Columbia native Diego Vega discovered a love for music and composition at a young age. Throughout his career, he has composed numerous pieces, taught music theory and composition, and has been recognized by sources such as Gramophone Magazine.
He states, “I think that when you compose you have the power to imagine and create a new world, an unknown living organism with all its details and intricacies, that other people can experience when they listen to a performance of the music.”
Today, Diego is our featured artist in “The Inside Story,” a blog series exploring the inner workings and personalities of our artists. Read on to discover Diego’s favorite artists and what he would take with him in the event of a zombie apocalypse…
Who was your first favorite artist(s) growing up?
Disney’s Fantasia made a strong impression on me. My dad took me to see a screening of it when I was 10 or 12 and after that and for a few years, my dad helped me collect records with music by Bach, Tchaikovsky, and Mussorgsky. Also, one of my brothers played piano and recordings of Bill Evans, Dave Brubeck, and Chick Corea, among others, so these musicians also had an influence in my youth.
When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist/composer/creator?
I began learning piano at age 5. However, it wasn’t until around age 13 or 14, when I heard Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, that I realized for the first time that I wanted to write music. With Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Bartok, and Bernstein, among others, I became very interested in the process of conceiving and notating new music and expressing powerful emotions to the listener.
What was your most unusual performance, or the most embarrassing thing that happened to you during a performance?
As a pianist, early in my college years, I had a couple of performances where I was too nervous and made mistakes on stage that were noticeable and embarrassing. As a composer a few performances haven’t gone so well — however I’m grateful to the performers who have devoted time to rehearse and learn my music.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Trader Joe’s Brandy Beans or Irish Whiskey Caramels.
In the event of a zombie apocalypse, what are the three things you absolutely can’t live without?
A musical instrument or a device to listen to music, an entertaining game, a book.
If you could do any job in the world and make a living at it, what would that be?
International cuisine correspondent for a magazine or a TV network.
If you could spend creative time anywhere in the world, where would it be? And why?
Near any warm, breezy, and quiet Caribbean beach.
What would you say to an artist performing your work that nobody else knows?
The score looks deceptively simple. It’s not. Practice and rehearsals are definitely necessary.
What does this album mean to you personally?
I always hope that every new recording will get my music closer to listeners that wouldn’t know about my compositions otherwise. It means an opportunity to bring new emotions and images to new listeners.
Is there a specific feeling you want listeners to tune into when hearing your work?
The feeling of almost flying over a beautiful landscape with some brief and exciting moments of free fall and fast ascents.
REASON & REVERENCE is now available through Navona Records for streaming or purchase. Click here to explore this new album.