Sophia Subbayya Vastek
Pianist Sophia Subbayya Vastek, described by Second Inversion as playing with "passion and profound tenderness", maintains an active career as a concert pianist and keyboardist/performer, educator, interdisciplinary collaborator, and event producer. She is committed to the never-ending exploration of the role of music as a force for good, and exploring how mining her own stories can lead to a deeper listening of the stories of others. She revels in the tiniest moments of beauty and joy, and seeks to surprise herself and audiences with connections both odd and common.
Performing has taken Sophia to South Africa, Mexico, the Kennedy Center, the United States State Department, The Apollo Theatre, and National Sawdust, among many others. She has also been presented at The NoiseGate Festival, Queens New Music Festival, Artscape, and Arts Letters & Numbers.
Sophia’s debut album was newly released on innova Recordings with music by Michael Harrison, Donnacha Dennehy, and John Cage. Featuring vocalist Megan Schubert and tabla player Nitin Mitta, produced by multiple Grammy-winning engineer Adam Abeshouse.
In addition to her work with Music of Reality, Sophia is also one half of Tilted Arc, an electroacoustic duo that creates across genres, with electronic sound artist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Sam Torres. Together, they create, perform, and produce electroacoustic music and build installations. They released their first album, “Ghost in the Square”, in 2017. She also maintains an ongoing relationship with Arts Letters & Numbers, a nonprofit dedicated to creating creative exchanges across a wide range of disciplines, where she is a visiting artist.
Sophia is indebted to her teachers, colleagues, collaborators, and friends who continue to teach her how to ask questions and truly listen. She is based in Troy, NY where she lives with her partner Sam and their cat MagnifiCAT.
David Ibbett is a British composer based in Boston. He has found musical inspiration in many places - songs, symphonies, pop, classical and the electronic - and bringing these strands together is his ultimate aim. His interest in science began with his father, Dr. Roger Ibbett, who is a research chemist at Nottingham University.
David composes works for instruments and ensemble, often featuring live electronics. Projects span from chamber music (Albion Trails, 2009, BBC Symphony Octet) to inter-arts collaborations (Project 51, contemporary dance score for The Place Resolutions, 2012) and works for instruments and electronics (Beauty from Nothing EP, 2016). In all projects, he seeks a deep collaboration with musicians, scientists, artists and performers.
"The music is like Mozart mashed up with Club Beats and Electronica" Original Gravity Concert Series
“[Without Words], really appealed to us and we have taken it into our repertoire. It is the only commission on our CD and we love it. It has really pushed us technically, and opened doors to new ideas and compositions” Living Room in London
Venues David has performed at include:
Aldeburgh Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Barbican Total Immersion, Yamaha Artists Salon, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Nonclassical, Banff Centre, Wigmore Hall, SEAMUS, Spitalfields Festival, Logos Foundation, Boston’s The Record Company, NYCEMF Festival, EMM Festival, Original Gravity Concert series, Seven Bridges Project, City of London Festival, Bath Festival, Faster Than Sound concert series
Sam Torres is a Troy, NY and New York City based composer, saxophonist, and audio engineer.
As an audio engineer, Sam has worked with Talea Ensemble, Wet Ink Ensemble, Yarn/Wire, Columbia University Composers, composer Michael Harrison, pianist Sophia Vastek, and violinist Todd Reynolds in performances at the Dimenna Center, University of Chicago, MIT, and the Jewish Museum. Sam has been a technical assistant for compositions recorded by cellist Clarice Jensen, released on Miasmah Recordings, and violinist Mari Kimura, released on New World Records.
Sam’s music has been performed in many house concerts and coffee shops, as well as at Thalia Theater at Symphony Space, Spectrum, University of Cape Town in South Africa, Arts Letters & Numbers, Peabody Institute, Johns Hopkins University, and Manhattan School of Music. As a saxophonist and woodwind doubler, Sam has performed at Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, Spectrum, the RISD Museum, SMOKE, The Shrine, and others with Stretto, ensembles from Manhattan School of Music, New York Youth Symphony, New York Jazz Academy, and others.
Marketing and Communications Intern
Carly Ristuccia recently graduated from PSU with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Arts and Entertainment Management. Carly has always had a passion for music and is very excited to make it a part of her career!
Josh Ostrower is a sophomore in high school who studies electronics and piano with David Ibbett. He is a film and music enthusiast!