Puerto Rican-born composer and multi-instrumentalist Angélica Negrón writes music for accordions, robotic instruments, toys, and electronics as well as for chamber ensembles, orchestras, choir, and film. Her music has been described as “wistfully idiosyncratic and contemplative” (WQXR/Q2) while The New York Times noted her “capacity to surprise.”
Angélica Negrón joins Eugene Symphony twice during the 2022/23 Season as part of her work as a First Symphony Project Composer-in-Residence. Her first week of residency leads up to Opening Night on October 8, 2022, when the orchestra plays her shorter piece Me he perdido. In February, she returns for her second week of residency, which culminates in the premiere of her Symphony No. 1 as part of the February 16, 2023, concert, Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto.
Angélica Negrón spoke to her creative process and inspirations as she's composing.
What does your creative process look like?
I like to collect sounds, images & words and start playing with them to see what shape they take. Sometimes I record sounds from the environment or from my home and start playing with them on the computer to see how they can transform and be a part of a piece. I record a lot of voice memos on my phone singing ideas for melodies or rhythms and sometimes textures. I sing a lot when I’m composing even if it’s an instrumental piece so my creative process includes a lot of mumbling and singing to myself. I sometimes share what I’m working on with my closest friends to get feedback particularly if I’m stuck and I also like to listen to inspiration playlists I make for specific pieces with artists that make me excited about music.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find inspiration from the sounds and sights around me including nature but also the sounds in my kitchen, from my family and friends, from the people in my neighborhood, from my childhood, from my experience as a Puerto Rican living outside of the island, from other artists I admire including poets and visual artists particularly those from Puerto Rico and Latin America.
How can music connect us?
Music sparks curiosity and imagination which helps us consider other possibilities and other ways of seeing and hearing the world. It can bring us closer to the people and places that we miss that are sometimes far away from us. It can also communicate many things without words and connect us to people we might not even know but feel a deep resonance with through the power of sounds
What does composing mean to you?
Composing is my way of expressing and understanding myself and my way of connecting to others. It’s also the way I attempt to process and make sense of things that are hard for me to understand and articulate through words
What do you like to do when you’re not composing?
Going to stand up comedy, drag and music shows, playing with my dog Midi, listening to music I enjoy, cooking a yummy Puerto Rican meal, listening to comedy podcasts, spending time with my friends and family.