Congratulations to VMI student Elisa Polov who won second prize at the prestigious Austrian Composers Young Jazz Awards 2023 What inspired you to participate in the Austrian Composers Young Jazz Awards 2023 competition? Was it a personal goal or part of your musical development?
"I think that participating in various competitions is a great way to show oneself and one's music to the world. At the moment it is especially important for me to use opportunities like that here since I come from Estonia and wish to make as many connections in Vienna and Austria as possible. It seemed like a very intriguing idea to write my first ever jazz composition, especially since the requirement was to make a vocal arrangement (I love creating vocal arrangements). Also the opportunity to hear my composition from the audience being performed for the first time in my life by someone else and not me was very exciting."
You won the second prize in the competition. Can you describe the piece you have composed for the competition? Did you face any challenges or obstacles during the competition?
"The ballad "I'm Feeling Loved" was born from a sketch that I had to write for a jazz theory course. I remembered that I had the melody and harmony from the past and finished the lyrics and arrangement for the Young Jazz Award competition. I was glad to finally be able to finish the sketch that had been in the back of my mind for a few years already and to share it with the world. If there was one thing I would have wished for, that would have been to also have the opportunity to listen to the band's rehearsal before the competition and give them my feedback. Sitting in the MDW Haydn Saal, listening to my creation and not knowing what is going to come next was a bit nervous, but an awesome experience."
Why did you decide to study Electronic Music & Sound Design at the VMI and what is your musical background?
"I have previously studied classical piano at the Estonian Music Academy and MUK (Musik und Kunst Privatuniversität der Stadt Wien). During my Erasmus exchange year at MUK I fell in love with Vienna. My musical journey started when I was very young, my creational journey started only a few years ago. Song ideas just started to appear in my head on their own and that is when I started my solo project Pološywa. When I was working with producer Gwenael Damman on my first album in his studio in Vienna, I realised that I wanted to know much more about the world of sound and production. I studied that for one year at the Georg Ots Institute in Tallinn and since that wasn't enough, I decided to study electronic music and sound design at VMI to be able to express my ideas, thoughts and feelings even more - not only through writing melody, lyrics, harmony and performing, but also through building soundscapes that for me bring self-expression to another level. The fact that our main teacher Daniel Kohlmeigner is an Ableton certified trainer and has created some great music that I like very much made me feel like I could learn a lot from him. And I was right! I really like the Electronic Music & Sound Design study and highly recommend it."
Do you have your own musical projects?
"At the moment I love to experiment creating in different genres, but my main musical project is Pološywa - my melancholic electro-pop solo project. Under that artist name I released my debut album "Existence" in 2021 and recently also participated in one of the biggest Estonian TV shows Uus Laul with my song in Estonian "Siiapoole". I am very grateful that I received amazing feedback from the jury and the audience. Furthermore, I am beyond grateful that it reached the grand final that happened just a few days ago (on Sunday, 28.05). "Siiapoole" - my first single after a 1,5 year break is going to be released very soon!"