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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Borisk Kosak tells us how to bring fresh air in the concert halls and how flexible musicians should be to reach new audience.

boris kosak

What does music mean to you personally?

Music is an intrinsic part of my life, as also feelings and thoughts are. It is a unique way of reflection about what I experience and about the most important questions like who we are, why do we exist, what is the meaning of all this and where are we going? Music is like a periscope that helps you to give a glance over the horizon of the common mind and to make sure it is a whole world waiting to be discovered and explored. If you go on this journey with an open mind, you will find invaluable treasures that you will never want to miss again.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Let us say, fantasy is the medium of music, fascinating and inspiring at the same time. As a composer you got to tell a thrilling story in sounds, capable not only to catch the listener’s attention but also to reach their hearts and imagination. If it is worth it, they will take it home to let it accompany them, and it is the greatest possible reward.

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

At the age of 15 I struggled hard to decide to study music or maths. Music has won. I also write poetry and fairy-tales – everything comes from the same source of imagination and I can very well imagine to write more as well.

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

It has been some time already that the traditional concert of classical music is not the most popular place to meet music. Most young people listen their Mozart at home, or get surrounded by orchestra sounds watching a movie, playing a game, or even ironing. It is astonishing how flexible the ways to the audience can be.

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 tendency of classical music becoming a kind of a luxury journey to an imaginary world, accompanied by those little pleasures we allow us, like a good book, or a cup of coffee. It can be very challenging for a composer to write in an entertaining and sophisticated way at the same time, but it is how it works and you have to keep it in mind all the time.

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?

First of all classical music has to come out of the museum corner where it is focusing on the music from the past. Of course, for performers it is easier to learn some standard pieces, they eventually know already from the conservatory, and to perform them again and again all life long, conserving the same traditional receipts – maybe the best ones but still the same. What is also true, it is that often they even don’t have a chance to influence the program that is proposed to them by festivals and agencies. But from the point of view of the audience, it deserves a well balanced diet with some greens and fresh fruits and of course an excellent well-seasoned wine. Here there is still a lot of work to do.

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 guess you are talking about performing musicians because, actually, there are many creative composers nowadays, and it is less the question of the creativity than that of the repertoire. If you look at the literature market: the bookselling shops are full of new novels in all genres and not almost exclusively of those from the 18th-19th centuries. If we do the same with classical music searching carefully to bring fresh air in the concert halls, it will definitely help to bring new audience, especially when also changing the cover pages respectfully, to make them more inviting and attractive.

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

A young generation always wants to be different than the parents, and it is best done with the visual. It means the concerts for them have to be redesigned from the optical point of view and looking very carefully at the actual trends and tendencies. For example, I see a lot of potential in the role play scenes like cosplay and other fantasy games because of their tight connections to the world of fantasy and imagination. Concerts organized for them don’t have to be filled with pop music but definitely also not with Bach and Händel. The greatest challenge I see here is the styling of the concert hall and especially of the performers but it can be really fun!

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

One of my favorite compositions is BLACK FOREST for orchestra. I started writing on it for a Russian children orchestra that was planning a tour in Germany and France. Unfortunately, in the last moment it was cancelled due to political reasons. In the end it was performed by different orchestras in Brazil and Germany.

It was a great fun to write for young performers and young audience and I very much enjoyed giving a lot of free space to the fantasy! First of all I tried to evoke the mysterious and enigmatic world of the fairy-tale forest, full of both good and evil spirits, and to show the magical world of fantasy and imagination in all its beauty. Here you can hear the rustling of leaves and crashing of waterfalls, birds singing and the roar of wild beasts. In the depths of the forest thickets there is an old abandoned smithy, where the fire is lit up at night and strange creatures forge a special sword for the hero with which he can defeat the dragon and rescue the princess.

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?

Whenever there is an opportunity, I try to combine music with other forms of arts, especially dance, poetry, perfumes and the culinary art. It is an enrichment of the expressive pallet and a way to look a little further “over the border”. I must admit that most of my inspiration I get from other forms of arts. I am also a passionate salsa dancer and an enthusiastic book reader. You can definitely quickly discover it when listening to my music.

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

Movie music can be a good beginning and generally a combination with the visual. There are also more and more classical video clips that I would highly recommend, on Moving Classics TV, for example. Then I would watch movies and fun documentaries about famous composers (youtube is full of them) and go to some special venues like candle light or midnight concerts. It can quickly become a real passion!

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?

It is nothing strange that a banker talks about money, a politician about politics and a dentist about teeth, if you know what I mean. Business is one important part of musical art but only one, even though not insignificant. You can never reduce music to just a “product”, it doesn’t matter how hard you try, but musicians also have to pay their house renting, medical insurance and instruments that is why we shouldn’t fear to deal with the topic.

On the other hand, the classical music market is highly monopolized and I think it is really a serious issue to speak about.

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

There are more and more new initiatives like concerts in private houses. I have made some very good experiences with it and if somebody is playing with this thought I can only tell you: do it, it is worth it!

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

I am working on a new symphony, finishing its 4th movement very soon, and for the next year I am planning to organize a classical music festival in Hamburg which means a lot of work. But as first I have to finish a piece with the title MOZART UNCENSORED for a tour of Dutch chamber orchestra Kamerata Stradivarius and yes, this fun piece is again an experiment. What I do here is a little like when you cut out some journal pictures and put them together to form new faces telling some new stories. Just instead of the pictures I use some famous motives. The result is surprising and soon you will have an opportunity to enjoy it yourself!

 

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Toni Jardini talks about how he is trying to find out different colors and touches to make the music the most emotional possible and why for some people, nothing that has been presented until now is enough...

toni jardini pic

What does music mean to you personally?

Everything. Classical music for me is like a fuel , which I need to be supplied all the moment and, without it I cannot live.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

The usual definition of fantasy is “the faculty or activity of imagining things, especially things that are impossible or improbable”. Music is more than fantasy, because it can be shared to all the people, even although the feeling each one will have will be unique.

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

Actually I would have been a professional musician, if I was not a IT Professional. Music for me is a passion and only passion.

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

I’m not worried about the classical music’s future and I don’t totally agree that classical music audience is getting old. People have different tastes, different needs and different understanding of what is good for them and what satisfies their souls. People look for music that feed them, feed their needs, and those needs depend on where they are in life, in world, depend on their souls. It’s not a question of qualifying or judging, but it is a question of having what feeds your life, your soul and where are you into the music world.

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?

Human being needs to be creating and re-creating things all the time. It’s part of our essence. We are essentially transforming things constantly and it will never stop. By other hand, our evolution is built under a main cycle, where we get back to previous things periodically. Classical music wouldn’t be different and we will be trying to create and re-create songs, instruments, structures, timbres, performances, techniques, technologies. I can see only amazing things for all types of tastes!

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?

Only good things. I’m not that kind of person that is afraid of new things. And I definitely recommend people to stop thinking that what’s old school or what’s consolidate is the best. Let’s explore and be open and enjoy new (good) things!

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?

People need to find seeds that feed their soul. And they will always be looking for it. For some people, nothing that has been presented until now is enough. They will for sure be creating new ways. Diversity is a good word to start being used more often in classical music’s world. We should be open for new good things!

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

Taste, even musical, for most part of it, is something you need to get used to. So, young generation needs to know it more, to be more exposed to it. Nowadays millennials are exposed to social media and connected all the time, but doesn’t know that classical music exists. Parents need to introduce classical music their children since their first months of life. Media may explore the classical music even more. It’s a social movement that might happen. It’s an endless (re)discovery.

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

I don’t have a favorite piece, but a few of them. It’s hard to pick a specific one, because it depends on my mood, moment of my life. So, favorite thing is very mutable. All my compositions are not truly composed, because I just listen to them on my mind. I just need to listen and play/write it!

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?

My grandma always tell me that similar attracts similar. For me, any kind of art combined results in better art. I’m a real enthusiastic of good combinations!

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

My advice is exactly how I started loving classical music! Start watching 1930s-1950s cartoons (Bugs Bunny, Woody Woodpecker, Popeye, Tom and Jerry), which made use of classical music in an amazing way: creating a great effect of character’s moves and making the audience to develop a sense of connecting the classical music rich dynamics with the different episode story moments. I’m pretty sure that it won’t take that long to start loving classical music and the discovery will be automatically.

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?

It was always like that and it will be, considering proper proportions. The present products may become a valued art in the future. Many of most important artists in the past were poor and dead poor as well. Now, everyone recognize that what they produced is immeasurable. It may happen for many of us and try to sell our “product” now may seem very difficult.

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

To be honest, I do not have any expectations about who listens to my compositions, although I would be glad to know that they were capable to feel the same emotion I usually feel when I listen to my compositions and take the same good effect in the body and soul those music can make.

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

My latest compositions were a set of Nocturnes (so far 14 of them) for Piano, that are very lyrical and emotional. I really feel deeply sensitive when I listen to them. My experiments consist in finding out different touches to make the music the most emotional possible. In classical music world, I’m not the innovation guy, for sure, however, I really enjoy appreciating other’s new experiments, especially when the results are great!

 

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„Uncertainty was yesterday, today is chaos”...Does the increasing complexity in life have an influence on the way the composers of today write music? When I am playing the music of contemporary composers, I ask myself – does this music express the feeling of modernity? When yes, what is it? Can it be captured in words?

chaos picture

„Uncertainty was yesterday, today is chaos”. This was the title of an article that I read last week in the Harvard Business Review. The author speculated that today we had such a great variety of influence factors for making decisions. These factors have unpredictable correlations that make it almost impossible to come to a clear conclusion. Our lives are influenced by giant forces such as mobility, globalisation, non-conformism, cultural and social diversity. No wonder we feel that the complexity is increasing.

Does the increasing complexity in life have an influence on the way the composers of today write music? When I am playing the music of contemporary composers, I ask myself – does this music express the feeling of modernity? When yes, what is it? Can it be captured in words? The search for the feeling of modernity is not new. Let me share with you the thoughts of Charles Baudelaire who was a great poet, an art philosopher and a deep thinker. He believes that any artist is a “spiritual citizen of the universe“ by his or her very nature as a super sensory sensitive person who is very inquisitive and who has an immense yearning for knowledge and understanding. Baudelaire had an interesting thought that the way of artist’s reacting to the world would eventually lead to some cultural progression – in other words, an artist is forever in search of modernity.

There is one more thought by Charles Baudelaire that fascinated me. He says that the hardest part of being “contemporary” artist is to love the present times, embrace them, and not search in the past. He wanted the artists to live in present and enjoy it. To discover the beauty of today and listen to the present. To hear “today” and understand it! That is how artistic motto of Moving Classics TV “Discover the beauty of contemporary piano” and “Listen to our life” was born.
What is contemporary piano? Just by listening quickly to our “Fantasy notes” playlists, your impression will be a mixture of every conceivable genre: from the distant Bach polyphony and Lisztian harmonies to the jazz rhythms, ethno sounds, ambient, minimalism, lounge, pop, to name just a few. It is hard for purists to find a certain sustainable line. But the compositions are just like our life: multi-stylistic, extreme diverse, non-conform, flexible, still fresh, and childishly pure. There is a reason for it too: composers are able to draw their inspiration from a practically limitless array of sources, from Palestrina singing to Lady Gaga viral songs. The absence of limitations nourish the composer’s soul and bring more creative ideas. It is more a question of making a well-thought choice and being loyal to one own beliefs.

The contemporary composers have a much more complex society to deal with. They are trying to meet the taste of a society that is influenced by breaking news and the thoughts of flexibility, comfort and entertainment. Our society is also highly performance-oriented. Internet made music available to everybody at no cost and if people are in search of inspiration or just want to relax or get entertained, they will be listening to music. To be the source of inspiration for the society, contemporary composers compete with the genius of the past. It is often the case that if our society wants to get more “culture”, they go to the concert featuring the 19th century music. Just look at the program of any concert hall in the world. Or just type in Beethoven & Chopin in Google line or YouTube and listen online. It still works. The genius of the past still inspire us.

In a world that seems to be more and more unpredictable and sometimes chaotic, there is a wish to reduce the complexity of life. No wonder new age, ambient or just relaxation music grew in popularity or just any background-oriented music to support our multi-tasking activities. I think an important role of the contemporary music today is to reach new upcoming milieus in the society. A new type of listener needs a new kind of music. A new listener does not want to invest much time in trying to accommodate his or her ear to the music. They are inpatient, they want to be either immediately carried away or they just leave, they want music that allow them to lean back and let the mind wander. Having said that, I would like to conclude with the words of Charles Baudelaire: “Modernity is the transient, the fleeting, the contingent; it is one-half of art, the other being the eternal and the immovable.”

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French composer talks about his dreams and he sees a good way of attracting young generation into classical music concerts through humoristic music videos on the Internet.

anthony foto

What does music mean to you personally?

Music is one of the more important joys in my life. Without music, the world would be so sad ! Music can express the full range of emotions of the human being. Music can make me laugh and music can make me cry. It’s the power of the music: to play with the emotions of the listener, to interact with him. For me, composing music is a way to express myself and to be fulfilled in what a love to do.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Music is a good way for dreaming, it has the power to reach our mind to a higher place. Also, it has this concrete aspect that often impress us when we see the musican offer to us the result of his work.

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

I would have loved to be an entomologist, climbing in the amazonian canopy to discover new insects species!

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

If it is about attending classical music concerts, yes it’s a reality that most of the people are not so young. For me, listen to classical music is not a question of age. It’s a question of education. Children’s ears must be educated and it’s the task of the parents to learn their children to listen to classical music among the huge diversity of music styles. I think it is more affordable for young people now to attend classical concerts, discounted rates are made for them and it’s a very good thing. If young people are used to listen to classical music, they are most likely to attend concerts or to buy a CD of this music style. From my composer’s point of view, I’m most worried about the way the people consummate music. Music is so easy to hack.

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 think classical music will never disappear. As far as orchestras and conductors will exist and will play it, it will not disappear. We are the guardians of the excellent past things and are responsible to pass them on to the next generations. Also, I think the concert programmers should program more living composers music in addition to the secular and very respected classical composers. It’s a good way to show new 21st century music to the 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?

Classical masterpieces can’t be changed regarding to the music, I think that the only way to add something is the visual aspect. The ballet music, or operas are perfect for revisiting the music visually.

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

My creativity results from the amount of music I have listened in my whole life. My music is certainly a kind of hybrid between all that I have listened before, and obviously with my soul in it. The risk when composing is not to realize that the music you have just found is from another composer, Haha !! It happened to me years ago and what a disappointment when I realized that this amazing new theme wasn’t from me ! When I compose, my main fear is that the listener could be bored when listening to my music. So, I try to be inventive. I think that we can feel the heart of a composer in her/his music. Personally, I think that I unveil a part of myself in my music. I like to say that my music speaks better than myself. So, if you want to better know me, I invite you to listen to what I do.

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

We see numerous humoristic classical music videos on the internet. I think all the ways are good to draw the attention of the young generation. The way to reach them is where they are: on the social networks. Share videos on these platforms. Using classical music in the movies is the best way to make it appreciated too. After that they may want to attend classical concerts.

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

My compositions often start when I try to play something on my keyboard. Many times, I wondered if it was worth it to record a musical idea that I’ve just found. Happily, I do the good choice to record anyway and sometimes it becomes the start point of a very interesting composition. Other times, and it is rarer: I wake up in the morning with a music directly in my head. When it happens, I take my cellphone to record for not loose anything of what I have received in my dream ! I composed the piece ‘World of Life’ in 2012, I tried something on my keyboard and found the first melody. The whole framework of a piece isn’t found in one moment. There are some steps. When the inspiration stops, I often need to leave the piece, and to go back to it the next day or later to have my ideas clearer and find a development. When I found the ‘chorus’, I knew that adding an orchestra will emphasis the piano part. So, the piece ‘World of Life’ was completed in its final form. I remember that I said, after having just completed my piano solo piece ‘Le Piano Suspendu’, that I didn’t thought to make another piano piece because of the difficulty I had to complete it. But finally, inspiration have come back and since this piece, 4 other piano works have been released : Berceuse, World of Life and Prélude N°1 and Prélude N°2 (08/2017).

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?

Sometimes, several kind of art can coexist in one single life : see the very gifted Paul Barton who admirably plays the piano and also paints so realistic portraits. Regarding to your videos Anna, it’s very pleasant to watch them. I love your pianist skills as well as your actress ones. So original !!;)

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

Listen to the whole music of Chopin but especially its two piano concertos, Elgar’s Enigma variations, Rachmaninov’s piano concertos, Puccini and Verdi’s choir works, Malher’s 2nd Symphony “Resurrection, and so many more.

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

To get more audience on my music, I know that I need to be more prolific in my music works. A lot of time is needed to promote my music to the interested persons, share onto the forums, etc. This is asking a lot of time and we never get enough!

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

One of my choral works untitled ‘Psaume 42′ should be sung in Oklahoma soon for its premiere. It is dedicated to my grandmother, she’s getting old now, so, I hope she can listen to her piece during her lifetime. I also plan to release very soon the orchestra version score of my ‘Libera Me’ and also a new piece for soprano, choir and orchestra ‘Agnus Dei’ (by the way written in a very classical style). It will be available on my digital sheet music website : ASTURIA MUSIC. I have three pieces : Libera Me, Agnus Dei and Lacrimosa. I would dream to compose a requiem. I think it’s a good start ! I have a lot of piano compositions to complete too.

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Paul White believes that classical music is moving away from intellectualism of the late 20th century towards a more direct form of expression which appeals to a wider audience.

paul white photo

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

I would agree that most of my music is about fantasy, and many of my pieces have a “Fairytale” atmosphere, as though telling a story. The piece which you are learning is different, as it is about harsh reality ! (“Procession” A.S.)

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

If I had not been a musician, I would have been a scientist. I loved chemistry as a child, and used to make my own fireworks ! Recently I invented a new type of swimming goggle and have made a prototype, although I have not yet found a way of developing this commercially. Most of my life I was a music teacher, but retired from this a few years ago in order to concentrate on composing and playing the piano. I have also written a book about piano technique, which is a free download on the internet.

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 that Classical music is moving away from the intellectualism of the late 20th century towards a more direct form of expression which appeals to a wider audience. This includes influences from many popular forms of music, including pop, folk, jazz and new age. There is a great deal of piano music now which comes somewhere between classical and popular styles, and is quite widely listened to. I see my own music as part of this.

Tell us about your creative process.

Although I went through a rigorous academic musical training, I now compose in a largely intuitive way, sitting at the piano with a pencil and paper. Often musical ideas come to me when I am doing something else, for example walking in the countryside. As a result, I have literally hundreds of short sketches for pieces, many of which will probably never be written. Sources of inspiration come from Nature and from human experience. I am influenced by a wide variety of styles, including classical, folk and jazz, all of which I have been involved in at various times. Mediaeval music is also a source of inspiration. I am particularly influenced by the earlier twentieth century composers, including Debussy, Ravel, Messiaen and Bartok. Some of the main characteristics of my style include using uneven and changing time signatures, for example, 5/8, 7/8, 11/8. These offer a wonderful variety of opportunities for rhythmic invention. Another feature is the use of unusual and exotic modes and scales, particularly symmetrical scales as used by Messiaen, and folkloric scales as found in Bartok.

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

My newest project, which I am currently practicing, is inspired by Eastern European music. The main theme has echoes reminiscent of a traditional Polish folk song called River Wisla. The middle section is strongly influenced by the style of Bartok, with its changing rhythms and exotic scales.

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Stephane Collin tells why music is a way to enjoy a better life and how composers can show the audience a deeper reality.

stephane collin

What does music mean to you personally?

Music is a way to enjoy a better life and experiment deeper feelings.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Yes. Or I would say : deeper reality.

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

I have been piano restorer for quite a while. That was more a handcraft, but the same motivation as for writing music. Searching for beauty, and how beauty works.

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

Not really. I learned quite quickly that I had to be independent from music incomes, which never were cozy.

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?

There are huge transformations in the means by which music reaches the audience. I feel it is a pity for me, who really preferred the way it was before, but I am perfectly confident that younger generations adapt easily to whatever comes up.

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

For me, it is all and only about creativity. I myself can not see the point in being in a routine, or doing the usual thing.

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

Again, I myself try only to write the best music (to my ears) that I can, and I certainly don’t want to alter my creative process in order to make more younger audience.

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

It is difficult to say if I have a favourite piece. I like them all, nearly. I write only the things that I can hear, and I wait the needed time to hear something that I like, then I write it down. Of course, the piano helps me hear more accurately what I have inside. Recently I started “writing” at the computer, with sound libraries.

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?

Of course, I adore this. I did many pieces about poetry, sometimes recitation with music, sometimes songs. Both the music and the text benefit much from the vicinity of each other.

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

Oh yes : drop the nintendo from time to time.

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?

Difficult question. In my carreer, good music never brought up any money, and I did my best money doing the most stupid things. I try to get my money by other means, and then spend it in my own productions.

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

I do my music as independently as possible, even from the audience. When it is done I put it on the table, and whoever wants to pay interest can do so. When I get feedback; I am happy.

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

Right now, I am working on a music-poetry project about a poem of the french poet Paul Claudel. It is very promising, and benefits of good help and energy from a few collaborators. I was recently in Macedonia to record a large strings orchestra for this project.

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I was always fascinated about the mystery of inspiration. What is behind this phenomenon? Is there a trigger for inspiration?

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Heureka! Heureka! These were the words of Archimedes after he had stepped into a bath and noticed that the water level rose, whereupon he suddenly understood that the volume of displaced water must be equal to the volume of the part of his body he had submerged. He is said to have been so eager to share his inspiration that he leapt out of his bathtub and ran through the streets of Syracuse naked.

I was always fascinated about the mystery of inspiration. What is behind this phenomenon? Is there a trigger for inspiration?

Perhaps it helps to find an answer if we have a closer look at what composers are saying about their inspiration. Composers face the challenge of transferring emotions into music and putting on paper their original ideas. During my “Fantasy Notes” interviews, I always ask composers about their creative process and how they find their inspiration.
Inspiration is a state of the increased energy that comes out of sudden and leads to some ideas or actions. Some people call it a spontaneous burst of creativity. It is a kind of mind stimulation that is colored by our emotions. Far from being a magic quality, inspiration has even a clear structure. Any stimulation starts with our five senses and our perception of the world around us through taste, smell, touch, sight or hearing. Inspiration starts when we perceive one stimulus through our senses and appreciate it as being important or bearing a meaning to us. Then we start dwelling on this feeling and letting our mind wander in it. We let our thoughts grow around this stimulus; we are mesmerized and preoccupied at the same time. The thoughts and feelings grow and give us the energy and power that is enough to start a kind of deeper fascination. Usually the outcome of this heightened state is the desire for something new to happen. It just occurs on its own; it is like a natural outcome after an initial trigger. No matter how many psychologists described this universal process, it still needs the following mindset.

Most interviewed composers shared these qualities: they are open to experience, have an active imagination, prefer variety and are intellectually curious. They are sensitive to beautiful things and their own inner feelings. They are putting their thoughts into music. They say that it helps to be honest with own feelings and they welcome the unpredictability of life as a chance to create more originality, novelty and beauty. Many composers learnt to use their intuition for better creativity. They are very fast and efficient in registering subtle changes in their perceptions that have not yet reached the thoughts.

All these behavior patterns are not new and there is no miracle behind them. The difference between artists like composers and a “normal” man might be that they make use of a brighter scope of inspiration sources; they are more sensible and go through the sources with a higher intensity and concentration.

This is a link http://movingclassics.tv/blogs/ where you can find 56 “Fantasy notes” interviews with contemporary composers from different countries; they talk about creativity and their compositions. Every week a new composer reveals us how to find creativity in the interview and we record and share one music video. It is fascinating to discover new music and the personality behind the notes. Join us on the musical adventure and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn.

https://www.facebook.com/movingclassicstv

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American composer Kurt Bestor explains why he wants to do something little "new" and "edgy" in his pieces.

kurt bestor

What does music mean to you personally?

Music is not a career, hobby, or interest of mine, rather it is an extension of me. It is the way that I most easily and effectively convey my innermost feelings. When I view something beautiful, experience something painful, or
hear about something inspirational, I immediate react in a musical fashion.So, in short, music for me is about a perfect communication, far beyond words.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

While music can certainly be about fantasy, it is oftentimes very “real.” One can compose about historical things without having ever been there. The event is “real” but the “fantasy” of transporting one back there is what music can do very effectively.

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

If I hadn’t followed my dreams of becoming a musician, I would have pursued my other passion of architecture.

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

There has never been a time in human history without music. I think it is impossible for humans to exist without musical expression. However, musical tastes evolve and morph and I see that happening now. So, while classical music seems to be aging with those who attend classical concerts, a new generation is enjoying a renaissance of classically-tinged music in films, video games, and in pop music. In short, I see the lines blurring between musical genres. I don’t worry about my future as long as I continue to evolve with these changes.

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 think the role of classical music is what it has always been and that is to reflect nature, capture human emotion, communicate deep emotion, and remind us that we’re “human.” After all the origin of the term “humanities” is derived from
the Renaissance Latin expression studia humanitatis, or “study of humanitas” (a classical Latin word meaning—in addition to “humanity” — “culture, refinement, education” and, specifically, an “education befitting a cultivated man”).

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 seeing the once-hap-empty orchestra concerts halls now full of young 20-year-olds who have come to hear the orchestra play music from their favorite video game. Of course, classical purists may grimace and say, “That isn’t classical music,” but the problem lies in the definition of the term. Throughout history people have argued about popular of folk music versus classical or academic music.

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

Besides being “creative” in the composing process, musicians also need to be creative in disseminating the music and gathering fans and an audience. Rather than waiting for King Leopold to order a new symphony (as was the case with
Mozart) or waiting for a big-money benefactor to want to publish music (as was done with Beethoven), we contemporary classical composers need to utilize social media, combine mediums (like film, TV, dance, etc), and other such “creative” new ways to raise awareness for our style and genre of music.

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

This question has been covered in part in #6 but I would also add that now is a wonderful time to re-purpose old approaches to concerts. I remember playing virtual concerts in the online world of Second Life. While I could only have 20-50 people in the “virtual” audience, there were, in fact, actual people logged in from around the world and if they liked what they heard, they could actually “tip” the performance. In fact, what you are doing on Moving Classics TV is exactly
what I am talking about. I would imagine that thousands of people have become your “audience” and this will be a channel through which to market and encourage classical music.

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

One of my favorite compositions was a choral piece that I wrote out of frustration over the civil war in the former country of Yugoslavia. I was so sad to see children become the victims of such a horrendous conflict that I composed an A Cappella
piece dedicated to them. The composing process in this case began with an aching feeling which I had to express musically. If you hear the first phrase of the song (envisioned without words) you will hear the first thing that I composed. It was like a sad “sigh” which eventually become the sung words, “Can you hear the prayer of the children?” Then I imagined the song to deal with the various senses a child would use to experience the war there - sight, feeling, etc. so the song follows that approach. While I am mostly an “instrumental” composer, when I write lyrics or a libretto I do so in tandem with the music. “Prayer of the Children” continues to be sung by choirs around the world and always dedicated to children and so my ultimate goal was realized – to spread peace amidst war to supplant hate with love.

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 a composer who has written music for ballet, ballroom dance, numerous films, etc. I couldn’t agree more.

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

Well, the very first thing I tell people of all ages who want to discover classical music is to 1) listen, listen LISTEN (and not just to MP3s but to live music as much as possible 2) Keep your ears open especially to things you think you don’t like. 3) Get “inside” the music by looking at scores, listen or read what the composer intended, and discuss this with fellow listeners.

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?

Classical music and its composers have always needed money and that, in large part, has driven their pursuits.
I see nothing wrong with that. Yes, it sometimes encourages musicians to pander to the lowest common denominator, but it doesn’t need to. Composers from Bach, Mozart and Beethoven to Debussy, Rachmaninov, and Copeland have all chased money in order to pay their bills but to also keep their passion of music alive.

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

I demand nothing of my audience although I hope they will “open their ears” and give my music a chance to speak to them. I know I can’t please all the people and so I don’t try to do that. My most successful compositions have been those that were just pleasing to me. They were written authentically and with no financial or success motivation. And yet, they ended up being the ones that sold the most downloads, CDs, or sheet music.

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

I am currently arranging music for a violinist named Jenny Oaks Baker which I will record in September. And, I am also publishing hundreds of my pieces in sheet music form which is a long-term project. As for experimentation in my projects, I always try to do something a little “new” or “edgy” in my pieces. While audiences sometimes want me to reprise what I have done before, I try to challenge them with a “new” side of me.

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Tonoya Naka tells us about his approach to music and why he finds it so difficult to answer what music is for him

tomoya naka foto

What does music mean personally to you?

Music was my existence right from the very start. I was spending all day listening to music, then composing all day and playing the piano. I felt that I had no time left to even eat with my family or to go and play with other kids. I thought that the time without music was the time wasted. Music is everything to me, it is a deep thought, sublime ritual, beautiful art, great nature, my own conversations with God. I think that through all this I could understand its value. Music can hurt someone but hopefully it can save someone too. And it can represent beauty, ugliness, kindness and severity, strength and weakness: this is all music. That’s why once again I think a simple question like “what is music to you” is a very difficult question. I could compare it with the question: what is a human being? So, what is a human being? It’s a very difficult question. Only after thousand years of long life, you might attempt to answer it. Very disappointing that we live much less.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Music is past, the future is now. I believe that the music is the result of experience of all the events and all these events can be imagined through music.

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

No, I am not worried about the future. There are so many good musicians who continue the tradition.

What do you envision the role of classical music to be in the 21 century?

I was fascinated by the idea that Mendelssohn re-discovered Bach. I think he introduced the music that had been already buried. Now we have the current standard classical music repertoire. In classical music history in the past 100 years after Schoenberg many composers and performers around the world conducted plenty of experiments, but it’s important to search for one own style. However, through the experiment and a wide variety of music, all-new music has been emerging. I hope that such new music will be part of the current standard repertoire 100 years later.

Tell me about your creative process.

I frequently listen to the hearts and voices of people around the world and hear the things. Then I follow my inner voice and the voice of the people to form my music.

What do you advice young people discovering classical music for themselves?

Young people today have incredible listening possibilities to listen to lots of music on YouTube and in the Web. It is very good, but it requires good search and selection.

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