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'Anna Korsun is a very promising composer. Searches for something original. She tries things on the edge of the voice.'

Winner Gaudeamus Award 2014

Anna Korsun

From Paris, a soft voice talks down the phone, almost shy. Fragile? Perhaps. But also strong as an ox, regardless of her delicate physique. Anna Korsun, born in Ukraine and usually based in Germany is artist in residence at the Cité Internationale des Arts where she is preparing a composition for Looptail at the Gaudeamus Academy. The white building is stark, almost anonymous. Here, artists have to keep their nose to the grindstone.

It suits Korsun. “I like being alone. To be able to think.” Undoubtedly, she takes her work seriously. Although she sometimes lacks the ‘drive’ to push along the process of composing so, “all I can do is sit stupidly near the computer until it continues.”

At first glance, parts of her compositions seem light as a feather. Happy-go-lucky. But that is not a deliberate effect. She refuses to consider what impression her pieces might make. “As far as I am concerned,” she stresses, “musical materials are just that. When I compose, the sounds lose their meaning.”

In the video that introduces her nominated composition Vocerumori she enters into an intellectualist discourse with a cheerful teddy bear. “It’s my little protest,” she explains, “against imposing an interpretation of music. I want the audience to hear it in their own way.”

Photo © Anna van Kooij