Composer Highlight: Ravi Kittappa / by and Play

We are jazzed to get started with our Fall 2017 tour down the coast of California! The schedule is on our events pages, but here is a little overview of our stops. We will be at the Center for New Music with Chartreuse on 11/8, in Boulder Creek on the Indexical series on 11/10, Paso Robles for a private event at St. Peter of Alcantara Vineyard for the Guyomar Wine Club member party on 11/11, Los Angeles at Monk Space with Chartreuse on 11/12, and finally at UCSD in the Conrad Prebys Music Center Recital Hall on 11/13. 

We received a 2016 CMA Classical Commissioning grant with Ravi Kittappa, and it has been such a fun journey to make this piece a reality. We are really looking forward to premiering this work and getting to play it so many times in a short span of days. It will be interesting to see how the piece grows and changes over the course of the week. Now check out how Ravi tackled our questions for him! 


What was your inspiration for 'Tacit'?

For the last few years I’ve been interested in what I’ve termed "person-specific" music. It’s not music written for a specific person but music that allows the performer to utilize their own proclivities, unique abilities, and specific qualities of their instrument as a core part of performance. In general these pieces have a somewhat open form and method of notation, with durations dictated by the unfurling of various processes. The first piece that I wrote with this in mind was Trajectories, which Hannah graciously performed a little while ago.

I’ve written a few solo works where these notions were explored, but Tacit is the first of these pieces with more than one player. So for the piece to work it is essential that the musicians have a keen understanding of each other’s playing and an capability for “tacit” communication.

What was the collaborative process like with andPlay?

Well, we were in an idyllic location (Avaloch Farms Institute), with plentiful delicious food, fantastic wine, and good company. . . so, it was terrible! No, of course, it was great. My high expectations were surpassed. I love working with people experienced in new music because they’re really unafraid to try anything - andPlay is a stellar example of this! I can remember a somewhat ridiculous moment where I had the duo standing adjacent and bowing each others instruments as well as their own. . . . .needless to say the results weren’t so stellar. But we had to try it to find that out. One thing that I’m particularly happy about the piece is that the duo has really taken it on as their own - not only individually but as the duo. 

What is your pump up music?

Oooooh boy! This changes regularly but at the moment I’ll say . . . . . The Rock*A*Teens - "HWY R" . . . . oh and currently a song called “Health" from a new Australian band called Parsnip. . . .and let’s throw Logical Progression II in there for good measure.

What are some of your top California treats (snacks, meals, wine, etc)?

There are plenty! I suppose I should go through all of your tour stops:

Bay Area: “The Balls” at Southie, Beer at Mikkeler, Dinner at Chez Panisse, Ippuku (an Izakaya in Berkeley), Ethiopian food in Oakland is amazing

Santa Cruz: (haven’t spent much time there but. . .) I’ve had some awesome beer from there, abalone, and Indexical puts on a bunch of awesome shows

Paso Robles: Guyomar Wine, Dinner and cocktails at The Hatch, brunch at Kitchenette, so much more amazing wine. . . .  L’aventure, Linne Calodo, Saxum, Torrin, Golden Triangle, Law, too many to mention. . . .

Los Angeles: Tacos Dorados Camarones at Mariscos Jaliscos (the greatest cheap eat ever!), Cocktails at The Varnish, La Descarga, The Normandie. Kalbi in Koreatown (LA Style)

San Diego: (although I haven’t been there) so many great beers! Fish tacos are just a California thing in general but San Diegans seem to claim ownership

If you had to give up wine or cheese which would you choose?

I would choose to die.


Check out more of Ravi's work on his website.