Gina Biver is a composer, guitarist, vocalist, and producer based in the Washington DC area. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Gina composes electroacoustic music for chamber ensemble, choirs, dance, multimedia, and film. Her work is inspired by the written word and by visual art, both static and moving. Her life and her work involves collaborations with other musicians, filmmakers, choreographers, poets, computer artists, sculptors, painters, and video artists.
Gina’s music contains a sense of rebelliousness—an auditory democracy where it’s anyone’s guess who wins. Her constant need to create and interpret the world around her in musical terms pushes her forward, beyond her everyday life and into a rich internal existence. Her deep musical world contains the struggle and push/pull between pulse and lack of pulse, electronics and acoustics, words and lines, shadow and light, form and freedom.
Today, Gina is our featured artist in “The Inside Story,” a blog series exploring the inner workings and personalities of our artists. Read on to discover what instrument Gina wishes she could play and why…
When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist?
By the time I was in high school, I realized I needed to live a creative life. Growing up, I studied dance and piano from a young age, then changed my main instrument to guitar by the time I was 16 because it spoke to me and was easier to carry around to play with friends. During high school I was living in Paris and most of my friends were musicians or artists of some sort. Before I graduated high school I knew I wanted to study at Berklee and make creating and performing music my life.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Can’t tell you that, my kids will read this.
If you could spend creative time anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Being in new places anywhere on the globe can be inspiring—whether you’re composing while you’re there (because you finally have time to think and to wonder), or just experiencing that new environment inspires you to create when you return. I am soon headed to Moulin à Nef in southwest France for an artist residency to compose a new work I’ve started called Nimbus, based on seven poems by Colette Inez. I am beyond excited to be immersed in such a rich environment and to see where that takes my music. Over the past decade, I’ve composed most of my music through the gifts of several artist residencies at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. There is nothing like being away from all one’s responsibilities and surrounded by nature and quiet. It’s amazing what one can accomplish in that setting.
If you could instantly have expertise performing one instrument, what instrument would that be?
I’ve always wanted to be able to play a drum kit—you know, like be able to really bang out a groove on a big kit.
What was your favorite musical moment on the album?
There’s a section in No Matter Where when the pianist (Ina Blevins) plays pulsing chords—while the dynamics rise and fall like waves. Feels orgasmic to me.
What does this album mean to you personally?
It’s a very intimate, personal album. With my writing I tend to chronicle the ebbs and flows of what I am learning, experiencing, wondering about, or struggling with at the time. The works on this album span about 8 years, and have themes inspired by Jung (who I first discovered in high school), by identity, and by the mirrored reflections of internal voyages through external/physical landscapes. It also includes a poem reading by a dear friend whom I lost last year, poet Colette Inez. I am grateful to have her on the record.
Is there a specific feeling that you would like communicated to audiences in this work?
As an artist, I like to travel to unexpected places. I like to take in the full spectrum of deep human experience, not just the smooth outer layers. Sonically, there are spaces in this album where the listener can sit and “be” with it—where they can find an open-enough place to settle in. So I would like to ask our audience to come along with us, and be open to each new moment of this wild ride.
3: THE MUSIC OF GINA BIVER is now available through Ravello Records for streaming or purchase. Click here to explore this new album.