We had the good fortune of connecting with Classical Femmes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Classical Femmes, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
We are originally from Baja California; Mexicali and Ensenada respectively. Baja California shares a border with California, therefore, there is plenty of cultural diversity that is significant to the artistic community. This community has given a strong impact on new generation of artists, through disciplines such as, performing arts, visual arts, and literature. These disciplines have shaped the course of the musicality that Classical Femmes have adopted. Classical Femmes has been inspired by all the variety of factors: the border, migration, minorities, and artistic proposals.
We currently have four members in our ensemble. The ensemble was created to support women in music community, such as composers, performers, and the local artists from our community. The mission of the ensemble is to project the work of these communities to the general public, and be a source of support for them. We have a special interest on collaborative proposals, and the performance of new music by female composers. The ensemble is conformed by a Astrid Ruelas on the violin, Paulina Sanchez-Rubio on the flute, Lesly Sandoval on the French horn, and Andrea Ruelas on the cello.
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.
Our art consists of experimental music and collaboration with other performing arts such as dancing and visual arts. We like the concept of experimenting with ideas and letting the music represent those ideas.
We like to work as a team, and for the artistic community. We don’t consider ourselves as something that is apart, but instead a source of support for other creative people to develop their work with us.
The most exciting thing was creating Classical Femmes. The fact is that we created the quartet in the beginning for fun, and that was easy because the four of us are very good friends.
We ended up loving the idea of the ensemble, therefore we started to work hard for the group and became more formal. The interesting thing about us is that we have different perspectives and ideas, but overall we share the same objectives.
It was easy to work on social media, but making music, and having prejudice towards our individual playing was hard.
Sometimes most of us had conflicts while playing because we thought we were not good enough.
Thanks to local artists in the community, invitations to collaborate with artists, and the initiative of Classical Femmes on making a new proposal to work with, make us popular in the community.
We like to perform new music. Our playing varies from doing covers to classical music, and experimental music (contemporary).
Sometimes the public we have does not like the experimental music we perform, so we try to be flexible and have a variationally set of music, and choose which venues are best for each type of music.
We have had very good experiences and very bad ones, especially when it comes to charging for our service. Money has been an issue, but overall Classical Femmes enjoys playing in all kinds of venues.
We would love for people to be inspired by our ensemble. Supporting minorities, women rights, and all musicians that are struggling right now, to let them know they are not alone.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We would take them to different types of food restaurants and places. Ensenada is more touristic, so we would like to show them some of the best sea food places, and taking them to the beach. In Mexicali, we could take them to eat some of the best tacos, and Chinese food. Also, there are some museums in Mexicali that would be nice to show them, and at CEART, sometimes they have very good musicians performing there.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We would like to thank our family members for their incredible support to the ensemble and our new proposals. Also, to our friends that had been supporting and collaborating with us, SinLuna Danza Punk, Emprise Soundlab, FAX, Braulio Lam, José Moreno “Sater”, Frida de la Sota, Dante Ojeda Wancho, RETAMA.
-Mexicali Music Magazine, Armando Ruiz -Emprise Soundlab