At NCP we've created a new position of seasonal Artistic Associate. Each season, a different member of our ensemble will take on this role and get a more hands-on experience on the organizational side. Our clarinetist Mara Mayer will serve as our 2016-17 Artistic Associate. Mara is an incredible musician, producer, curator, yogi, and cat lady, and we could not be more pleased that she will be offering up her sage wisdom this season.
We think you'll love Mara as much as we do, so we asked her a few questions to introduce her to the NCP audience!
How did you get started with NCP?
I got started with NCP due to my love of the bass clarinet. They needed someone to play bass clarinet in Pierrot Lunaire and I was super excited to be involved in that work. I had been introduced to Sugar at a Composer’s Forum event at Exapno (back in 2011?!) and then Isabel, NCP’s regular clarinetist who had been my classmate at Eastman, recommended me for playing bass clarinet. I also started filling in for Isabel when she was too busy doing other awesome things.
What are you looking forward to as the NCP Artistic Associate?
As NCP’s Artistic Associate I am looking forward to getting my curatorial paws on NCP’s programming for a couple of events at the end of 2016, and helping to facilitate communication with composers writing new pieces for us in 2017. As curator for the interdisciplinary experimental performance series Home Audio for the past five years, I’ve developed a sense of how to program events that showcase brand new adventurous work. Sugar and I have discussed expanding NCP’s repertoire to include more experimental composers’ work, and I’m happy to help bring that music to new audiences. I’m really excited for our 2017 season because we’ll be playing a bunch of new music written specifically for the group by composers including Gabrielle Herbst, Isaac Schankler, Nina Young, David Byrd, Olga Bell, and will be revisiting Vincent Calianno’s piece written for us last year.
What is your favorite NCP memory?
My favorite NCP memory is getting to spend a week in New Hampshire at a residency with Sugar, Marina, and Gabi (Gabrielle Herbst), working on material for Gabi’s new piece for us and canoeing around a magical lake.
What have you been working on lately?
I have been working on planning upcoming Home Audio events for this fall. You can check out the series at homeaudioseries.com. I’m also starting to develop some solo material on bass clarinet as performer/composer/improviser. Here’s a little taste of what that sounds like.
How do you like to spend your time outside of music?
I also practice and teach yoga. Right now I teach at a lovely little community studio in Crown Heights called Shambhala and at two senior living communities where I teach chair yoga to older adults.