Interview with Sabina Ulubeanu

The What if? community is vibrant, dynamic, and incredibly creative. One of our members, Sabina Ulubeanu, is a composer/photographer who co-founded and manages a festival of art and ideas entitled InnerSound. This year the festival takes place from the 28th of September until October 1. Details can be found on the festival website.

In May 2015, Barbara interviewed Sabina to find out more about the festival, its workings, and how it got started.

Sabina told Barbara about the initial inspiration for the festival, and how silent films figured into the equation! Listen here:


Sabina is also a firm believer in working across genres and integrating new music into the wider festival landscape. She says of the goals of InnerSound: “we wanted to show the people that new music is not a scarecrow, that we can show them that music is music, no matter in what century [it] was written… the mix with visual arts in every form… photography, film, live visuals, and whatever the artist may think about, because it’s infinite.”

With such freedom afforded to the performers and participating artists, then, how does such a festival stay cohesive and organized?

One way Sabina and her team dealt with the disparity of genres and time periods was to create unity through instrumentation, and to present concerts across time periods. This was also their method to get people interested in contemporary music who might otherwise not want to hear it: find a famous violinist of classical music and work new music into the program! Sabina explains:


From challenges in sponsorship to growing the team, Sabina and her colleagues found that creating a festival from scratch was a tremendous learning experience. Yet the festival also has a very personal meaning to Sabina: she is not only a composer, photographer, and festival organizer, but also a mother. She told Barbara about combining the various parts of her life:


Sabina is passionate about music, and it’s easy to see why InnerSound reflects perfectly her boundless enthusiasm for what she does. “It’s really amazing that you can touch an instrument and hear such a beautiful thing,” she says. “The sound… but also then you produce more sounds and you make something much more beautiful. It’s amazing, it’s an absolutely wonderful world. People say it’s an abstract world; I don’t think so. I don’t think it’s abstract at all. It involves feelings, it involves your whole being.”

We also have a participatory call for you! InnerSound has put out a call for film shorts between 3 and 8 minutes in length, in any kind of visual language, open until July 25th:

This year’s theme is TOUCH. Creator or viewer? Emotional impulse or mechanical gesture? Beginnings or just the end? Functioning as a demarcation line between technology and the senses, the touch is the one thing uniting the artist with the viewer, thus experimenting the first concrete step from sense to matter. The selected films will be screened during SILENT FILM NIGHT, on 29.09.2016, at 8 PM, at Elvira Popescu hall. Each film will be accompanied by a soundtrack created especially for this occasion by young Romanian composers.

On 1.10.2016,  the last day of the festival,  InnerSound will award the following prizes:  the InnerSound Trophy for Best Movie, the Public Choice Award for favorite film, the Public Choice Award for favorite original music. The jury consists of director Andrei Ujica and Claudiu Mitcu, and film editor Catalin Cristutiu. Send submissions, including a CV or bio, synopsis or script of the film, and a short description describing the connection of your film to the theme of TOUCH to:, including Vimeo and/or Youtube links, or send an e-mail inquiring how to submit by regular mail. Selected movies will be announced around 1.08. 2016.

Featured image: “white window with green,” used for the first edition of InnerSound.
Photo © Sabina Ulubeanu.



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