The Sound and me | Nicki Roman

The Sound and me | Nicki Roman
Prize-winner at prestigious competitions such as the North American Saxophone Alliance (NASA) Solo Competition, Music Teacher’s National Association Young Artist Solo Competition, William C. Byrd International Competition, Nikci Roman is also the first saxophonist to be the recipient of the International Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship. Recognized for her virtuosity and technique, the artist talks to us about her relationship with the instrument...

“I grew up with a family of string players, so I picked the saxophone to be different. I wanted to play a wind instrument because the air is very connected to me and who I am. And so growing up in a household of string players, sound was very connected in some ways to string playing. And so when I play the saxophone, I think about it and how it relates to string instruments in terms of bow direction and bow strokes and the breath and the type of breath you take as a string player.

But I also think sound is connected to many other things, and as a performer and as a soloist and a chamber musician, my ears are always open. So depending on the setting of which I'm in, I think of my sound as being flexible and being able to manipulate it in what type of style or genre I'm playing.

And my sound has changed over time. It's something I tell students: how you sound now might be different as you get older and gain different and unique experiences. Depending on the different relationships and the surroundings I'm in and the different settings, my sound has changed over time, and I think that's really exciting and really unique to our instrument and our experience.

So my sound is very much an extension of who I am and the point I'm at in my life, and it's continuing to grow and change as I kind of navigate this instrument and learn more and more and as much as I can about it.”


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