From The Hague with a love of music

Photo: Michael Upright.

A lot has happened in Henry Vega’s life since FIU Magazine profiled him in its Winter 2010 issue.

The international electroacoustic composer recently released his second album, Wormsongs, featuring vocalist Anat Spiegel on eight new tracks of art music. He and his wife of seven years, Polish composer Kasia Glowicka, launched the ARTEk Foundation to fund and organize their musical productions. And, last March, the couple welcomed a son named Nicholas.

“This is actually the second CD I’ve produced, but my first solo effort,” Vega said. “It’s a big deal because I created the concept for the whole project, from the music to the visuals for the live shows.”

Wormsongs No.2 Sermon on files… from Artek Foundation on Vimeo.

And what is “art music,” exactly? Here’s a hint: it’s very modern and digital.

“’Art music’ stands apart from the pop, the dance and the folkloric without disassociating itself from them because in the end, everything is art,” he said. “In our style of music what is common is the search for individuality with a broad base to do it in.

“That my primary instrument is the computer is somewhat besides the point and says more about the sound of my music. Although, I have to admit that exploring the capacities of my instrument has influenced the way I write music.”

Wormsongs, Vega says, was inspired by “a sort of modern humanism that I felt very strongly about, specifically extropy.” He found the theme of social evolution – the future role of man on Earth, in the universe, and as a species – provided lots of material and ideas, which is why he took two years to finish the record. In the end, the 38-year-old says he also drew inspiration from his new role as a dad and from balancing parenthood with another artist.

“I mentioned Nicholas in the thank-you notes for the CD,” he said. He was born two weeks before I recorded it. Somehow I feel he motivated me in writing the final pieces for it. I can’t explain it, but he was there for me, somehow.”

Composing, Vega says, is a demanding, full-time duty. Just like having a family, especially when the Hague-based musician remembers he’s far away from his Miami home.

“[Making music] takes over everything and it can be very unforgiving,” he said. “So is having a child, that said, how could I not want to share this with my son. Being a first-time parent and having parents and family far away makes it inevitably hard to keep a blossoming career and raise him, but we manage at the cost of much-needed sleep.”

The key to success, he says, lies in the love he and his wife have for their work and their child.

“There is nothing we wouldn’t sacrifice to make sure they’re both well,” he said.

Vega is as keen to share his passion with his child as he is with his FIU family.

“It’s one of my dreams to play these pieces I’m so confident about at home , but at the moment I have nothing planned, unfortunately.”

In the meantime, you can purchase Wormsongs through iTunes,, and

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