Meet bassoonist and first-year master's degree candidate Katia Osorio, who’s the managing director and a cofounder of the video series Exposure TV. Katia spoke with us about that ongoing advocacy effort, what she’s been reading and listening to, and more.
Q: What motivates you? And how do you go about connecting and collaborating with like-minded people?
A: I’m motivated by growth. I’ve found that the most fulfilling musical experiences for me have always resulted in either personal growth and learning or in the growth and learning of whomever I am connecting with in the process, collaborators or audiences. That being said, working with people committed to this kind of growth is important to me—being flexible, curious, and willing enough to navigate unfamiliarity (whether it be musically, critically, or both) and be committed to the vulnerable process of learning. In the past, this openness has opened several doors to so many valuable connections, opportunities, and experiences, so I try to apply this mindset when collaborating with others.
Q: How have your efforts to amplify other artists’ voices informed your own music-making?
A: Personally, my efforts to amplify marginalized voices has challenged me to reflect on and try to unlearn a lot of preconceived ideas I’ve learned and internalized about music as a classically-trained artist. I often ask myself what music is “good,” what isn’t, and why I think this, and I analyze how I’ve upheld or contributed to the same ideas I question. These are all things I take into consideration when engaging in discourse about music or interacting with classical music as a whole. As a performer, I don’t limit what can influence me either—there is so much to learn and be inspired by. More than anything, my efforts in musical advocacy have challenged my overall relationship with my instrument. Rather than looking at my bassoon solely as an object of conquest, I’ve learned to look at it as a tool, or an extension of myself and the impact I want to create, musical or not.
Q: What made YSM the best choice for your pursuit of a master-of-music degree? How might the Yale environment inform your social-justice work?
A: Just the amount of resources Yale provides was enough to draw me in. At a school like YSM, I knew I would not only have access to incredible music faculty and performance experiences, but also to lots of libraries and information. There is no limit to what can be explored here, so I’m excited to see what can come of it—whether it be making meaningful connections with peers, organizing, researching, or performing, etc., I look forward to it all!
Q: What are you eager to work on with Prof. Morelli?
A: In addition to polishing my skills on my instrument and experiencing my first ever “Bassoonarama” as a member of the YSM bassoon studio, I really look forward to growing under Prof. Morelli’s guidance. As a bassoonist with a very successful yet not-so-traditional career, I believe that Prof. Morelli will serve as a wonderful mentor for someone like me, as I explore, develop, and sculpt a career suited for myself, my skill set, and my interests.
Q: How did you exercise your creativity this past summer?
A: I started curating short, themed Spotify playlists as a hobby. It’s really challenged me to expand my musical palette, see how much music I actually know, and see how coherently I can put something together that fits whatever lyrical or sound theme I’m aiming for. It’s kind of like concert programming, but for leisure, with much lower stakes. I also started playing around with some Adobe Creative Cloud software—mainly Illustrator and Animate. By no means am I an expert animator, but I can at least make my way around the program!
Q: What have you been reading, listening to, and watching lately?
A: I just finished reading Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire. As far as music, I’m always looking for new things to listen to, but my most-played artists of the last couple of months have been Solange, Khraungbin, Stevie Wonder, Men I Trust, The Isley Brothers, Mon Laferte, ELIZA, Chet Baker, and works by my favorite composer, Heitor Villa-Lobos.
This is the fifth installment in a series called Generation YSM: Fall 2020.