Rolex protégé Pauchi Sasaki on music ownership and shadowing mentor Philip Glass

Pauchi Sasaki in Harlem, New York, with her wearable sound sculptures. Also pictured is equipment including an acoustic violin and a self-designed instrument
Sasaki, in Harlem, New York, with her wearable sound sculptures, Speaker Dress No. 1, 2016, and Speaker Dress No. 2, 2014, the latter designed for flautist Claire Chase. Also pictured is equipment including an acoustic violin (left), and a self-designed instrument, Extended Violin, 2013 (right).
(Image credit: Yann Rabanier)

Bringing together leading artists, writers, architects, musicians, filmmakers and other creative luminaries with the brightest young stars in their field, the Rolex Mentor and Protégé programme is an ambitious cultural exchange. Following on from our story in the November 2017 issue, three of the latest protégés reveal what mentoring has meant to them.

Born in Peru, Pauchi Sasaki is a violinist, composer and performance artist whose work spans different styles and disciplines. She is a graduate of the Electronic Music and Recording Media programme at Mills College in California, and composes music for video, film, theatre, dance, and site-specific projects and installations. Her Rolex mentor is Philip Glass, a master of minimalist music and arguably the most popular classical composer alive today.

W*: How have you and Philip Glass interacted over the year?
Pauchi Sasaki: At the beginning, I followed him on tour around Japan, Europe, California and New York, which was fascinating, as his tours demand a lot of teamwork, and it was really useful to learn about the logistics behind the scenes. Later we were able to get together in New York, where we had the space and time for wide-ranging talks, especially about music and film. Philip is a great storyteller and he’s worked with so many amazing people, like Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese.

W*: Has his mentorship had a practical side?
PS: Right from the start, Philip told me that I should be the owner of my music, and that I needed to set up my own publishing company, which I have done now. He’s also helping with me a letter for the artists’ visa programme for the US.

W*: How do you feel your work has developed as a result of your discussions?
Philip is a very pragmatic person. He has so many things to take care of, but he really knows how to manage them without getting overwhelmed. That ability and that kind of wisdom is very inspiring for a young artist like me. In terms of music, mine sometimes is quite abstract, but his has a quality like light – not without weight, but beautiful. Little by little, perhaps, elements of my music will emerge which will sound a bit happier, and that may be his influence.

W*: Do you have any performances coming up?
PS: I recently performed with the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, on the same night that Philip presented his take on Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. On 11 March I’ll be at National Sawdust in New York as part of Du Yun’s Pan Asian Sounding Festival, and on 1 June I’m performing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as part of a suite of micro commissions by Aizuri Quartet.

As originally featured in the January 2018 issue of Wallpaper* (W*226)

For more information, visit Pauchi Sasaki’s website and the Rolex Mentor & Protégé Initiative‎ website