I’m Sophia Subbayya Vastek.
Join me for an unapologetically tender and earnest take on living life as a musician, with each monthly installment featuring a conversation and interview (in written form) with an artist I admire. I’m particularly interested in talking about the difficult truths of being a musician, the untold stories, the delights and sorrows.
I’ve been writing a newsletter, in one form or another, for over a decade now. Sounding Softly is the next generation, with an emphasis on regularity and deepening the conversation.
Why “Sounding Softly”? Softness has been an ongoing theme in my work for years. In all that I do, whether it’s the music that I create or the shows that I present, I am striving for a vision of softness. I’m still chasing that idea, and it’ll likely continue weaving in and out of this newsletter for some time.
A shortened version of this newsletter will be available to all subscribers for free.
For $5/mo or $50/year, you will have access to the full, transcribed artist interviews and full newsletter text. If you have the capacity, I encourage you to take this route. You will be directly supporting my time and energy spent writing this newsletter, but perhaps even more importantly, you’ll be supporting my creative work in general.
There’s also a “Founding Member” tier. Select this if you want to support my work beyond the monetary confines of the regular tier. You will have the satisfaction of knowing that your subscription has turned me into a joyfully crying puddle.
But truly, in whatever capacity you wish to share this space with me, I’m grateful.
Who Am I?
If you’re new to my work, I would check out my recent record In Our Softening as a starting point. For something completely different, I’ve also recorded the complete solo piano works of Lili Boulanger (1893-1918). My album Histories feels like a lifetime ago, but check that out too. I often collaborate with my husband, mastering engineer, saxophonist, and supreme softie Sam Torres. He produced my album In Our Softening. Together, we curate The Lift Series at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. We also run a series out of our home, which, oddly enough, is a converted church space in South Troy, NY that we’ll be renovating for life. We have two cats who collectively have only seven legs. And I’m utterly devoted to my city, Troy, NY. Come visit.