Interview Excerpt #4
FRANK J. OTERI: Do you write out stuff by hand originally or does it go straight to computer?
NATASHA SINHA: Like I explained earlier what we would do is we would first do it by hand and then we would make a second hand copy which was neater because sometimes we would sort of hurry to write things down. And then from that, we would put it on the computer because it would be neater on there.
FRANK J. OTERI: And what program do you use?
NATASHA SINHA: We use Cakewalk Overture. And then my mom helps sometimes and sometimes my dad, but I do it most of the time.
FRANK J. OTERI: Now does that computer allow you to listen back to the music at all?
NATASHA SINHA: No actually, there’s a second way to actually do it on our computer which is to play it on the piano, but you would have to be exact about when to start. And it would change the signature if you weren’t. We have a keyboard and we hook it up to that, so like if you started playing and then you went a little bit faster, it might change the signature…
FRANK J. OTERI: It’s terrible. I started using a notation software program that I absolutely love called Sibelius for my own music… And you can hear the music, you enter it in the computer, but then you can play it back and it plays it.
NATASHA SINHA: Oh wow.
FRANK J. OTERI: And I thought it was interesting because you were saying that you get musicians to play the music and then you make corrections based on what you hear, but with this program, you can hear it all as you are creating it…
NATASHA SINHA: Oh, no, no, no, what I mean is from what they’re playing. Like the way they’re playing. If they’re playing it too loud or soft, that’s what I mean.
FRANK J. OTERI: How long does it take you to write a piece of music. Like the cello and piano piece, how long did it take you to write that?
NATASHA SINHA: It took me about like four or five months.
FRANK J. OTERI: And the flute/piano piece?
NATASHA SINHA: Uh around that.
FRANK J. OTERI: Same, same length of time. One of my favorite things that I heard on the CD was the second movement of the Rustic Suite, the piece for oboe and piano. What I thought was so nice about it was it was so spare. There were passsages where the oboe played and the piano didn’t play at all. And then the piano came it. It wasn’t crowded with notes. Every phrase was allowed to breathe. And I think a lot of times there’s a desire to fill up the page and have as much going on as possible and I think it was wonderful how this music just breathed.
NATASHA SINHA: Well sometimes I feel that also the players sometimes need a rest. But also I sometimes think that as you said, sometimes things get too compacted and I don’t worry how much music I have. As long as it’s not like one note, obviously, the only thing I’m really concerned about is that the music sounds right to me.
FRANK J. OTERI: Now when you hear other people playing your music, how does it make you feel when you’re sitting in the audience?
NATASHA SINHA: It makes me feel just really happy because I usually just close my eyes and just think about it. And sometimes I’m just surprised that I wrote that because I’m just looking at a piece of paper and just playing notes and sometimes I need my teacher to help me. I’m just playing it on the piano, but then when I really hear it with all the instruments, it sounds so good. And I really like it.
FRANK J. OTERI: Have you ever heard a performance of your music that you did not like?
NATASHA SINHA: I don’t think so because most of the times, they’re pretty good.
FRANK J. OTERI: So they do a good job with your music.
NATASHA SINHA: We usually get players who are pretty good and if there’s just one little thing that goes wrong, I don’t make a huge deal about it because we’re all human.