By Laurie Gomez
In episode #6, of the Schwarzman Center web series, One, Sofía Campoamor ‘YC20 talks with Laurie Gomez YC’22 about her senior thesis project – an album of original songs about distance. Campoamor discusses how songwriting led to self-exploration and collaboration. She reflects on a recent livestream of her work and music’s ability to bring people together in a time of physical distance.
Although Campoamor began her journey at Yale University as a Theater Studies major, she ultimately switched her major to Music, discovering that the art she makes when unprompted is songwriting.
She explained, “Music is a site for togetherness that can be experienced across distance really effectively…. That experience I’m having by myself connects me to memories I have with other people or connects me to feelings they might be having while listening to it at another time, another place.”
Campoamor learned that acts of making and sharing music are interlinked. As she produced her senior thesis album, she found herself working with other student artists, allowing them to reinterpret her songs and lend their voices to the recordings.
Ironically, Campoamor said that collaboration was not an inherent part of her creative process. “The collaboration element of the songwriting process is what I’ve seen myself grow the most in…It was really hard for me to work with other people on something that was such a personal process.”
Ultimately, Campoamor completed a collection of high-quality demos. She had planned for her thesis to culminate in a live concert and studio recordings for a more finished album. Due to the pandemic, however, the live concert was presented as a livestream, and the mixing and mastering of the album was delayed. Still, Campoamor is hoping to release an E.P. in the coming months.
Campoamor views music as an effective tool for staying connected, and she plans to continue working with collaborators remotely. She said, “If I write a song and my friend is playing it [on the guitar] and singing it… the things that I wrote are physically changing what my friend is doing…. It is literally changing the way air moves in and out of their lungs or the shape of their fingers.”
Gomez, the host of episode 6, is a second-year student in Ezra Stiles College and a student staff member for the Schwarzman Center specializing in communications outreach. She is involved with the Yale College Council and the Independent Party of the Yale Political Union.
One, a web series produced by the Schwarzman Center, highlights interdisciplinary approaches to the arts in relation to the Center’s values of collaboration, wellness and belonging. The inaugural season illuminates the creative and academic merits of student works impacted by physical distancing and explores perspectives on community-building among dispersed groups. The series title, One, is a nod to the Schwarzman Center’s aspiration to advance a sense of “One Yale” and create an interconnected community that builds new traditions of student engagement around the campus and into the world.