Emi Ferguson

This week we are happy to talk to the amazing flutist, Emi Ferguson! Enjoy the Orange Twist...

We all know HELLO STAGE’s favorite color! What’s yours?

Definitely a dark teal-blue, the color of natural indigo.

What was the best advice a teacher ever gave you?

Never take anything at face value - always investigate, and arrive at the conclusion on your own terms.

How has your practice changed with time?

One of the best classes I took as a student at Juilliard was Noa Kageyama’s Psychology of Music class (if you haven’t checked out his website www.bulletproofmusician.com you’re missing out!).

One of the many things I learned from this class was how to analyze my practice sessions, asking the questions: What time of day am I most productive? At what point do I lose focus? What is the most effective and time efficient way to practice? When I practice now I am quite structured and small goal oriented during each practice session. Depending on what my day looks like I try to alternate 1 hour of practicing with 1 hour of something else on and off.

What do you think is the most important trait of a successful artist in today’s modern world?

Growing up I remember sitting by the radio with my cassette tape recorder waiting for my favourite songs to come on so that I could quickly press record.

Today we have the ability to listen to and watch almost every kind of music that is being made all over the world from the comfort of our couch - this is so incredible! My favourite artists are constantly listening and communicating, learning from other artists all over the world, while also reaching audiences that 10, 20 years ago we wouldn’t have reached.

How much time do you spend every day on Facebook, twitter, and which other ways do you use to promote yourself?

I use my website (www.emiferguson.com) Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and of course Hello Stage to promote myself, however, I should probably spend more time updating everything.

I’ve had some friends recently start using real-time streaming apps like Periscope and Meerkat to live stream concerts/practice sessions/life, and have said that they have had some great response - I'm super curious to see how this develops in the music world.

Emi, when did your passion for the Baroque Flute start?

I was lucky enough to be accepted into Juilliard’s Historical Performance pilot program while I was a sophomore studying silver flute. I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into but became fascinated by Historical Performance and the baroque flute and eventually joined the inaugural class of Juilliard’s Historical Performance Program right after finishing my modern flute undergrad.

I was so lucky to have been at Juilliard for these degrees as being there allowed me to first learn about historically informed performance, and then to continue with my modern flute studies and performances while a student. You often find a lot of people who are both interested in contemporary music and early music simultaneously as it takes the same kind of curiosity to dive into these fields, so I was very lucky to have been at a place that allowed me to do both.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’ve been spending a lot of my time working on a project where I take 16th and 17th century French songs and rearrange/rewrite them as if they were contemporary pop songs. It’s been super fun as I’m singing as well as playing the flute. Stay tuned! I can’t wait to share this music very soon!

Do you have any other special hobbies apart from music?

There’s a lot of things I like to do in my non-musical moments, but I get totally fascinated with history. I’ve been rather obsessed with Pre-Colombian American history since reading Charles C. Mann’s books 1491 and 1493 and will pretty much talk about how much I’m obsessed with anyone who will listen.

Your favorite quote is…

There are so many great ones, but right now I’m into Charles Ives:
"Stop being such a God-damned sissy! Why can't you stand up before fine strong music like this and use your ears like a man?”
and "I don't write music for sissy ears."

Follow Emi Ferguson on HELLO STAGE!
Author: Nina Lucas HELLO STAGE
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