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Sabrina Pena Young

How would you describe your music?

"Cinematic soundscapes, pulsating rhythms, and enigmatic vocals envelop the listener in entangling science fiction textures and robotic mayhem. An otherworldly sound experience.

Recently had world premier of the multimedia oratorio ""Creation"": ""A complex multilingual intertwining of Afro-Cuban music and traditional choral music, the intermedia oratorio Creation celebrates diversity and the beauty of procreation. A celebration of culture, life, humanity, and the female body, Creation further marks itself as a musical milestone, commissioned specifically for a 50 member woman's chorus and composed by a young female composer of Cuban-Dominican heritage.""


What is your role in your band? In the studio? In business or marketing decisions?

"I compose and create my own scores, computer animation, and electronic music in my humble studio as my infant daughter crawls around my feet. I teach Music Synthesis and composition lessons at Murray State University, write articles for various websites and music journals, and pick up commissions and music projects. Right now I am working on an album with Easy Ear Training.com for possible use for an i-Phones app. Life is complicated and exciting and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I manage my own business. And while I don't make much money, my music has been heard throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Australia and I am respected in my field of experimental electroacoustic music. Did I mention that I love what I do?"

Describe your gear.

"Modest project studio for music production, graphic design, and animation.

i-Mac Intel, Malletkat, Logic Express, Animation/Film Studio (Final Cut, Poser, Bryce, Photoshop), Yamaha and M-Audio keyboard MIDI controllers, video game controllers"

Related Themes: Gear

Do you think being a woman and a musician is different from being a man and a musician? If so, how? Was there a moment that made a difference clear to you?

"The fact that this survey has to label me as a ""Woman Musician"" as if the default is male already says something about society.

I think the primary difference has been for teaching posts at the university level. I have been mistaken for a student several times and even been denied access to equipment because I don't ""look the part"" of a university professor. I dealt with a lot of sexism as a percussionist, but I don't see the purpose of dwelling on the past.

Thankfully, most of my contacts are electronic and most of my opportunities are gained through my website and reputation. In other words, I don't need to worry about someone looking down on me because I am a proud young Latina who composes experimental classical music. Many times I contact using the gender-neutral ""S. Peña Young"", which frees up everyone from worrying about gender issues."

Do you see differences between generations of women musicians?

I think Gen Xers and Ys are less likely to abandon balancing the family and making some concessions for having a life outside of music. In other words, having a family is no longer considered a weakness.

Related Themes: Off The Clock

Did anyone ever give you any valuable advice about making your way in the music industry? What advice would you give to a woman musician just starting out?

Persevere. And remember that you can't just be good. You have to be the best.

Related Themes: Advice

Why did you choose to play the instrument you play?

"I chose the drums because I thought that drumming would be my life. Later in college I got involved with the experimental electronic music studios SYCOM at the University of South Florida and discovered that the insanity in my head could better be expressed by insane sounds.

Got my masters in Music Technology at Florida International U. and went back to school for a little while to study video and film.

I compose because I have to compose. There is too much music inside of me to keep bottled up."

Related Themes: The First Time