Interview Excerpt #9
FRANK J. OTERI: Now tell me a bit about, you also in addition to all the music stuff you do competitive figure skating.
NATASHA SINHA: Yeah, I used to.
FRANK J. OTERI: You don’t any more?
NATASHA SINHA: Actually no, I don’t because it started taking up too much time. And if I did that, I wouldn’t be able to do any of this. Like I wouldn’t be able to do much piano ‘cuz it was either giving up ice skating or giving up piano and I decided to give up ice skating because I could have gotten injured since I was getting near the higher levels where you have to do more turns in the air and stuff. So I decided that. I mean I can always come back to it. But I just didn’t wanna like grab onto that because also I think that music is very important.
FRANK J. OTERI: Now with the figure skating, you got pretty high. You were number four in a U.S. Regional in 2000.
NATASHA SINHA: Yeah.
FRANK J. OTERI: You placed first in the Providence Open Competition in 1997. When did you start skating?
NATASHA SINHA: I actually started skating when I was about four and a half. And I did that until I was eight and a half I think.
FRANK J. OTERI: Wow.
NATASHA SINHA: So that was the last.
FRANK J. OTERI: And you said that you also like tennis and you want to get into softball.
NATASHA SINHA: Yes sort of. I wanted to do softball, but actually I didn’t get a chance to get into softball. I like tennis a lot. Tennis I always like because it’s always on television and I think tennis is a very nice game because you don’t have to be running every second. But you have to use your muscles and be able to predict when something comes, where the ball will be coming and have to throw it back in time.
FRANK J. OTERI: Now do you feel there’s any connection between sports and music?
NATASHA SINHA: Actually I do because usually when I did skating, there would always be music playing. And for some reason, whenever I’m doing anything, I just start singing. I don’t know why. I just start humming tunes in my head because I have them and I think sometimes some, some songs just start coming out and I really enjoy it.
FRANK J. OTERI: Well it’s interesting that you said that you gave up skating because you didn’t want to be injured and hurt your piano playing and you couldn’t give the time to practicing skating and also the time to practicing piano. We always talk about how music is an art and an intellectual thing that involves the mind and engages the soul, but we often forget that making music involves the body. Playing the piano is a physical act of endurance a lot of the time. Especially if you’re entering competitions. That’s like a sports competition in some ways, no?
NATASHA SINHA: Yeah.
FRANK J. OTERI: Do you feel when you’ve played in piano competitions that you feel physically stressed by it…
NATASHA SINHA: Actually usually I don’t because I’m usually not stressed and the reason for that is because I know that I’ve practiced a lot and that I wouldn’t be going to the competition if I didn’t know it. And that I don’t try to be stressed because if I do, I feel all worried and usually I’m not worried because even if I don’t do well, at least I tried.
FRANK J. OTERI: In terms of the skating competitions, did you ever feel stressed with those?
NATASHA SINHA: Not usually, unless I had a cold. Like the last time I ever skated, I was really sick and I didn’t feel well and I wasn’t sure if I was gonna have to stop in the middle of my program. But that was actually basically the only time ‘cuz I wasn’t feeling well. That morning I had to take this stuff that made me really drowsy.
FRANK J. OTERI: You got into music because your mother had a musical background and you had music in the house all the time. How did you get into the skating?
NATASHA SINHA: Well I had always watched it on television and I personally thought that was very interesting ‘cuz you’re skating on ice. It’s almost like a bike basically except you’re having something that is less friction and you’re basically gliding and you’re jumping up into the air and you don’t just come down with a thud and stop. You come down and you start, you start sliding again and I just thought it was very interesting and I wanted to start skating.
FRANK J. OTERI: In the very beginning of our talk, we spoke about music audiences in this country and people not always appreciating classical music, but there’s an inclination for music that isn’t developed. Sports definitely does not have that problem! Sports has the biggest audience in the world.
NATASHA SINHA: Yeah, see what I think the thing is, is that well many people get excited for games because you don’t really know what’s gonna happen. But in classical music, for some reason people think that it’ll always be the same and that nothing will really change. And they always have the best players like on the team that they’re on. No one really says “Oh you guys, let’s go and hear this kind of music.” It always has to be like a band group that’s like the newest or something.
FRANK J. OTERI: Do you feel there’s something we should do to add more of an element of surprise to music to make it more exciting?
NATASHA SINHA: Well I think that we should somehow persuade people to start liking other kinds of music ‘cuz many people are just stuck in one kind of music ‘cuz that’s all they really care about. But if we could just explain to them how beautiful all kind of music is, even if it’s not preferably your favorite music, you can always like some kind of music. Because at first you can explain to people that there was only classical music. Everything was built off of the caveman days and how it came up from there. Like you would say “Who want to listen to rocks and bones?” And they’ll say, that’s basically saying who would want to listen to pop music, because that developed a whole thing about music and beauty.