Q&A: Maria Finkelmeier

This week we had the opportunity to speak with Maria Finkelmeier, a percussion performer and arts entrepreneur. She will be performing at Boston’s Illuminus this weekend.

1) What brought you to Boston?

My music career began after grad-school in Sweden. There, I was freelancing and teaching for three years. I wanted to come back to America to pursue what I believed to be a “big girl job.” I was looking for an full-time position and ended up getting one in the Entrepreneurial Musicianship Department at the New England Conservatory in Boston, and I have been here since. 

2) How did you get involved in Illuminus? 

I was introduced to the director, Jeff Grantz, through connections before the first festival last year, and was really excited by the opportunity. I enjoy pursuing unique projects, and I am very inspired by the connection between music and visual arts. The festival would allow me to use unorthodox instruments to create endless sonic possibilities. 

3) How do you think Illuminus plays into the art scene in Boston? 

I think that Illuminus has created a huge platform in Boston for community building. It showcases the important and diverse art scene here and allows us to share in a huge way. We’re literally lighting up the night scene in Boston (that is usually over early!) 

4) Can you tell us about your project in Illuminus this year entitled "Waking the Monster”? 

My project, “Waking the Monster,” will take place on the back structure of the Green Monster at Fenway Park. The Green Monster will be transformed into a percussion playground of various metallic sounds. Co-produced by Ryan Edwards, we’ve chosen nine professional percussionist that will perform six compositions throughout the night. The program will also include performances by a flutist, violinist, singer, and DJ - showing that the monster “plays well with others.” We’ll be performing from 7pm to 9pm and 10pm to midnight. 

5) How do you think Illuminus will affect the way people perceive the art world in Boston?

I hope that the festival will help people see the city in a different way. Landsdowne Street, being the home of the Red Sox, has so much history and it’s a great place to bring the people of Boston together. I think it will open the door for more risk-taking projects.

6) Aside from Illuminus, what projects are you involved in here in Boston? 

My most recent project is called Kadence Arts. It is a brand new non-profit focused on advancing the musical arts through percussion and technology. One of the projects is the Beat Bus - where we visit community centers presenting workshops using electronic buckets to build songs. The organization will also be a platform to bring emerging artists together to create shows on both a large and small scales. 

Illuminus Boston will occur Saturday, October 10, 6:30 pm - 12:30 am. Visit the Facebook Page for details about the event.


Wednesdsay, October 7, 2016:  Lacy Tell