One of my main mentors and inspirations has been composer Meredith Monk.

8. R.P.: Can you define contemporary? And, in which way Missy Mazzoli is contemporary?

Missy Mazzoli: Anyone who listens to themselves in an open and honest way can’t help but be contemporary. I don’t think about being “contemporary” per se – I just try to listen to myself honestly.

9. R.P.: What is your DNA as a composer?

Missy Mazzoli: Harmony.

10. R.P.: What is your main obsession as a composer when working?

Missy Mazzoli: Form.

11. R.P.: How do you go about putting together a new work, could you describe your creative process?

Missy Mazzoli: I picture the entire piece at once, as a shape, then continually refine the details.

12. R.P.: What does music contribute to education?

Missy Mazzoli: Music is a way of organizing and processing data. For many students it can be a profoundly helpful way of understanding the world.

13. R.P.: In your opinion who are the key composers in contemporary music scene? Any advice?

Missy Mazzoli: I really love recent works by Meredith Monk, John Luther Adams, Gabriella Smith and Daniel Bjarnason.

14. R.P.: ¿What has your greatest extravagance been?

Missy Mazzoli: Renting my own apartment.

15. R.P.: ¿What would you like to do as a composer that you have not been asked to do yet?

Missy Mazzoli: I would like to perform more as a pianist.

16. R.P.: Is it difficult to perform avant-garde projects in these time of crisis?

Missy Mazzoli: No – I view art-making as a kind of act of resistance.  The patience, curiosity, openness and focus required to make complex works of art come directly out of our best selves, our humanity. If this humanity exists, then there is hope, then the negativity of the world has not yet won over.

17. R.P.: ¿How do you see the contemporary music scene today?

Missy Mazzoli: It’s a very exciting time to be a composer.

18. R.P.: ¿What are your next projects?

Missy Mazzoli: A ballet score for the National Ballet of Canada.

Photos by Marylene Mey courtesy of the composer

More information at Missy Mazzoli


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Este trabajo tiene la licencia CC BY-NC-SA 4.0