Interview with Francesco Milioto

Access Contemporary Music’s Artistic Director and Conductor, Francesco Milioto talks with Homeroom about musical side of the collaborative Ten x Ten project. Milioto will conduct the Palomar Ensemble at the Ten x Ten Release Concert & Exhibition this Saturday, November 16th at 6:00pm at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art.

Q. The Ten x Ten project is unique in that visual artists and composers collaborate from the first stages of the creative project instead of in response to each other's work. As the conductor of the musical portion of the project, did you notice anything different about the pieces as opposed to other musical works because of this collaboration?
A. I don't think there is necessarily something "different" about these compositions, but simply something abstractly specific! It's hard enough to describe a painting with words, imagine with music! In a way the music ends up being an imitation, or something that parallels the work in a way. That is what I find interesting about each of these pieces, the way the composer is trying to connect to each painting, and what they are trying to say about it.

The composers used a unique combination of instruments for this project. Can you describe how each instrument might be reflected in the corresponding visual prints?

A. I think each composer found a way to use not only each instruments qualities, but all the possible combinations of instruments to suite the idea. As musician will use their imagination and I am sure when asked, a lot of the thoughts would overlap!

Q. Take us back to the recording process. How is it different to rehearse an ensemble for a recording session rather than a live performance?

A. Recording is always different. We can record in shorter chunks of music, though I do like to have takes of the whole piece as well. For either live performances or recordings the goal is to have an arch all the way through... which in recording is difficult, especially when you stop and start! Tempi, tuning, continuity.. etc.. are all much harder to keep consistent in a recording studio.

Q. What are you most looking forward to at the Ten x Ten Release Concert & Exhibition?

A. I am most looking forward to the audience reaction and comments on experiencing both the visuals and music at the same time!

Q. Which music would you like to have performed at your funeral?

A. Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana.