Ieva Dubova

Composer and pianist

Latvia

Author

About

Ieva Dubova is a Latvian pianist and composer known for her experimental, new age approach to classical music and collaborative work.

Originally from Cesis, now based in London, Ieva Dubova is a graduate of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Ieva has performed across Europe, held multiple radio appearances, and collaborated with artists from multiple disciplines.

Ieva has learned the piano since she was little and studied piano performance un Der the tutelage of professor Alexander Ardakov. As a pianist Ieva has performed many concerts and masterclasses.

Piano Holds a special place in Ieva’s heart. In her words ... "It was my escape and best friend. My story telling partner. I used to plan to run away with my cat and my piano and live in the woods. I was 6 at the time, it might have not been the brightest idea I ever had.”

In 2019 Ieva decided to concentrate more on composition . Her first larger scale composition display was for ambient prepared piano with electronics at London February 2020 at an arts exhibition - Baltic Memories and Landscapes. Later these compositions where transformed into and album and a dance cycle - Reverie. Inspired by nature, sensuality, and memories from her Baltic homeland, Dubova’s neo-classical Album Reverie is infused with cinematic melodies and digital ambient textures that capture the spirit of childhood imagination, evoke the beauty of nature, and transcend the temporal..

Ieva's Latest work is dedicated to her love of piano and represented in 10 Preludes for Piano that contemplate the existence of the world and the human relationship with it. The Preludes album is released in 2022 April alongside a book of scores. This also serves as inspiration fro a British poet to express her feelings regards the tragic war in Ukraine taking a personal Storie and the titles of the preludes to reflect in own way .

Folk music holds particular influence - Dubova is currently developing a British-Latvian folk music songbook for amateur practitioners in collaboration with British artist Jude Cowan Montague, and holds an ongoing collaboration with the noted British Poet - Jane Liddell - King.

During the lockdown period, Ieva has brought her musical gifts and expertise to her digital community over a number of months, during which time she performed home concerts and led an online interview series ‘Piano Q&A’ with prominent musicians including Penelope Roskell (The Complete Pianist), Nicolas Sideris (Musica Ferrum) and Marcel Zidani (Hey Presto).

Ieva has also worked with dance company - Company Concentric and performed at International Youth Arts Festival in London. In 2018 she worked on ‘Fairy Tales for Four Hands’, an album inspired by iconic fairy tales, with award-winning pianist Joe Howson and Latvian composer Georgs Pelēcis.

Dubova draws inspiration from a wide selection of music, from folk to baroque to modern, as well as classical composers such as Avro Part, Peteris Vasks and Erik Satie and Claude Debussy. The Latvian pianist has described the process of making music as a safe space that allows her to disengage from the world and immerse herself in the joy of creation.

Videos

Sheets

Interview

What does music mean to you personally?

For me music is what gives me life . In a way for me it feels like the most real thing in an otherwise abstract world. If you think about it sound shook the universe up so much a big bang happened (laugh)

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

I agree that music is about the freedom of mind , the curiosity and feelings we can’t yet comprehend, I would say it is a somewhat fantastical reality.

If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?

Well, my life has been very different and I have not been so privileged to straight after school study music so in my years of ”proper jobs“ - I have been a waitress, an architect’s assistant , a trainee nurse, a marketing person , office manager, PA and even a fitness instructor. Needless to say Music is the only thing that makes me feel whole.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about the future?

No I believe in people still, I think there is so much desire and thirst for new music and a variety of music. I am worried about some of the barriers and segregation in music. Some attitudes that might make younger people feel excluded or not welcome.

What do you envision the role of music to be in the 21st century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

I think Yes, Music has so many roles today. Music has changed so much it is always in the background what ever we do. Today as ever there is so much of music also out there it can be overwhelming. I once joked that I would like to dare society to live one day without any music - most dont even realise how big of a role music plays in all our daily activities even the boring tasks.

Do you think that the musician today needs to be more creative? What is the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

I think musicians today are very creative and they have always been, I think it is sometimes hard as one might feel that so much is done and where to go next. And sometimes one might be afraid to be to create e as there are nowadays so many boxes you have to fit in within music, that can be very scary. For me music is always a creative process , a curious process I feel that I always learn and always explore. This is what is so wonderful about it.

Do you think we as musicians can do something to attract the younger generation to music concerts? How would you do this?

I think we can first off all be more approachable and understanding. Being willing to engage in dialogue and answer questions without prejudice. I think this is vital, also young people do go to concerts and they have open minds and tastes , they might have different tastes to previous generations as they grow up on a different environment. Also young people use different interactive portals where they learn about music and the world, and they cant go to something they have not heard about, so engaging in that way is also important. I really love to see - for example - full and sold out concerts halls whenever there is an orchestral concert production of film music, that is so relatable to many, something to take note off. So maybe we need to think how we are relatable, to be honest any smaller music concerts post pandemic are difficult, at least in the uk, people don't seem to have yet full confidence back in busy events and pick a lot more.

Tell us about your creative process. What is your favourite piece (written by you) and how did you start working on it?

Oh, this is hard, I dont think I have favourite pieces. But recently my prelude No 6 - Calm and fragile was actually the first prelude I finished from the set of 10. The process was varied including some mathematical triangle diagrams of harmony, sort of a different way to start from previous compositions before, but a really fun way and then I would say I wondered around the piano with almost like images of sound, this was a very indulging process and one where I forget the world and just be in. I didn’t worry about form or fitting a certain narrative , it felt like exploring and connecting with the sound image . Music composition is mostly like this to me and I let the sound in a way guide me and inspire me. And mostly I loved to reach this dissonant but soft feeling very intimate for me and kind and so fragile, hence after composing it I added the name - calm and fragile.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

Don't be afraid to like something - you might feel you shouldn’t, don't let any prejudice stop your interest in music - always keep an open mind and remember as tames change and as more we know our tastes grow and change within music to, always be curious.

Do you think about the audience when composing?

Honestly - no, I don't I do worry about it. After, I worry a lot but when I compose I don't think about anything like that it is my time of freedom and exploration and I like top spend it away from other. Thoughts.

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

I do Experiment in new new projects , at the moment I am working on 3 projects. One is with American/ French poet - Malik Ameer Crumpler. We are exploring the world of minimalist cinematic soundscapes and poetry, there is already one piece released but preparing for a set for an EP now.

The second thing I am working now is called - Reflections , this will again be for piano, I am looking to some of the pieces set in the context of electronics as well as new poetry with another poet - Jane Liddle King , but this is something to be published alongside the music not within it.

And then I am looking into slowly to create a multimedia performance with photography , live looping, improvisation and some prepared electronic sounds. I think this will define itself along the way. I have a clear vision , but I am aware that as I explore and grow in skill this will probably change along the way many times before it can be finished. I would love to see this in the context of installation or art but those are big ambitions I will leave for later.