Steven talks about experimenting with preset forms and how music can open heart and mind up and even help to study!

steven keith
What does music mean to you personally?

I have been singing since I was two years old, and music has always been there for me through the dark times. It has become a friend of mine, motivated and inspired me, created happiness where there was none. It has been a gift, a treasure I hold dear. Music is something that has never turned its back on me though humans have. I sometimes get lost in the music and it is hard to find my way out. There is something about music no human can explain.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

It depends on the way you think about it. Sometimes the composers could have been off in a far land while thinking of the notes they are putting together to create a masterpiece. But when it comes down to it, Bach knew what music was and that is mathematics. Form, and other parts of theory are used to create most works. Now there is genres like Nocturnes, fantasy's, and improvs ext. that are there for free expression and the "fantasy"/imagination to be used.

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

I'm currently not a professional (as in paid), then again what is the definition of a professional? Though I may be a professional composer/musician one day. If not I also like Business as a topic.

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?

A lot of movies have been putting classical works like Beethoven's 5th symphony 1st mvt, 7th symphony 2nd mvt, Mozart's 21st piano concerto 2nd mvt, A little serenade (night music), things to that extent into the backgrounds of famous movies. I expect that to continue, while new composers come into the mix, and take the industry by storm. It is going to take a lot to take the genres of Baroque, Classical, and Romantic down. They're not going away anytime soon.

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?

Maybe that new composers are being sought, or that new ways of composition/theory is being sought to keep people on their feet/interested.

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

It depends. I'm still with Mozart “Nevertheless the passions, whether violent or not, should never be so expressed as to reach the point of disgust; and music, even in situations of the greatest horror, should never be painful to the ear but should flatter and charm it, and thereby always remain music.” I feel Beethoven was a bit right when it comes to the exploration of form. Though as Mozart put it and I agree you should not be over creative so much to create disgust. I do not try to be too creative, I try to compose works that are pleasing to the ear, harmony is one of the greatest gifts we were given.

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

There is no real way to do so in my opinion, most people at these concerts are middle aged or older. I for one am young myself. And one of the only reasons I found my passion for classical music is because one day I was very depressed, and I popped in a c.d. of classical music, and I got to a track entitled Mozart's 4th violin concerto 1st mvt. And it was like I had never heard or felt music the way I did that way over 6 years ago. And I knew from that moment that there was happiness in life, and music brought it back. Mozart brought it back. Maybe if we were to make a connection with the music more often, get the younger people to connect with it that may help. See the reason we like any music is we connect with it.

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

I'll sit there and think, a lot. And I mean a lot. I start pieces all the time, but I do not finish all of them. I would say it would be a tie between My second piano concerto, and my Viola sonata (though the joke piece I recently composed isn't too far behind). The reasoning for that is because they are two of my most developed works, I am always learning. And also, because they made a special connection with me. It was mid-June this year, and I started composing the work set up for 2 oboes, 2 horns, solo piano, and string with the second mvt switching the oboe part for 2 flutes. And I composed the theme A for the 1st mvt, and I found out my mother had been diagnosed with cancer, and I let that effect the second theme. But in the second mvt was dreamy to express the fact it seemed as a dream, then the third was a peppy mvt to express I knew it would be okay. It was completed in three weeks, and is one of my best. Then the viola sonata was composed to commemorate the removal of the cancer, and dedicated to a friend of mine who plays the instrument, who composed a work for my mother.

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's an excellent idea, arts go together better than people know. It takes an amazing eye, ear, and brain to pair a picture or a video up with the correct music.

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

Well, I personally started with Mozart, so I would tell anyone to start with him. Him and Haydn were the two top composers of the Classical era for sure. And Bach, and Vivaldi for baroque era, and Beethoven, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Hummel (lived in the romantic era composed classical) Liszt, and Schubert for Romantic. I would tell them not think of it as such a boring subject, there are plenty of works that are exciting, goofy, peppy, plenty that are angry, mad, and sad, and plenty that are mellow, and beautiful. There are so many emotions that could go along with what you feel if you open your heart and mind up. They also help you study! Mozart's K 448 has been studied and proved to increase your IQ while listening to it known as the "Mozart Effect!" And I would let them know music also heals, which it does!

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?

In all honesty the world has indeed become very greedy, but it has always been like that, Mozart, Beethoven ext... They all needed to make money to live, and orchestras are all in the same boat sometimes. In truth we all need money to exist, and continue doing what we love. The problem is when you over charge. And I see that happening on sheet music websites. I don't feel like classical music is getting into the consumption business as much as popular music is. Classical tickets in my area sell for $30, that's a huge difference between a lot of the popular music tickets selling for hundreds even thousands of dollars.

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

Not really, though I compose inspired by Mozart, and Beethoven. Anyone can enjoy my works no age, wealth, ext. required!

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

I'm always starting, and stopping random compositions or finishing them. I'm currently composing a bright piano work. I try to only experiment with preset forms, and I am inspired by classical, and romantic era composers so I tend to try and stay in their guidelines Country:

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