João Balouta

Composer, Pianist and Teacher

Author

About

João Pedro Fraga Balouta born in Vila Real, Portugal, in 1988.​

From the beginning, he showed interest in learning music. When he was 6 years old, he accompanied his father to guitar lessons at a music school in Vila Real and learned to play flute.

At 10 years old he studied violin for an year. Later, when he was 17, he decided to learn piano on Youtube, imitating. Soon João started to compose some piano songs. In that year João studied in the Regional Conservatory of Vila Real and later in the Conservatory of Music and Dance of Bragança on piano course.​

When he was 22 years old, he graduated in Music from the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, with a semester of study at the University of Hradec Kralové, Czech Republic.​

In 2017, João Balouta released his first album called Morphosis for Piano and Ensemble and started his Morphosis Tour with "Minim-all" Ensemble.

Sheets

Interview

What does music mean to you personally?

Music for me it’s a way of life. I think about music 24 hours a day, even when I sleep. I breath music, and it goes to a deep way. For example, when I hear a sound on the street, like a sound of a siren or an elevator bell I always think about what note it is, what is the interval between notes, what is the rhythm. Anyway, music for me is more than that, it is my life project, to compose music in a creative way and to perform all over the world.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Yes, absolutely. I compare music to magic all the time. I say to my students that music can be faced like magic, because we can’t see it, but we can feel it in different ways, when we hear it, when we play it or when we try to improvise and create new ideas. It is incredible the infinite combinations that we could do with just 12 notes allied to different rhythms, dynamics, and a lot of different instruments.

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

Difficult question. I don’t imagine my life without music and not being a musician, but I wanted a lot to be a football player when I was a child, or a Biology Teacher, or anything related with new technologies.

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

I think that a lot of young people is curious about neoclassic music. Most of my followers on social networks, principally on Instagram are between 18 and 34 years old so I believe, with this indicator, that the future of classic, or neoclassic music could be smiley to everyone and I believe that with this new generation of composers with fresh ideas the audience will grow.

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

With the beginning of the musical digital platforms, like Spotify, Itunes or Deezer, the music world had to face a big challenge, because independent musicians felt difficulties selling physical albums, like Cd´s or Vinyl. Anyway, that platforms gives the possibility to share our music all over the world and receive royalties for that, which is, for musicians that are starting careers very few.

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

Yes, that’s one of the big aspects that we have to think about, because the new generation is a demanding audience. So, I try to think about new ideas in new videos, in new posts on social networks, buying new instruments and some of them unusual, listen to other genres of music and transport them to my style and my way of thinking music.

Do you think we as musicians can do something to attract the younger generation to music concerts? How would you do this?

Why not, I think musicians have to connect more with their fans and use social networks to share new works, new projects and be more creative in shows like use new technologies, even on classical music. In my opinion people are bored to listen Beethoven‘s or Mozart‘s symphonies played by the same way every time they go to concert halls. It’s like pop concerts, where musicians interpret their music in different ways, in every shows without losing their soul or essence.

Tell us about your creative process. What is your favorite piece (written by you) and how did you start working on it?

I love all my creations, but my favorites are,maybe "Long Way>"or <"Secreto". Sometimes I listen to my work and I think to myself how I did that. My "Morphosis" album is a result of 10 years of transformation in my personal life and a constant learning about music with different projects and a discover about myself.I started to play piano when I was 17 years old, because I watched an Yann Tiersen piano theme (comptine d’une autre été) on Youtube. My mom had a piano in our house and I started to imitate piano covers of that song, and I did it well. In a few days I played that piece. After that I improved my technique with other works of that composer and I started to compose my own pieces.

Do you think about the audience when composing?

When I started to compose, 11 years ago I didn’t even think to share my works with other people. I just did that to myself, because it made me feel good, it was like a game to me, like play console games. Now it is a little bit like i felt in that time. Firstly, I compose pieces that make me feel something. If that happens to me, then it will happen to my audience and fans for sure.

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

For now, I’m performing my last album with my string ensemble called Minim-all with cello, violin and viola in our Morphosis Tour, in Portugal and Spain. I expect to perform in other countries in near future because my music is reaching more and more fans all over the world and people are always asking me to go to their countries. Next year I’m planning to release my next album, which is almost complete.