Can you tell us about your musical influences?
I think my breadth of influences comes from a mix-tape my dad made me when I was about 3. It had on it Teddy Bears’ Picnic, Bohemian Rhapsody, a Strauss Waltz, Ra Ra Rasputin, Eine Kleine Nacht Music…
I love dissonance, and also heavy grooves – contemporary classical mixed with ‘90s grunge. Increasingly, I am exploring the sounds of Sri Lanka and what the knitting together of East and West in sound can express about my experiences.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am just finishing off a piece in collaboration with Creative Sign poet and performer Sophie Stone for any-voice choir synchronised to some original Sign Poetry by Sophie. I wanted to explore with her the physicality of creating sound, really engaging in the feeling of resonance; I have used these sounds in the piece to support and amplify the environments and emotions created by Sophie’s signing. I am also writing a piece for a recital for piano and projection called PeoplePower vs. PowerPeople. It is written between three composers, and will explore power dynamics, types of power, and who really has it. My segments focus on how truth can be wilfully mutated by malevolent or negligent organisations with power.
What are you looking forward to most about Music Patron?
I am looking forward to having the time to truly explore. I had an unexpected week alone in Snape Maltings last year and just having that permission to spend time on myself revolutionised my creative practice; because my composing has grown from having to write quickly for specific briefs, often to plug an emergency show gap or write an immediate song with someone, it was my first real experience of being able to really sit in the ‘possibility’ phase without having to choose a direction immediately and run with it. I’m looking forward to finding out which perhaps more reticent, more complex parts of my artistic voice get a chance to have their say.
Watch Yshani’s short video on Music Patron: