Miguel explains why the experimentation is a fundamental part of the composition act and why he understands music simply as a way of thinking, feeling and a way of expressing emotions.

miguel bareilles

What does music mean to you personally?

I don’t like conceptual definitions. I understand music simply put as a way of inhabiting life. Music is a way of thinking, a way of feeling, and a way of expressing emotions. Besides, it’s impossible for me to imagine my life without music, so I can’t know exactly what the concrete meaning of music is either.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

No, I don’t agree that music is all about fantasy. Music is a purely human expression, and in it there are also many human aspects that have nothing to do with fantasy. Music is work, it is discomfort, it is conflict, it is beauty, it is denunciation, it is politics.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future?

I believe that this may be a specifically European problem. Because if you look at other latitudes (for example: North America, Latin America, Asia, Russia, etc.), we will see that the public is always renewing itself. And I believe that the European problem has a direct relationship with the avant-garde proposals of the last five decades: die “neue Musik”.

What do you envision the role of classical music to be in the 21 century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

I guess the same role as always: the encounter and flourishing of cultures. And I believe that many interesting things are already happening in this respect, especially in the new generations.

When I say that classical music is searching for new ways or that the classical music is getting a new face, what would come to your mind?

Latin American children’s and youth orchestras, for example. It’s amazing how many orchestras and music schools have sprung up in recent years. In addition, classical music is no longer belonging to a social elite; the great academies of the world today are no longer for select students according to important surnames, but according to the capacity of each one’s work.

Do you think that the classical musician today needs to be more creative? Whats the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

I believe that creativity is very important, as long as the musician needs to develop in a more integral way. But if the musician only seeks to be an interpreter, creativity is not essential.

Do you think we musicians can do something to attract young generation into the classical music concerts? How will you proceed?

Of course we can. It’s enough to take off your costume, talk to the audience in a more colloquial way, make a simple joke. On the other hand, I think it is important to renew the repertoires with new composers. Perform shows beyond conventional theaters. In other words: humanize the scenario.

Tell us about your creative process. Do you have your favorite piece (written by you) How did you start working on it?

I basically define myself as a composer. I therefore have many works of my own at this stage of my life; I cannot refer to a single work. The act of composing is totally subjective. I try not to rationalize, that is to say, I try that my music emerges from emotions and not from preconceived ideas. I also try not to use formulas previously learned. But it is true that with the passage of time, I have discovered elements in my music, things that are repeated and that inevitably refer to beliefs and ideologies. In a sociological sense, I recognize that in my music there are important features of a “Latin American ideology”.

We, Moving Classics TV, love the combination of classical music with different disciplines: music and painting, music and cinematography, music and digital art, music and poetry. What do you think about these combinations?

I think that’s the best thing that can happen to music. And that’s not new. The artistic meetings at the end of the 19th century brought together painters, sculptors, musicians, literary artists, etc. Then, from the appearance of sound film to the appearance of the video format, thousands of multi-disciplinary works have been produced.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

Let them go to live shows. And remove all prejudices from their minds.

Now it is a common practice in the media to talk that the classical music is getting into the consumption business, do you agree? We are speaking about the supply and demand rules and how to sell your “product” in your case your compositions. How do you see it?

Of course classical music is part of a business, like all large-scale “artistic” productions. There is, of course, postmodernism legitimized by the academies, that monopolizes the artistic movement and its effective marketing and institutionalization. But there are also hundreds of new polystyrene trends. artists who work by merging the tools acquired from formal education with tools that emerge around them, and which are usually self-managed. I believe that this type of production should be particularly supported.

Do you have expectations what regards your listeners, your audience?

No, my expectations only concern myself. I don’t expect anything in particular from audiences; I just hope they have the ability to feel, which usually happens.

 What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

The composer is a purely active agent, who throughout his life absorbs amounts of knowledge, and experimentation is a fundamental part of the composition act. My projects are multiple; I am permanently writing new music and looking for ways to perform them.

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Milana talks about her compositions and about the beauty of performing the music live and focusing on various styles and forms of music to blend and create something new.

milana foto

What does music mean to you personally?

Music to me is like breathing, I need it constantly, and change myself through it. As a child, I was completely absorbed inside my own world of secret life, full of stories and songs that I sang even in my sleep. I didn’t feel the need to communicate with other children much, unless I could sing or play piano for them. My closest family members would always surround me by various recordings, shows we went to together or my dad’s shows. So, I associated music with a close relative, some Spirit that is always guiding and guarding me through life. In short: music is my remedy and my best communication skill.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Despite of using the phrase “What is music if not a dream?” here and there myself, I am not sure if I agree with this statement. In my opinion, music is more primal and universal to human nature than, for example, Visual Arts, which are interpreted subjectively. So, I would agree that we add imagination to performing different styles and musical compositions, but musical “ingredients” are quite physical to me, especially the rhythm, vibrations of sound that move our body subconsciously.

If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?

I was studying Visual Arts, especially photography, and really loved drawing. I also think that fashion design or home decor would really suit me too. I also hoped to study therapy through Arts, which I now apply in my piano and vocal lessons. Aesthetics in life in general are a “must” for me: I can only perform, teach or practice in very well organized spaces, I guess I am Feng Shui oriented musician.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future?

Classical music to me is about performance legacy. I believe now, when we have a new generation of artists like Lang Lang, Yuja Wang, Emily Bear, the classical music is attracting young people again. Personally, I’m not strictly classical myself: I respect classical music but I focus on absorbing various styles and forms of music (like jazz, blues or rock) to blend and create something new.

What do you envision the role of classical music to be in the 21 century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

I am guessing that some roles wouldn’t change much: people will still want that special energy you may only get coming to concert halls and listening to live performances. However, nowadays, there are other fields where classical music can be used to support something else, e.g. films, games, theatrical shows and so on. There are also researches of how classical music affects studying and relaxation processes, so, there might be another role in that direction as well.

When I say that classical music is searching for new ways or that the classical music is getting a new face, what would come to your mind?

I immediately think of “Baby Mozart” (a part of “Baby Einstein” series) and lectures for children by Leonard Bernstein (although, it’s not “brand new” but to me it was quite revolutionary). Now, in Canada we got Music for Young Children program, which involves even youngest in the process of ear training, composing and improvising with parents, which is super cool. In other words it turns from a “conservatory”, “academic” discipline into a vibrant and playful experience.

Do you think that the classical musician today needs to be more creative? Whats the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

I do think so. With all the broad spectrum of music that is available now, one needs to be creative to find their own style, without even thinking too much about how to classify their it. Take “The Piano Guys” as an example – among others, they take existing classical masterpieces and create their own unique versions. Classical music is quite often perceived as a set of strict rules, the creativity to me is about finding new unexpected ways of using those rules.

Do you think we musicians can do something to attract young generation into the classical music concerts? How will you proceed?

Depending on the age, there might be different approaches. For the youngest ones I’d focus on the playful experience: let them learn instruments by touching and improvising with their families. For teenagers I’d focus on helping them to compose their own pieces and make attending the concerts as a part of the learning process. Also, there is a lot of modern classical music used in popular movies and it might be very attractive to the young generation to see how this music is performed live. E.g. many of my students were introduced to Debussy’s Clair De Lune through Twilight Saga and that made them want to play it. Or, coming from a different direction, my own children were all tears when we took them to an open rehearsal of an orchestra, playing John Williams’s famous soundtracks. Not strictly classical but inspired by Richard Strauss and Antonin Dvorak.

Tell us about your creative process. Do you have your favorite piece (written by you) How did you start working on it?

Most of my pieces start as improvisations on simple motifs. Quite often these motifs are given to me by my husband, who is not a musician himself. However, this might be exactly what helps him to think “out-of-the-box” without bothering if his motifs are musical at all. So, he hits some keys and then challenges me with his usual request: “What can you make of it?” and I take it from there, instantly turning it into a full composition. Many of my albums happened that way, especially the one called “Accidental Etudes”, which name reflects the essence of this creative process: “Etudes” because the main motifs are pretty simple to be like a practicing exercise, “Accidental” because they happen spontaneously. Oh, and another reason for “Accidental” is because we both have the tendency to love black keys. So, it’s kind of playing with double meaning of words.

Speaking of the favorite piece, it’s hard to choose one. But one of my personal favorites is definitely “Moonlight Stroll” – a bluesy ambient piece in the rhythm of slow relaxing stroll with a nocturnal vibe to it – thus, the name. Btw, a couple of years ago we put this piece on SoundCloud and invited everyone to create different remixes and remakes and we were quite surprised to receive over 70 different versions ranging from hard rock and electronica to orchestral pieces and R&B songs with lyrics. The latter inspired me to write my own song (called “Pale moonlight”) based on the same instrumental piece.

We, Moving Classics TV, love the combination of classical music with different disciplines: music and painting, music and cinematography, music and digital art, music and poetry. What do you think about these combinations?

To me it sounds just natural to go in those directions and I really appreciate it when someone follows this path. You asked about “creativity” before, so, to me these kind of combinations are an essential part of the mentioned “creativity”. I see it as some kind of a “synesthesia” in Art: how a painting sounds? What color is this musical passage? And so on. First time I encountered it back in 90s, when I was studying Visual Arts, specifically, Wassily Kandinsky.

My recent album, “Yet another love story”, actually, belongs to the list of such combinations of different disciplines. It started as a mere attempt to create improvisational pieces for different emotions like “surprise”, “sadness”, “joy”, “anger”, even “disgust”. But after that my husband and I got the idea to turn it into a poetic story about our love and life together. We wrote lyrics for each and every track of the album and posted this story on YouTube, week by week, chapter by chapter, accompanied by musical emotions. Also, my husband and my daughter love to create cinematic videos and animations based on my musical compositions.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

I’d recommend to start from… YouTube! It’s a terrific source for discovering everything, Classical music is not an exception. There are numerous channels that are extremely friendly and less formal, explaining styles, giving names of famous and less famous composers, teaching basic theory and helping with daily routine for any level of musicianship. E.g. “pianoTV”, “Classical Nerd”, Rick Beato. And, most certainly, do attend live concerts – once you get into the energy of it, it won’t be a “dry discipline” to you anymore.

Now it is a common practice in the media to talk that the classical music is getting into the consumption business, do you agree? We are speaking about the supply and demand rules and how to sell your “product” in your case your compositions. How do you see it?

I don’t think it is specific to the classical music and I don’t think it is specific to the present time. I mean, it’s always been like that with any kind of art to one extent or another. E.g. in the medieval times minstrels were paid for their performances, artists were paid for their paintings, so, how is it different nowadays? However, there are couple of reasons why it is, actually, different. In the digital era it is relatively easy to produce new music: all you need is a regular computer and an affordable keyboard. It is also relatively easy to distribute it via Internet. So, I guess, due to these reasons, nowadays there is more supply than demand.

For selling your “product” these days you need to find your specific audience, the one that is going to love not just the music itself but also your story, your personality. Somehow, it correlates with your previous question about the combination of different disciplines.

Do you have expectations what regards your listeners, your audience?

I’d really love to see more people to learn about my music and I’d love to find those whom I can work together with on bigger projects. For example, to compose music for films full-time is one of my dreams. Right now, alas, it’s about sporadic opportunities only. Oh, and I am definitely excited to see people performing my compositions. So far I got this experience with one of my original songs – it was performed by a choir in a church. To say that it was an overwhelming experience to me is to underestimate it.

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

Right now my husband and I are all into one big project: filming a theatrical video for the song I wrote last year. It’s been quite a project, starting from writing the orchestral arrangement for the song, taking vocal lessons to learn about operatic singing, writing a script for the video, finding a location for the video shoot, designing the decorations, working with theatrical makeup artists, finding the right costumes and so on. These days we are working with a choreographer and a group of dancers who will be there in the video. So… talk about the combination of different disciplines ;-) Whoever wants to read more about this project, here is the page about the whole story:

http://milana.ws/TheSnowQueenWaltz

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Swiss composer David Bruehwiler shares his views about discovering music and why composer has the duty to convey positive emotions to his audience.

david_intro

What does music mean to you personally?
The most perfect medium to convey emotions. I think the composer has the duty to convey but positive emotions .So music can be helpful to the listener.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?
Sure, if I consider it from my point of view. But there is intuition and inspiration which remain a secret to me. I use to refrain from analyzing them.

If you were not a professional musician, would you have been?
I was a primary school teacher for 15 years! I love working with children.

What do you envision the role of classical music to be in the 21 century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

Composers conveying but positive emotions through their music. Practicing emptiness of mind helps to increase creativity. Any behavior or technique that increases positive creativity should become more important. Classical music of the 21th century should be a source of deepest love.

When I say that classical music is searching for new ways or that the classical music is getting a new face, what would come to your mind?

Arvo Pärt who left serialism and devoted himself to Renaissance vocal polyphonic composition technique and to the triads. -Keith Jarrett and Friedrich Gulda, two excellent pianists both in the classical and in the jazz field. As far as I know Gulda stated once that classical music and jazz would merge in the 21st century.

Do you think that the classical musician today needs to be more creative? Whats the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

Creativity means to me: working with open heart, hands and mind. Every time I did not work that way to date, the result was unsatisfactory. So (to me): work as open-hearted, -handed, and –minded as you can :-) !

Do you think we musicians can do something to attract young generation into the classical music concerts? How will you proceed?

Yes I think we can: By encouraging the outstanding pianists of our time to perform and record works of composers – famous or unknown – who have found a convincing and uplifting synthesis of genres like for instance Classical with Jazz, Pop,Latin ….

Tell us about your creative process. Do you have your favourite piece (written by you). How did you start working on it?

To me there are different approaches to a new composition: The Mediterranean Etude, for example,came to me in a dream. I looked down to a marvelous Mediterranean bay and simultaneously I heard a wonderful sparkling piano music which painted that bay into music: the reflections of the sun on the waves, the blue water, the beautiful landscape… The dream was very short but very impressive. Awaken I just started improvising in remembrance of the marvelous dream experience, only searching for the most beautiful progressions while remaining in the happy mood of the dream. So bar after bar, the piece weaved itself. In order to enhance the effect of sunlight in the Etude, I created a contrast: There are two similar parts where the listener seems to dive a few meters down into the dim water and return to the light.

 

We, Moving Classics TV, love the combination of classical music with different disciplines: music and painting, music and cinematography, music and digital art, music and poetry. What do you think about these combinations?

Great! What I explained at the previous question is such a combination of music and (dreamed) pictures.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves? 

This is only my personal point of view and refers on the sources that helped me most:
- Learn to play impressionistic music (because it resembles soundtracks). Debussy’s piece”The Little Negro” is very easy and it is great fun to play it! Try to learn also Debussy’s “La Cathédrale Engloutie” or “Arabesque No.1″ Those pieces are more demanding.
-When you are adolescent, learn to play some 2 part inventions of J.S. Bach. Great for your brain connections!
-join a choir, which is open also for the Renaissance period (Palestrina)
If you heard some new classical/crossover music in the internet that you fell in love immediately: bring it to your piano teacher and ask him/her to help you learning it.
if you are really serious about composing: study “Gradus ad Parnassum” by Johann Josef Fux You will need a counterpoint teacher for that (this will save time). But do not hurry with it. If you become open for the philosophy behind counterpoint, you will not care how long these studies should take.

Now it is a common practice in the media to talk that the classical music is getting into the consumption business, do you agree? We are speaking about the supply and demand rules and how to sell your “product” in your case your compositions. How do you see it?

I see it this way:
My website is non-profit, i.e. the sheet music download of all my compositions is free. Why? Because I do not know how I managed to compose so many tunes and pieces, I decided to share it with others. So I have no revenues of my sheet music. I rely on mutual confidence: If a composition is performed,recorded, broadcasted etc., I hope people are honest and pay the royalties owed.

Do you have expectations what regards your listeners, your audience?
I wish them openness for receiving positive emotions through music.

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

I generally hold back with new projects, so there may be still space and energy enough for the unexpected. I love to improvise, if a project allows it.

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Michael Stitt explains his concept of landscape architecture and music and how it is possible to create places of Stillness, Meditation, and Tranquility.

Michael Stitt

What does music mean to you personally?

Spiritual happiness, Self-expression; Essence of Life ; My Identity – my existence! A reason to breath air and to share with Nature and Humanity.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Yes – the faculty or activity of imagining impossible or improbable things.
Yes – a fanciful mental image, typically one on which a person often dwells and which reflects their conscious or unconscious wishes.
No! – an idea with no basis in reality.
Music is very real, ipso facto, a basis of reality. It frustrates me that some people see absolutely no purpose, and no necessity to give music anytime at all. In my view, a person who absolutely has no empathy with music, is a very flawed individual. They lack a soul and very rarely do I share my time with zombies.

If you were not a professional musician, would you have been?

I am not a professional music in the strict definition of making a living composing and earning a living writing music. My mainstream is Landscape Architecture. I ‘marry’ the natural word with the human expression of design – a nexus between music and landscape design. In my own eyes I see my other career – role as music writing.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future?

As I do not rely on music as a paid career, I am fortunate not to have to worry about this.

What do you envision the role of classical music to be in the 21 century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

I believe there will always been a need for classical music, at least I really do hope so. There seems to be a decline world wide. As a young boy I used to save my pocket money to buy a classical record, and now – other than buying CD’s or music tracks online, the enormous range of music access seems to be less so. I do fear that Western Art music is declining in popularity, though in Japan it seems to be still popular and special.

When I say that classical music is searching for new ways or that the classical music is getting a new face, what would come to your mind?

I would sincerely hope two things: Musicians and audience in large would accept greater freedom in experimentation of popular historical composer’s works. Right now it seems that it is sacriligious to improvise Bach, Beethoven and Mozart. Why not? The cadenza of a concerto as always been accepted, but not the concerto itself. I personally have tired of listening to the same concerto, sonata repetoire over and over by dead composers. Why can’t performers experiment more? Centuries ago that was accepted. I have great respect for Flamenco and Jazz performers, who see music in a dynamic “living“ form! Can you imagine a Flamenco artist reading note for note a traditional dance form by another Flamenco artist. Never!

Do you think that the classical musician today needs to be more creative? Whats the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

Absolutely. Taking my former comments before further, we need to reflect a world of uncertainty. The world of science changed dramatically in the early to mid twentifth certury. Poincaré, Heisenberg, Gödel, Turing and others changed all that. The Art works of M. C. Escher and music by Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Villa Lobos, and many others, attempted to explore that uncertainty as new aesthetics. We musicians should strive to create new Aesthetics – new musical expressions.
Every morning I wake up excited about music and composition. We need to take the listener more and more to contemporary compositions and not simply the rehashing of “old classics‘ of dead white male composers.

Do you think we musicians can do something to attract young generation into the classical music concerts? How will you proceed?

We must try and create a mix in our concert programs between contemporary and historical Wesern Art music. We should not be afraid to add a musical composition of our own, or at least a composer of our own times. I refuse to give concerts on the classical guitar by only the mainstream composers. For example, I recently included a set of Varations I wrote on Packington Pound, and was delighted how the audience enjoyed this work. One person after the concert commented that they had never heard this work before and asked after the name of the composer. When I told them I wrote it, they were genuinely shocked and surprised. Why is it that we don’t have courage to do this more often. In future that is my goal – to promote and share my humble create compositions.
At some point I will record it.

Tell us about your creative process. Do you have your favourite piece (written by you) How did you start working on it?

Oh my God! What a question.  There are so many works. Okay here goes. On-the-whole, I write my music extremely fast. I have a music idea well formulated in my head. I then simply write notes on a computer, which is a perfect medium because as a Design Manager, I just don`t have lots free time. My knowledge of strict rules relating to harmony and music structure is intuitive, rather than academic. I write music more like a painter goes about dabbing paint on a canvass. Indeed, I have an idea and structure in mind, and then I go about trying to create it. To a large extend it comes about but along the journey, new discoveries occur along the way.
I have two favourite works.
My first truly satisfying work is the concerto for harp and chamber orchestra. It was my first attempt to write a concerto: a work for a solo instrument with a story to be told woven with an orchestra. The original idea was to write a concerto in the style of Villa Lobo’s guitar concerto. I even set up the instrument combination based on this beautiful work. The empty electronic canvas looked bear and I just started to consider the structure in my head. I quickly decided I preferred the harp rather than the guitar. In real life this might be different, but subconsciously I think I associated the Western harp as having a delicate sound more like a koto, perhaps even the banjo-like sound of the Japanese 3-stringed Shamisen.
The concerto took shape very quickly and I simply started to write it in a joyous happy style with more and more the thought that it would become a concerto for flute and harp. Only when I started writing the cadenza for the first movement, did I persuade myself that the work would put the harp above the flute. At some point I may revisit this and incorporate the flute as a type of duelling element between it and the harp as a final cadenza.
The second and third movements were written over two days. I wanted a sombre tone in the second movement. The listener still a letter to hear the original theme but with some thought towards Pathos.
Shortly after writing the concerto and sharing it amongst friends on the Internet, a work colleague, who I’d also a musician commented that the work is rather Japanese influenced. I found this comment curious and at the same time delighted that there is within me a Japanese voice, for I believe that elements of the Japanese thinking and culture is so strongly part of me.
I really learnt the art of composing in Japan. Then I disliked my Japanese Sensei for her strictness in teaching me to play the Shamisen. For two solid months living with her in Tokyo I endured strict practise discipline and long nights of her students learning to play through the thin walls. I left Tokyo telling myself I would never play the Shamisen again. Little did I know that all those hours, days, & months, of Japanese traditional music, sunk into my subconscience. A few months after returning to Australia, I would wake up desperate to write music down. I have a lot to thank Toshiko-Sensei. She significantly added a rich layer of musical creativity within me. I have many wonder musical ideas in my mind, just not enough time to put them on e-paper.
My favourite work is my Japan Symphonic Poem. I wrote it in one go combining traditional instruments including Shakuhachi, koto, and Shamisen, with Western orchestral instrument, and the result was a myriad of Japanese musician friends all seem to enjoy it. The second movement: Peace Song, seems to be enjoyed by all. So many ask for the works inspiration and meaning. For example a Japanese composer, Yasuyuki Katayame wrote and asked me: I listened and found this very interesting. I thought I could feel how Japan was thought of. Can there be some uneasiness within this kind of peace? Shall I take this “From war” or “Into war”?

It simply reflects a complex set of emotions for the love of Japanese people, who showed me such extraordinarily kindness. A people who taught be Kindness, Humility, Humility and love of my fellow human beings. I have never been the same person since. Each day I‘m filled with inner happiness, love, and peace. My Japan Symphonic Poem seems to reflect all emotions. I cry when I listen to it, so many emotions.
Japan Symphonic Poem

We, Moving Classics TV, love the combination of classical music with different disciplines: music and painting, music and cinematography, music and digital art, music and poetry. What do you think about these combinations?

I love the idea. I tried to encourage a similar approach with Landscape Architecture. You may like to read an article I wrote recently on this theme.
Music as a Tool in Landscape Architecture: Creating places of Stillness, Meditation, and Tranquility.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/music-tool-landscape-architecture-creating-places-michael

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

Start with popular easy listening works like Vivadi and Mozart etc. At the sametime learn a musical instrument. When I was a child I begged my parents for a piano, but they wouldn’t have one in the house. So important to give two things: books and music. Love comes in the form of giving books and music!

Now it is a common practice in the media to talk that the classical music is getting into the consumption business, do you agree? We are speaking about the supply and demand rules and how to sell your “product” in your case your compositions. How do you see it?

Sadly, there is some truth in this. I am fortunate to share my compositions for the free enjoyment of others. If someone cres or likes my music works, I am happy to oblige.

Do you have expectations what regards your listeners, your audience?

No. You can’t force people to like your compositions, but you can introdue them to your efforts and hope they see some merit, albeit, enjoyment, listening to them. I’m pleased I have a small number of followers. I am easily content.

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

1. I currently like writing Japanese style meditation music for people seeking inner peace:
TEARS OF RICE 米の涙

The Anguish Languishing Mind Calls for Peace

2. Further development of a suite called SYLVIUS IN KYOTO asking the question:
What if the greatest German Lutenist composer, Sylvius Leopold Weiss (12 October 1687 – 16 October 1750) had visited the great Royal Court of Kyoto, Japan? What a wonderful fusion of Western and Eastern fusion/ composition would have resulted? Sylvius was a German composer, who was an exact contemporary of Johann Sebastian Bach, and George F. Handel. He was also the highest paid musician in the Dresden Royal Court, and was legendary in his day for the quality of sound he produced from his instrument.
Sylvius was born in Grottkau near Breslau, the son of Johann Jacob Weiss, (also a lutenist) Like G.F.Handel, he spend time as a composer in Italy. He served at courts in Breslau, Rome, and finally in Dresden, where he wrote an enormous body of music, the vast majority of which is for the Baroque lute only, some chamber music, and that is where the problem exists.
His music is exquisite and harmonically inventive, but the instrument he wrote for has been redundant for at least two centuries. Only in the early 21st century was it revived, and only over the last two to three decades, many of his works have been recorded. Here is but a small taste of this huge endeavour:

3. I also like writing for the piano and working on a large scale work, a quasi- composition in the style of Liszt’s Sonata in b moll, and Villa Lobo’s Rudepoema.

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I am a Fifty-five year old very happy male, who fortunately has not had to fight in a war, and now probably have about thirty years of life left – if I am lucky! I intend to do my utmost to live a life of kindness and humility. Give to my only son, Adam. Perhaps write a few more works that give a little pleasure and happiness to any person willing to listen to them. 

Thank you. ありがとうございます

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Our Fantasy Notes composer Gordon Francis Blaney speaks about a new role of classical music in the modern era and hwy it is important to share thoughts and feelings through music with audiences.

What does music mean to you personally?

Music, to me, is an art first, then a craft, and a business last. To conduct, to perform, to theorize, and to teach are all wondrous aspects of music; with such it is about becoming one with the mental state of the original creator or creators of a work. To write, however, is about creating a clear and concise entrance into the landscape within.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Music without thought is too illogical and irrational; it is without craft. Music without feeling is too logical and rational; it is without art. Without art and craft music is not music, it is, at that junction, the mere propagation of sound.

If you were not a professional musician, would you have been?

Professionalism in music is less tangible and more intangible. If we believe we are, then we are. Financial independence is a beautiful achievement. It, however, is not the beginning, middle, and or end of professionalism in music. It is a distraction to what professionalism in music is, which is the pursuit of enlightenment in art and craft. I do not recall, based upon the philosophies I believe in, that I was ever “not” a professional musician.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future?

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift, which is why it is called the present. The present, the moment, is what I need to focus on for success. I must also recall that I cannot change people, places, things, and ideas; I can, however, influence such. I must have courage to change from within though, and, perhaps, influence all to affect and or effect a positive environment.

If the above is cryptic, then I will state this on record as personal opinion: “It is not the fault of the concertgoer for the declined intrigue in serious concert music. It is the fault of the people and places of serious concert music for permitting outmoded etiquette to persist into a modern age”.

What do you envision the role of classical music to be in the 21 century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

The role of classical music in the modern era should be for musicians to share their thoughts and feelings through music with audiences. Such matters to be shared should be those from the plights of mankind and the individual to the pleasantries of such. The transformation in the role of classical music in the modern era is a return to less policies, procedures, and formalities for one and all involved as well as a loosening of etiquette. It will become more about the art and craft and less about all else.

When I say that classical music is searching for new ways or that the classical music is getting a new face, what would come to your mind?

The search is on! It is excellent to see and hear that musicians are attempting to change the face of classical music in the modern era. The present face is one of a snobbish connoisseur waltzing and darting from one high-end brand of wine and cheese to another in attire that is akin to that of a grieving husband and or wife for their losses. As time goes on, it will be jeans and t-shirts for attire as well as clapping and booing whenever the mood strikes; the face of music will become organic once more, and the concert halls will become engorged with people from all walks of life.

Do you think that the classical musician today needs to be more creative? Whats the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

Classical music in the modern era needs much, much, much more in the department of the creative. We all should open to old and new ideas. Such ideas as integration of other visual and or performing arts into our works or audience participation. I, on a personal note, am not close-minded: I am open to whatever idea is presented me, as long as it does not degrade a person or an instrument.

Do you think we musicians can do something to attract young generation into the classical music concerts? How will you proceed?

The best advice for musicians in attracting younger generations to classical music in the modern era is thus: “Ask them what is needed and wanted for there to be interest in attending!”

Tell us about your creative process. Do you have your favorite piece (written by you) How did you start working on it?

There is nothing magical concerning the creative process, at least in how I go about it. I work long and hard. I write, then I listen, then I edit or delete, and then last I repeat that process a measure at a time until the work satisfies me.

We, Moving Classics TV, love the combination of classical music with different disciplines: music and painting, music and cinematography, music and digital art, music and poetry. What do you think about these combinations?

All combinations are as good as those who do them. Not all art is equal. Not all craft is equal. However, opinions are often subjective and biased. Quite complex, difficult, and hard to be objective and unbiased concerning an opinion of such; it, however, is not impossible.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

Those who are interested in discovering classical music in general should listen to all possible music, even such music that is not liked and or loved. Just as learning an appreciation for a new food and or drink can be complex, difficult, and hard, learning an appreciation for new styles and genres of music can be arduous. Advise on how to listen is thus: “Do not listen with a subjective and biased mind that is ignorant: listen with an open mind and an open heart”.

Now it is a common practice in the media to talk that the classical music is getting into the consumption business, do you agree? We are speaking about the supply and demand rules and how to sell your “product” in your case your compositions. How do you see it?

A misnomer exists in music business that: “The rule of supply and demand reigns supreme”. Be prepared to be a miserable musician is that is the rule that guides, as it will lead to opportunities that will make all love for music dissipate into nothingness.

Do you have expectations what regards your listeners, your audience?

I do have expectations of the listeners that listen to what I write. The expectations is one of being open and honest. If someone does not like it and or love, then I need and want them to think and feel it is alright to state such. The inverse of the previous statement is also true of an expectation I have. Audiences deserve freedom: if I do not deserve a standing ovation from those that attend a work of mine, then I do not need and or want them to do so, for such is insult to me and to them.

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

Each project is new. Each project is different. Experimentation is something I am open to all the time. The latest projects are a set of jazz lead sheets, a piano character piece, and symphonic tone vignette. I am, indeed, quite excited.

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Gian Paolo Luppi explains why music represents his whole life and why the best for young people is to sing in the choir and listen to music

gianpaololuppi

What does music mean to you personally?

For me, music represents my whole life. The song, the choir, the orchestra, the wind orchestra, the liturgy, the teaching, all my life is filled with music, before a work is a great passion

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Not only, music is also reality.

If you were not a professional musician, would would you have been?

I do not know, maybe a mathematician

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future?

For me no, for my son and for my very little students, I would not stop. only to music, European society does not give the right space to art

What do you envision the role of classical music to be in the 21 century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

I see a big change, I grew up with Webern Maderna and Donatoni, Berio, Boulez, Stockausen and all the musicians who went to Darmstadt. I educated and taught my first students this very revolutionary “avant-garde” language, now the new generations have a lot more attention to consonance, they love tonality again, and look closely at all kinds of music, I think the future will take us a return to the past. Art doesn’ t change his role……I hope…..

When I say that classical music is searching for new ways or that the classical music is getting a new face, what would come to your mind?

I remember that music and art are always evolving and seek new ways and new paths.

Do you think that the classical musician today needs to be more creative? Whats the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

The artist must always be creative, I think I’m always creative, both in writing and in interpreting. This is of great help in continuous confrontation with the new generations.

Do you think we musicians can do something to attract young generation into the classical music concerts? How will you proceed?

Involving the world that they attend and work hard in schools not just in music schools.

Tell us about your creative process. Do you have your favourite piece (written by you) How did you start working on it?

I consider all the pieces I wrote as children … I do not have a favorite piece, but I have some pieces that have changed my life a lot. One of these is MANI and AURE for solo Clarinet. I had finished military service, and it was not easy for me to start writing again. Franco Donatoni helped me so much by suggesting me to start using three simple intervals, combined in all possible ways, using a solo instrument, the clarinet. This work was born as a study for the instrument, but now it’s almost a classic, from there I started writing and never stopped.

We, Moving Classics TV, love the combination of classical music with different disciplines: music and painting, music and cinematography, music and digital art, music and poetry. What do you think about these combinations?

It is normal for me to do this

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

Sing in chorus and listen so much

Now it is a common practice in the media to talk that the classical music is getting into the consumption business, do you agree? We are speaking about the supply and demand rules and how to sell your “product” in your case your compositions. How do you see it?

Consumption is entering consumer music ….. certainly not classical music, at least in Italy. I do not have so many performances, but I’m largely related to interpreters around the world who run and love contemporary language, which does not come into consumption ….. unfortunately ….

 Do you have expectations what regards your listeners, your audience?

I do not care….

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

I’m thinking of two very important anniversaries for me the 25th anniversary of J. Cage’s death and 150 of G. Rossini’s death, surely something will happen.

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Rossano Pinelli talks about why we should carefully listen to music pieces and why communication with the audience is the main purpose for a composer

rosanno bild

What does music mean to you personally?

Music, for me, means the research of the Truth. When I listen to the best composers I always feel the truth, and this should be the mean purpose of a Composer. Music is also a discipline that allow reaching unconscious worlds, worlds that words can’t nor express neither describe. Music is the kingdom of the Essence.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

No doubt, Music is about fantasy: but it’s also about rationality, language, architecture, deep organization of the thought.

If you were not a professional musician, would would you have been?

If I wasn’t a professional musician I would like to be a linguist.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future?

I’m not worried about my future, because classical music audience will exist forever. I’m a music teacher in secondary school, and I can affirm that there are young (and very young too) people that are interested in classical music, when you allow them to listen to and know classical masterpieces: if you are able to explain classical pieces to young people and allow them to understand, you can enlarge the audience. I think music teachers have a huge responsibility in this process.

What do you envision the role of classical music to be in the 21 century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

The role of classical music in 21st century could be central. Since the world is risking a total destruction, I think people will come back to the Beauty, or I hope so. The world needs beauty and Classical Music (but also Art, Literature, and any higher form of expression) could be the means to save the World. The School – as an Institution – must work in this direction.

When I say that classical music is searching for new ways or that the classical music is getting a new face, what would come to your mind?

It depends on the meaning of the word “new”. If i think to something “New” in strictly musical language, it’s very hard to imagine something new in music, anyway a composer has a duty to search for something new, or original or personal; if we are talking about new ways to propose a new public face for classical music I say to be careful, in order to avoid an excessive “commercialization” of the message. But the matter is really complicated, it’s impossible to exhaust it in a short answer.

Do you think that the classical musician today needs to be more creative? Whats the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

Creativity is indispensable. A composer doesn’t exist without creativity, and creativity must be cultivated with a a hard training, every day, with a lot of discipline.

Do you think we musicians can do something to attract young generation into the classical music concerts? How will you proceed?

Musicians should be more able to speak personally to the audience before the concerts and, why not? during the same concerts too, stimulating questions and conversations with the listeners. Musicians should use youtube (and other channels) too for making classical music more popular, explaining it to young people, with examples and chat with young people. But I think also Television should be more involved in dissemination. TV has a duty to educate people, it’s always a strong medium. But also in this case, the matter is so complicated..

Tell us about your creative process. Do you have your favourite piece (written by you) How did you start working on it?

I have 2 or 3 favorite pieces of mine, Umore for sax soprano and orchestra, Modanature for Wind Orchestra and Opodeldok for solo voice (reciter), piano and percussion. The method is always the same: I look for the chords or sounds conglomerates at the piano, choosing intervals and scales with great attention and then, when I have decided my materials (rhythmic, melodic, harmonic etc.), I begin to compose: but I already have an idea of the whole structure of the piece, so I know what happens in every part of my pieces – anyway, during the process something can change, so I can also change the path (and the whole structure, even if can’t change so much, the mean key points are decided)

We, Moving Classics TV, love the combination of classical music with different disciplines: music and painting, music and cinematography, music and digital art, music and poetry. What do you think about these combinations?

I think combination of Music with different disciplines are good, even if the highlight is pure music. Nevertheless, combinations help people to approach classical music in a easier way.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

Be patient. Searching for A LOT of different pieces on youtube, listening to them very carefully and more times, and reading a lot of biographies of main composers, and comparing music with History, Art, Literature, Philosophy of the same period of the composers they are discovering. Studying is a work in progress, all the life.

Now it is a common practice in the media to talk that the classical music is getting into the consumption business, do you agree? We are speaking about the supply and demand rules and how to sell your “product” in your case your compositions. How do you see it?

I think, regarding classical music, it has always been a matter of “selling” a product. Let’s think to Michelangelo, or Giotto, or Beethoven, or Rossini, or Verdi, Liszt, Brahms, Stravinsky and many others: they were really able to sell their “products”. An artist has to be able to live deeply in reality, if (s)he wants to live only earning money from his (her) art (without doing other jobs to live; there is some singular cases of pureness, like f.i. Charles Ives, who considered Music too important to mix it with a stuff so “vulgar” like money. For this reason, he founded the best Insurance Society in New York earning money with this job and composing only during the night).

Do you have expectations what regards your listeners, your audience?

I hope audience like my music, of course. But I haven’t any particular expectations regarding my listeners (hoping they exist!:-). Rather, I have particular expectations regarding my skill in communication with an audience, trying to write music able to create a link between my listeners and my music. I think communication is the main purpose for a composer (without falling into easy and “commercial” ways). I think that when you write a piece in which form, articulation, harmony, timbre, in short, every musical parameter is well organized, the communication is clear and works.
What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

In this period I’m working on a small opera (30 min.), on a piece for small wind orchestra (20 instruments) and projecting some different pieces for orchestra and for piano solo. Generally, I don’t experiment too much in my music (it depends on what “experiment” does mean. If we are speaking about dissonances or complex polyrhythms or special combinations of timbres isn’t an experiment anymore, it’s the normal knowledge in my music). Sometimes I experiment something “different” in my way of thinking music, but only when necessary, for expressive purposes.

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Diego Guzmán talks why it is important not to sacrifice the artistic integrity, how to find and define the creative voice and why the classical music stands the test of time

diego guzman image

What does music mean to you personally?

It is not only my profession, or even my preferred way of self-expression, but to me, music is the thing through which I feel the most human. There’s nothing else in my life that allows me to experience the depth of human emotion that music does.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Yes. And when it is not overtyly about fantasy, I believe it presents a fantasized version of the real world and our own lives.

If you were not a professional musician, would would you have been?

Hard to say! I never actually saw myself doing anything that wasn’t music, but given some of my interests I can imagine I would have been either filmmker or a political scientist.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future?

I’m not that worried, aside from composing I teach orchestration to young undergraduate students and it’s great seeing how much interest they show in classical music, especially if you approach it the right way.

What do you envision the role of classical music to be in the 21 century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

I don’t know if there has been a huge transformation in the role classical music plays in society. On one hand, more types of popular music keep emerging, but also we now have more access to music than ever before through the internet, so I imagine it has more reach now than it ever has. There’s a good reason why classical music stands the test of time, and in my experience concert halls remain to this day as full as ever.

When I say that classical music is searching for new ways or that the classical music is getting a new face, what would come to your mind?

What comes to my mind is that hopefully music by talented living composers starts to make its way to the concert halls, and into people’s internet playlists, to be heard and played alongside music by the great masters.

Do you think that the classical musician today needs to be more creative? Whats the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

There’s always room for more creativity. One thing that I would like to see for sure in today’s classical music is the partial integration of some of the most contemporary or even avant garde extended playing techniques. That kind of sound experimentation really lends itself to all sorts of creative ideas. Sometimes it doesn’t work or it gets overdone, but I think it’s possible to find the proper balance between that and the sort of melodies that people enjoy today.

Do you think we musicians can do something to attract young generation into the classical music concerts? How will you proceed?

I think one that we can take as musicians to attract the younger generations is to make and play classical-sounding arrangements of pieces that they like, like popular pieces or pieces from games, movies and television shows. To present something familiar to them, in a different musical context, and then in addition to this, introduce our own original material. For example, video game music concerts are very popular today, and there are big symphony orchestras all over the world playing music from people’s favorite games (same with movies). People that might not otherwise go see an orchestra at a concert hall do so because they are famliar with the musiic. So hopefully in doing something like this, this audience will expand its taste and become interested in other kinds of great orchestral music that’s new to them, as an extension of what they already know.

Tell us about your creative process. Do you have your favourite piece (written by you) How did you start working on it?

Most of the music I write is to picture (film) so I usually try to make the music that best depicts what is seen on the moving image, which ranges from choosing which instruments to use to selecting the appropriate tempo, modes, keys, and texture. I do have a favorite piece of mine, and it’s called Rebirth. Contrary to my usual work, Rebirth is a 3-minute concert piece for full symphony orchestra that is meant to transport the listerner into a fantasty world that is both mystic and exciting. I wrote this piece during my Masters degree in film scoring, even though it is a concert piece. I knew I would get to record with an orchestra, so I took one of the best melodic ideas I had, a very short melody, and then I completed the whole structure in a piano sketch, which I then fully orchestrated. I had the amazing opportunity not only to record this piece with a 110-piece orchestra in Sofia Bulgaria, with some incredible musicians, but I also got to conduct it myself. You listen to Rebirth here: https://soundcloud.com/gurunexx/rebirth/s-fGOJd

We, Moving Classics TV, love the combination of classical music with different disciplines: music and painting, music and cinematography, music and digital art, music and poetry. What do you think about these combinations?

As someone trying to make a living making music for films, I couldn’t love it more. So far however, I have only delved into film. I would love to try my hand at making some music to go with painting or digital art. That sounds amazing!

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

Take advantage of the resources you have available today. Use the internet, go to YouTube and discover new music, and when you find something that you like, listen to the related music, whether it be more by that same composer or in a similar style. Go to a classical music concert around you, even if you are not familiar with any of the music from the programme. There’s something magical about discovering an amazing piece of music for the first time, at a concert hall!

Now it is a common practice in the media to talk that the classical music is getting into the consumption business, do you agree? We are speaking about the supply and demand rules and how to sell your “product” in your case your compositions. How do you see it?

If you are looking to make a living from music, then I think it’s important to find a balance between the kind of music you want to write vs the kind of music that people will like to listen to. If it turns out the type of music you want to write is music that people like, then you are in luck. As a film composer, it’s a bit different. On the one hand I have to make make the music that the directors ask me and that will work well with their film, which is limiting in a sense. On the other hand, however, I get to use my own musical creativity to help tell amazing stories, and for better or worse, this is an industry, and you are technically selling a product into a market. I think that as long as you don’t sacrifice your own creative integrity, then all is well.

Do you have expectations what regards your listeners, your audience?

As someone who is interested in making film music, I hope that as I move along with my work, I can work on films that I can relato to, from a storytelling point of view. From that, I hope I can find or define my own musical voice, and have that voice be what attracts my listeners, whether it is on films I work on, or other music that is not for film, like concert works or works for other mixed arts, like paintings, theater or photography!

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

Right now I’m beginning to write the music for a zombie feature film based in Ireland, which is something I’ve never done before, so I’m excited!

 

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Martin Brenne talks about music being his companion and his opponent to whom he succumbs.. He likes absolute music and he is explaining why there is a necessity to find an own way of expression with sound.

Martin Brenne

What does music mean to you personally?

Music is a mean of expression, a companion, an opponent to whom I succumb, a challenge, a provocation, an allayer, a bringer of joy, giver of unimagined joy, an origin of ultimate despair but also something astounding – particularly when I succeed as composer.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Yes, of course: in the end it’s the “fantasy” (I prefer the word “idea”) which lifts the felicitous compositions out of the mass of music. The performer and composer can have the idea.

Consequently, the idea is the last step. The rest is craft, artistic will, and unerring judgement. Learning this is not the easiest thing – but the most important skill is to get rid of unsatisfying things.

In the end, music is all about fantasy. Let’s say, perhaps.

If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?

A writer.

How do you envision the role of classical music in the 21st century? Do you see that there is a change in its role?

I notice that some composers widen the frontiers of music. Amongst others, acting, painting, performing, and video art sometimes become the center of what is called music or composing. The reason for this expansion is often political, but for me, sound should be the essential element of music. Music can still be absolute.

Moreover, there is no necessity for political music, there is no necessity for meaning of music. The necessity is to find an own way of expression with sound. Then we talk about music.

When everything else such as acting, painting, performing and video art is combined with music, it is referred to as being multidisciplinary.

Do you think that the classical musician today needs to be more creative? What’s the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

When I am composing there is always something involved – most probably creativity.

Do you think we musicians can do something to attract young generations to classical music concerts? How would you approach it?

As teachers, we can expose students to classical music. The music will do the rest.

Tell us about your creative process. Do you have a favorite piece (written by you)? How did you start working on it?

This would probably be my first string quartet. When I went to Vienna for the holidays, I became ill, so that the only thing I could do was to drag my weak body to the piano which was fortunately in my room. I worked only on the theme of the second movement for one week and afterwards developed the whole composition from this cell.

I. movement:

We, Moving Classics TV, love the combination of classical music with different disciplines: music and painting, music and cinematography, music and digital art, music and poetry. What do you think about these combinations?

I think that all art forms can benefit from each other. Besides other music genres, the central source of inspiration for me is literature.

It is of common practice in the media outlet nowadays to discuss that classical music is being marketed as a product of the consumerist culture. Do you agree? We are speaking about the supply and demand rules and how to sell your “product” – in your case, your compositions. How do you see it?

Fortunately, I can work as a music teacher at a secondary school and as a music theory and analysis teacher at a college. Therefore, I can compose music I love. There are always requirements that have to be fulfilled, for example, writing film music or composing for a special ensemble. But I wouldn’t be able to give up my personal aesthetic idea.

Do you have any expectations for your listeners and your audience?

Keep your ears open.

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

I will write a piece for Trio Spiegelbild (violin, saxophone and piano) and symphonic pieces for the Jugendsinfonieorchester Mannheim.
Perhaps there will be room for experiments. We will see.

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Dutch composer Serge Smulders explains why it is very important to enjoy good music (that’s good for you) and enhance your quality of life with that.

serge smulders

What does music mean to you personally?

Music enhances everything. It’s about emotion and it intensifies experiences. For instance: music in movies defines the impact of scenes, sad, beautiful, thrilling, active, happy, mystic, romantic etc… Without the right music, the movie isn’t successful. With a certain event we expect a certain mood or style in music, if it’s not right we feel unsatisfied. Music can surely change your mood. But more important is to enjoy good music (that’s good for you) and enhance your quality of life with that.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Sure, at both sides. The composer has an idea when he/she starts and the size of it’s fantasy is a big factor for the final result. Other skills are also important, but if the composer lacks fantasy the composition will not be great. On the other side, the listener can experience the fantasy of the composer and ride on the flow of that and/or can get it’s own fantasy flowing. What does the listener imagine with the music he/she is hearing? The composer can define the fantasy of the listener in a certain way, and express what the composition is about, but more important is that the music also gives space to the listener for it’s own interpretation.

If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?

Well, I’m somewhat in between. I don’t have a degree in music, had classical piano lessons when I was young and am selfthought in composing and producing music. When I studied law, I played the piano in restaurants as a student job. I am a lawyer now for many years with my own office. In the mean time I also studied different instruments. A few years back I started with digital composing and producing royalty free pieces. That’s what i do parttime now.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future?

Yes and no. I see that the audience for pure classical music is aging and getting smaller. It’s just how it goes. There’s lot’s of other music now and the instant culture is growing. My music however is classical influenced, but by it’s style easy accessible for non classical trained listeners. The angle of royalty free (fast food ) is maybe a cause of that, but it’s also caused by playing the piano in restaurants and my main goal of touching a broader audience with my pieces.

What do you envision the role of classical music to be in the 21 century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

Classical music won’t disappear, but it’s role will change and has to change. You have to approach it from the side of the audience that want’s to listen to it, not forcing it upon an audience. So it’s important to find ways to make it more accessible. Recently I attended an evening in the Royal concert hall in Amsterdam with “The Night of Film Music”. It was sold out for several days. Also young musicians and living composers can play an important role in attracting a new audience.

When I say that classical music is searching for new ways or that the classical music is getting a new face, what would come to your mind?

Like I said above, make it more accessible for a new audience. And applying available new ways of enhancing the experience. Like: on screen videos, maybe apps with explanation during the performances, more cameras to show the musicians upclose (also on phones). Giving the paying audience opportunities to get a royalty free license (for personal use) of the musical performance. To listen back and enhance or prolongue the experience.

Do you think that the classical musician today needs to be more creative? Whats the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

I think the composers were very much creative in former times. So being more creative is not the problem. It’s just another area we’re living in and that demands maybe a different approach. Maybe a lot of music becomes simpler and a degree of “fast food” comes in, but if that’s the way to go, it has to be. It has no purpose of making music that nobody wants to listen to.
In making royalty free pieces I often feel limited in the creativity proces, because of the format. Within that format it’s a big challenge to be creative. If you listen to my music pieces you find that it’s not the regular kind, but more melodious of nature.

Do you think we musicians can do something to attract young generation into the classical music concerts?

Find ways to reach the audience where it is. On social media, movies, gaming and certainly in schools. It’s about getting them acquainted with classical oriented music.

Tell us about your creative process. Do you have your favorite piece (written by you) How did you start working on it?

My creative process differs and I’m always most proud of the last piece (for a while). Sometimes I start with a piano melody en build on that. Sometimes I have a fantasy  or a certain setting in mind and try to find the just theme, melody and instruments to go with that. Sometimes I want to make something great, but have no idea and just start playing, ending up with a complete different kind of composition. Sometimes I have video footage and have to produce the right music with that. But a lot of times it’s about restraining myself to produce music acccording to my first plan and it’s purpose.
If the main theme and melody is set, the other tracks and instruments follow. The arranging mostly takes place while all the instruments/tracks are filled. When all the instruments are ready, the mixing starts. After that the track has to mastered.
My latest classical oriented pieces are “PerPetuum” and “Classical Fairytale”.

We, Moving Classics TV, love the combination of classical music with different disciplines: music and painting, music and cinematography, music and digital art, music and poetry. What do you think about these combinations?

That’s great! Other art forms als enhance the experience of people. Why shouldn’t they join each other. With a cross media experience the impact can only be bigger. Creative people often practise more disciplines. Me for instance: I wrote two (little) books. My last was with strange short stories. I don’t know yet how to apply this with my music or legal work….

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

Yes, certainly. It’s about getting familiar with more complex music instead of the “fast food” music that most young people listen to. After a certain period everyone gets bored with fast food. For instance, at home we listen to classical music every Sunday morning to let our kids experience it. Advice: Start with listening to some popular classical works from different composers. Melodious music that’s easy to follow. If you like a certain style, period or composer, explore that direction more and train your hearing in a way that’s natural for you. Not to fast, but gradually. Maybe you even end up, after a few years, with experimental music…

Do you have expectations what regards your listeners, your audience?

As every composer/musician I want to grow my audience and move them with my music. I’m satisfied when people are interested in listening to my pieces, and want to listen to it again or want to hear different pieces. That’s proof for me that they really like it.
Unfortunately it takes time to grow an audience and I’m always impatient.

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

More royalty free pieces and next to that more classical oriented pieces where my creativity is less limited by the format. I’m experimenting in different styles of music, even made some hip hop tracks, halloween and corporate music. For me the challenge lies in creating something I didn’t create before.

 

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