Interview Excerpt #1
FRANK J. OTERI: You’re involved with so many different kinds of activities, both composing music and playing piano, and you’re also involved with sports and Lego, and with mathematics, but since our main interest is your music, let’s talk about music. When did you start writing music?
NATASHA SINHA: I started writing music in I think 1998, two and half years ago. I first started composing because I had been playing piano for awhile and I wanted to see what the composer’s perspective was so I decided to have one instrument as a piano and compose music. Then I decided to have two instruments and that’s what I won for last year, My Rainbow. And then I did a few songs with two instruments. And I did one with the piano and the cello, one with the piano and the oboe, and one other one with the piano and the violin.
FRANK J. OTERI: Now how important is composing music among the various things you do in your life?
NATASHA SINHA: It’s pretty important, ‘cuz I think it’s a very free thing for me to do and it makes me relax a lot because I get to just put all my ideas out and there’s no real wrong way to write music. So I like it a lot.
FRANK J. OTERI: Do you feel that you’re going to be a composer for the rest of your life?
NATASHA SINHA: Probably, but just as something I would do once in awhile. I do it pretty often now and I’ll just always have it with me probably ‘cuz I really enjoy it.
FRANK J. OTERI: Would you say then you would want to be considered in your life first as a composer?
NATASHA SINHA: Possibly. Yeah.
FRANK J. OTERI: Well what else would you want people to think of you as?
NATASHA SINHA: Well I want to be an inventor. I’m interested in inventing robots and helping other people out with different problems they have and if they can’t do things as an aid to help them.
FRANK J. OTERI: So you feel throughout your life you would be able to do that and compose music?
NATASHA SINHA: …possibly as a hobby.
FRANK J. OTERI: How old do you think most composers are?
NATASHA SINHA: I think they mostly start from, obviously a little bit older than me so that would be around like maybe 20 to about maybe about 60 to 70. Somewhere around there, or maybe longer…
FRANK J. OTERI: You know, it’s interesting, there’s a composer who is still alive, an American composer, named Leo Ornstein who turned 108 last year.
NATASHA SINHA: Wow. That’s fantastic [sotto voce]
FRANK J. OTERI: …Elliott Carter who I spoke to last year is still actively writing music. Some of the best music he’s written in his life. And he’s 92 now.
NATASHA SINHA: Oh wow. So it’s just probably ranging a lot.
FRANK J. OTERI: And of course you know Mozart started writing symphonies at the age of eight. And you know there are other composers who were as young writing great music. Henry Cowell was very young when he started composing. But certainly you know you’re younger than any of the composers I’ve ever talked to for NewMusicBox and it raises an interesting question. Can anyone be a composer? What does being a composer require?
NATASHA SINHA: Actually basically anyone can be a composer because all you have to do is be able to make up a tune. And many people do that right now. Like they just are improvising on a song. Like there might one song they heard a lot and they just start improvising something new. And that’s basically composing. They just haven’t written it down yet.