We had the good fortune of connecting with Emmanuel Segarra Ortíz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emmanuel, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
I believe that the most important factor behind my work is the Latin influence that made me embrace multiple cultural and stylistic elements that some way or another affects my work, from composition to conducting. Thanks to my father, who was the one who started my musical education, made me appreciate our cultural genres that been essential to my artistic growth. My childhood in Puerto Rico was surrounded by Salsa and Urban music rhythms, genres that I have studied and have been cultivating into my Concert Orchestral Music, very different from what you expect with classical music but the influence will always be there.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My story beings with a faithful contradiction:
In many occasions if you are born into a family with a certain job or living style you are expected to continue the tradition, I was no exception. I started taking classes when I wasn’t interested at all in music, my passions relied elsewhere at that moment. I started taking lessons without any interest at all until one night I heard L. V. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. At that moment I could not understand I was feeling but it felt something completely different from what I was used to, suddenly my life had colors. I realized then that what I was experiencing was something out of this plane and it seemed to be called inspiration. After that event (which I will never forget!) I really wanted to share what I felt with the world so I decided to start writing music; moving people was my ultimate goal (as it is with any art)
Now, today I can say that even thought there are still a lot of things that I need to learn I have been blessed to have various of opportunities to show my work and learn with the public. Since I decided to be a composer I went straight to study orchestration from a young age and ended up premiering my first composition with the Puerto Rico Concert Band when I was in 11th grade, piece which was prized best composition by the Smithsonian Institute. Learning from this experience I continued to work hard and make my own opportunities. While studying my undergrad at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico I felt that young composers and artists needed a more accesible platform to be able to perform their art so with one my long lasting friend and great concert pianist Bryan Ojeda we founded the Young Artists Concert Orchestra and Series of Puerto Rico. There we managed to premiere a lot of new and interesting musical ideas from emerging talents. These gratifying experiences helped me to reach new boundaries that I never felt possible.
In my music I try to capture the melodic essence of a scene or idea and use the atmosphere for harmonic inspiration. My instrumental compositions are based on orchestral-acoustic music where I seek to deliver a great and personal sound that the spectator will be found emotionally attached to and be fully immersed in the narrative of the scene or piece.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
It is difficult to decide on a person because I owe many the reason why I am here but I want to dedicate my Shoutout to my first mentor and Puerto rican composer Rubén Toledo. I still remember how we used to talk and dream about film scoring, concert music and orchestration. Now I get to share my experiences with someone I have been admiring from the very start and I can genuinely trust. I also want to dedicate my Shoutout to my second musical father the great composer Alfonso Fuentes who without him I would have never been able to find a direction to find my personal voice.
Other: SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/esegarra_composer