Composer Highlight: Clara Iannotta / by and Play

We were introduced to Clara Iannotta and her piece, Limun, this fall and we performed it for the first time in the beginning of November. It was such a fun challenge to learn, and we cannot wait to share it with a new audience on Wednesday, Dec. 17th at Cloud City @ 8 PM! It is full of beautiful sounds and textures, and we will even be getting some help from the Fragments Duo who will be playing the harmonica parts!

Now, here are some words from Clara to get a glimpse into her life and mind. (We love the lemon story!)

Can you describe your piece in three words?

Not sure about it ...

Now you can use all of the words that you want!

Limun is a piece that I have written during the summer 2011 — half of it while I was in Moscow, attending a three weeks workshop with Bedrossian and Billone, and the rest of it in Royaumont, in a beautiful abbey, near Paris, where I spent three weeks working with Ferneyhough, André and Parra. I remember I was quite stressed out and tired — I finished IRCAM just in May and ever since I was copying an awful opera for about 18 hours per day (no kidding), and this was making my life miserable, also because in my 'free time' I had to write 2 pieces — Limun, and Àphones (an ensemble piece). I was so stressed, that when I finished writing the first 5 minutes of the piece, I noticed that the 2 musicians didn't have any time to turn the pages, and this is why I decided to add two page turners, that become essential in the last part of the piece. I went for a few days in Rome (where my family lives) and I visited my 89 old grandmother. I told her how tired I was, and she told me 'of course you are, you don't eat enough lemons!' ... Hmmm ... Ok, I said, I'll try that, and when I got back home I started eating 3 lemons per day. Now, I don't know if it was because of the lemons or simply because it was time to get better, but I actually got better, so I did a little research about lemons and finally I decided to call this piece, that I was writing in the meanwhile, 'Limun' (lemon, in Arabic). 

What inspired you while writing this piece?

The first part is just about tremolos — I remember I found about 30 different ways of having a tremolo. 

What are you listening to on repeat these days?

The last album of Foo Fighters.

What is your go-to midnight snack?

I wake up everyday around 5:30am, which means at midnight I sleep... 

Any fun winter travel plans? Bundled up, bathing suited up, or staying put?

I am writing these answers at Boston airport, waiting to fly back to Europe for the winter break. I think I will simply try to rest a bit, enjoying my family.


Check out more of Clara's work on her website (her piece for Ensemble Intercontemporain is a great listen)!