VERSED: The ASCAP Podcast / Ep. 14 - Du Yun
July 9, 2020
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VERSED is a bi-weekly podcast illuminating the heart and soul of music. Featuring in-depth interviews with songwriters and composers, plus tips and insights to help you navigate your music career. Brought to you by ASCAP, home of the world's greatest music creators.
This past February, Pulitzer Prize winner Du Yun premiered her new opera Sweet Land, an ambitious site-specific work that reflects on the way cultures swallow up, resist and intertwine with one other. Two weeks into Sweet Land's initial run, the coronavirus epidemic shut down the production - but not before it was captured on video. Listen to Du Yun talk about this fearlessly creative work, how her Chinese upbringing has impacted her career, and the unexpected gifts of the pandemic. PLUS: ASCAP's Luis Castro tells us about the big news coming out of the ASCAP Latin world this week.
Sweet Land is now available for on-demand streaming at stream.sweetlandopera.com. Proceeds will help support the cast and crew.
EP. 14 FEATURED INTERVIEW: DU YUN
DU YUN, born and raised in Shanghai, China, and currently based in New York City, works at the intersection of opera, orchestral, theatre, cabaret, musical, oral tradition, public performances, electronics, visual arts and noise. Her body of work is championed by some of today’s finest performing groups and organizations around the world.
Known for her “relentless originality and unflinching social conscience” (The New Yorker), Du Yun’s second opera, Angel’s Bone (libretto by Royce Vavrek), won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize; in 2018 she was named a Guggenheim Fellow; and in 2019, she was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Classical Composition category for her work Air Glow. As an avid performer and bandleader (Ok Miss), her onstage persona has been described by the New York Times as “an indie pop diva with an avant-garde edge.”
Du Yun is Professor of Composition at the Peabody Institute, and Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.
A community champion, Du Yun was a founding member of the International Contemporary Ensemble; served as the Artistic Director of MATA Festival (2014-2018); conceived the Pan Asia Sounding Festival (National Sawdust); and founded FutureTradition, a global initiative that illuminates the provenance lineages of folk art and uses these structures to build cross-regional collaborations from the ground up. In 2018, Du Yun was named one of 38 Great Immigrants by the Carnegie Foundation, and in 2019 the Beijing Music Festival named her “Artist of the Year.”