ListN Up: Adeliia Faizullina (March 11, 2022)

ListN Up is a weekly series of artist-curated playlists that offer an intimate sonic portrait of contemporary artists by showcasing the diverse and stylistically varied music that influences their creative practice. 

Adeliia Faizullina is an award-winning Tatar composer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist. Her music has been praised by the Washington Post as “vast and varied, encompassing memory and imagination.” She lives in Providence, RI.

Hello, I am Adeliia Faizullina. I’m very grateful and excited to present the playlist I have created. It features the music of wonderful composers I deeply admire and constantly learn from, both as musicians and people. Their music is always an inspiration to me, teaching and encouraging me to keep going in my own creative work. Some of these works touch on issues that are meaningful and important to me, such as the climate crisis. Across all, this music allows me to mentally travel to ravishing sound spaces, with sounds that astonish me. This music also allows me to experience a spectrum of deep emotions and feelings. To the composers: thank you for your beautiful music and for making the world a better place through your work. Huge thank you to I CARE IF YOU LISTEN for the opportunity to share these works.

Breathing Sunlight by Akshaya Avril Tucker, performed by Johnny Gandelsman and Joshua Roman

This music to me is like warm sunlight touching my skin, or a hug from someone who cares about me. The musical form organically unfolds, breathing in and breathing out, filled with delicate and vivid sound colors, inviting you to join the gesture of breathing. I constantly learn from Akshaya how to allow the musical idea to grow and unfold, and how to give care to the sound and performers.

Lumina by Nina Shekhar, performed by the USC Thornton Symphony (Donald Crockett, conductor)

This is one of the first pieces I would name if I think of orchestral music. When listening to Lumina, I am mentally sailing a vast ocean of gorgeous orchestral colors. The body feels free and the mind is inspired. This music is other-worldly.

Phosphorescent Devotion by Nina C. Young

Here is another composition that brings me mentally to other worlds and sound spaces. Ravishing sounds envelope and take me away, far into space. My mind dissolves into the sound. I become the sound, and when the composition is over, I linger in it as long as I can.

Pencil Sketch by Yevgeniy Sharlat, performed by Kronos Quartet

I always love listening to Yevgeniy’s music. It touches me deeply and gives me a spectrum of emotions. It is also exclusively innovative, making every sound special – Yevgeniy’s music doesn’t sound like anything else. Listen to this piece and find out how Yevgeniy incorporated a pencil and eraser!

For what appeared to me in my dreams was the voice of the spirit, by Daniel Allas, performed by Daniel Allas, Lucy McKnight, Nina Shekhar, and Victoria Vasta

This composition transports me to a resting sound space, where every sound becomes almost tactile. Sounds penetrate, collide and transform each other. This sound world invites me to meditate and linger in time. Works by Daniel Allas teach me how to listen and how to be open to listening.

Contested Eden by Gabriela Lena Frank, performed by the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra (Cristian Macelaru, Music Director)

The issue of the climate crisis is deeply meaningful and important to me, and I am in the process of learning how I can act as an individual in light of this crisis. Here, I have a great example to learn from, Gabriela Lena Frank. Her lifestyle, care and action inspires me every day and I would like to follow her example. I loved Gabriela’s music from the first time I heard it. Her music is arresting, vivid, and charismatic.


I CARE IF YOU LISTEN is an editorially-independent program of the American Composers Forum, funded with generous donor and institutional support. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author and may not represent the views of ICIYL or ACF. 

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