Recent graduate Liz Anaya’s composition The Aura goes to Harvard this weekend, part of the Cambridge Philharmonic Orchestra’s celebration of contemporary female composers.
Anaya graduated in May with a dual major in music and communications, and The Aura was originally composed for Anaya’s senior recital last May. That iteration was an “improvisatory exploration” for violin, electribe, electric guitar, and radio. For Saturday’s performance with the Cambridge Philharmonic, it’s been arranged for a more traditional orchestra, moving it into different directions.
“This piece started as a way for me to feel connected to a loved one who has lost consciousness,” Anaya says, “which has since expanded into a societal observation.”
Anaya also performs and publishes with her fiancé, Dan Sheils, as Sidestep Complex, releasing an album of electro-acoustic music called Moon Science.
“I developed some great connections with my teachers and bonded with my fellow students at UMass Boston,” Anaya says. “These people have always been my greatest supporters and I am grateful for having them in my life.”
Being at such a large university, she says, posed challenges in being heard as she sought to get her music out on a large campus. But, she says, challenges “helped me to continue seeking new opportunities like this composition competition after I graduated,” she says.
“It forced me to get my music out there using skills offered by professors from both majors."
Anaya joins seven other composers on Saturday, 8 p.m., at Paine Hall, Harvard University. Tickets and more information on the Cambridge Philharmonic Orchestra’s website.