Pauchi Sasaki, music, mentored by Philip Glass
From Peru, born 1982
Nominated for her outstanding performance and compositional talent, Pauchi Sasaki is a violinist, composer and performance artist, whose work ranges across different music styles and disciplines. She graduated from 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.
W*: Why did you end up being a musician rather than expressing yourself in a different field?
PS: Music suits me very well for many different reasons. It’s very free, very poetic but also very structured. I’ve always tended to be introspective, and music fits well with that as well. As an artist I feel I can express myself most directly through music. I started learning the flute at the same time as I started learning to talk, and I began playing the violin when I was five, so music has always been part of my life.
How did your speaker dress come about?
I’m very interested in embodying sound, in contrast to the way as a performer that you’re often hiding behind an instrument. After a very big, intense performance at the opera house in Lima in 2012, I kind of came to afterwards and wondered, ‘What on earth happened there?’ What you do exists only while you’re doing it, but as soon as the performance is over it’s gone, and you have to learn to change the chip in your head and be someone other than the person you were on the stage. For some time after that, I had a real hunger for objects – because as a performer, once the performance is over you have nothing but the experience to show for it. That’s when I conceived the idea for my musical dress.
How are you working with Philip Glass?
I’ve already been touring with him, travelling to Japan for a performance with Patti Smith, and to Bucharest and Paris with the Kronos Quartet, who were playing Philip Glass’ music for the 1931 film of Dracula, which is one of my favourite pieces.