Jessica Pavone Interview

Source: National Sawdust Log.

Jessica Pavone was in high spirits when she answered the phone last Wednesday. Her longtime friend and frequent collaborator, guitarist Mary Halvorson, had just been announced as a 2019 MacArthur Fellow. “I never felt so proud of someone,” said Pavone, an Astoria-based composer and multi-instrumentalist whose signature instrument is viola. “We were emailing each other yesterday, and she was like, ‘we gotta go out for sushi, it’s on me.” I called her and I asked, is that why you were saying sushi’s on you? ‘Yeah, sushi’s on me for five years!’ It was really cute.”

Pavone also has other reasons for cheer. This week sees the release of a new album, Brick and Mortar (Birdwatcher), from the J. Pavone String Ensemble, featuring Pavone and violist Joanna Mattrey, with violinists Erica Dicker and Angela Morris. The album’s five pieces explore the composer’s love for long tones and the use of vibrations as a kind of sonic tonic, as well as deploying a modest degree of indeterminacy—all conjured with her ensemble’s spellbinding chemistry. The project is celebrated in two separate concerts: Oct. 4 at Firehouse 12, in New Haven, where the group also will preview new music to be recorded in the studio, and Oct. 7 at Roulette in downtown Brooklyn, which also will feature the premiere of a new piece for octet.