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Meet Emilia Desiré Moscoso Borja

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emilia Desiré Moscoso Borja.

Emilia Desiré, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am originally from Ecuador and I started my musical path about 15 years ago. I starting playing drum set in my school band and from there I never stopped. I studied classical percussion at the Conservatorio National de Musica del Ecuador having the opportunity to perform in several symphonic orchestras, and percussion groups. After finish my studies I moved to São Paulo-Brazil to continue with my education.

I spend seven years full of music and adventures in that country, and with no doubts, it changed my whole life and the way I live and feel music. I got a degree in Contemporary Percussion at UNESP (Universidade Estadual Paulista “Julio de Mesquita Filho”) and parallel I have several private lessons with great musicians of traditional Brazilian music. In had the opportunity to learn from awesome Masters like Eduardo Gianessella, Carlos Stasi, Ari Colares, Mestre Jaime de Mar Grande, just to name some of them. Expending all those years in that beautiful city, I discovered my own voice in music combining all the knowledge I had to create my original compositions inspired by the classical, contemporary and traditional music (South American and Brazilian).

I moved to LA in 2017 to continue my studies in order to pursue a Master’s degree in World Percussion at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). It was a new adventure, I had to learn everything from zero: new musical instruments, new musical styles, new concepts and techniques,new language, new people, new country. I was challenging but endless satisfactory. All the experiences I have during my time in CalArts and LA have been worthy and I feel I am growing every day a little more, professionally and personally.

Here I had the big pleasure to study with renowned musicians such as David Roitstein, Houman Pourmehdi, Joey De Leon, Miroslav Tadic, Paul Novros, Randy Gloss, and Swapan Chaudhuri.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I think the road is never smooth, there is always big challenges waiting for you, mainly when you have to leave your home, your family and everything you know, in order to study and be a professional. I can say, I like to put myself out of my comfort zone and be exposed to new experiences as much as I can and always strong to learn from the problems and see the positive side in everything that surrounds me. I passed through several difficulties: to live in two different countries, to learn two new languages, to adapt myself to a new cultures and musical environments.

Overall, I always have the big support of my family and luckily I have been around amazing teachers and coworkers.

Also, to be a woman percussionist is already a challenge. I still feel that the music world is mainly masculine, so you have to really fight for opportunities and to demonstrate continually that you are capable of.

Regardless, music is my main motivation to walk for this crazy road every day.

Having a solid support network is definitely a blessing.  What else should we know about you, your work and what you are currently focused on?
I am a musician specialized in classical and contemporary percussion and world percussion. I am also a composer, arranger, and art educator

My work is strongly influenced by Latin American culture, I have played in numerous ensembles fusing traditional music from Latin America and world music with new music and jazz, including Element Band (USA), Chacombo (USA), Atemporal (USA), the CalArts Salsa Band, CalArts Brazilian Drumming Ensemble, Trio Acústico de las Americas (Brazil), Tambora (Brazil), Afro-Uruguayan Comparsa Medio Mundo (Uruguay), Orquestra de Berimbaus Paraguassu (Brazil), the traditional Colombian group Cambamberos (Brazil).

I have also performed in several multidisciplinary projects including Viver Brasil dance company as musician accompaniment, The Lost Tribes, a Theatre Dybbuk production in Los Angeles under the direction of Aaron Henne and Michael Skloff, O Senhor das Moscas theater production with the direction of Zé Henrique de Paula and music director Fernanda Maia (São Paulo, Brazil), and the Cabaré Insólito circus project organized by Condomínio Cultural Vila Anglo (São Paulo, Brazil).

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Every day is a new challenge. Music is an endless path because is always something new coming up. I think that as a musician I am an eternal student, looking for more information all the time, new instruments, new styles, new people to play with, and so on.

I think all in life has a specific time to be and happen. I am happy with everything I passed thru to be here today and I am also sure that a lot of new experiences are coming up.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
First photo taken by Ric Pereira
Second photo by Emilia Mendieta

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