Winner of the 2017 BASCA British Composer Award for Innovation, Shiva Feshareki is an experimental composer, radio presenter and turntablist of British Iranian heritage. Her work explores the sound of electricity through a wide range of practises and collaborative processes incorporating classical methodology.
Her turntable performances slice apart disparate sonic palettes before sewing them back together with expert sampling techniques. Cuts from old-school garage and d’n’b records electrify her sets, while deep minimalist composers such as Pauline Oliveros and James Tenney provide a layer of delicacy and complexity that has been responsible for transforming Shiva’s wider approach to music.
Shiva will be leading our second Both Sides Now residency taking place in Leeds in March. You can book tickets to the final performance which will act as the opening of Sounds Like THIS Festival in Leeds on Monday 12 March here.
Here Shiva shares her top tips for aspiring musicians…
1. Collaborate with a variety of people. The best way to expand your understanding of music and cultures is by collaborating with people who are like-minded, but also have different skills and attitudes to you. This way, you broaden your perspective as well as your skills.
2. Explore different scenes and cultures. It’s important to dip your toe into as many different scenes and cultures as possible, by going to a variety of gigs and events, and also using the internet as your tool. This way you can truly feel in tune with where you fit as an artist in the broader relevance of things. On this note, also explore the work of people from different disciplines to you. Through history, a lot of the most significant work has come out of cross-disciplinary collaboration.
3. Structure your time carefully. With any creative work as a job, it is important to find a balance between professional life and creative life. Discipline is key, and creating your own structure and work schedule is crucial to being able to achieve your artistic ambitions. Demanding respect for your work is also important. There should always be a balance between what you are giving and what you are receiving as a result, both artistically and professionally.
4. Experiment with different methods of making music. To grow as an artist, it is important to challenge your processes and thinking by being constantly curious. The more methods you find to create your work, the more avenues you open thus creating inspiration and direction.
5. Follow your instincts. Always follow your own voice for what you would like to achieve, not overthinking where you fit in any mould, model or structure. The less you think about what you should be creating, but what you want to be creating, the better. Additionally, being particular about what projects you take on is important. This way, you don’t take on too much, you practice your own artistic identity, and you gain respect from others by knowing what you want to be doing. For example, it is better to focus on creating a work to your full potential in something you believe in, than it is to juggle several projects in one go, compromising the quality of your work. Instead, help those who want to fund your work (for example), to understand the resources you need, as ultimately, if someone is investing in your work, they want it to represent the best example of what you can do.