Jackie Perks talks about how she "dreams" music and sees the "imagery" to go with the music. She gives advice for young people and shares her passion for youtube!
To me, music is life. It is everywhere. It is in the air we breathe, the water we drink and the greatest universal language known.
Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?
Yes!! In fact, I share this philosophy with you Anna. From the time I was a very small child, I began to “dream” music, the imagery firing up so brilliantly in my mind. I experience the same thing when I go to the symphony! Notes in the air transform into beautiful and vivid imagery!
If you were not a professional musician, would you have been?
At this point the only professional work I have been paid for was the use of my Tom Waits improvisation of “Invitation to The Blues” in the HBO Documentary, “Requiem for the Dead, An American Spring”. This was a great honor for me! I wanted to be a concert pianist growing up, but also had other interests, namely Biology and the medical field and was considering this, too. However, after a terrible car accident permanently damaged some nerves, I lost a bit of speed and dexterity, so I could not become a concert pianist. Surprisingly, I also shifted my focus to business, so my actual career is in corporate with heavy emphasis on sales and marketing. After many years off of playing and lots of physical therapy, I came back to it. There was a hole in my life without a piano and the ability to make music and my husband “saved me” with the surprise gift of a piano. He knew it was in my soul and I remember the tears of joy I cried when I received it. Now I am very thankful to still be able to play. I work hard on my dexterity issues and have adapted my playing style now. Due to heavy time constraints, I am on a slow path to record and make albums, but it will happen. However, I do have all my original music scored and available for purchase at this time. All my performances are recorded and available to view on YouTube, as well.
The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future?
I do worry a little about the future, but I truly believe that the ageless, timeless nature of the music and its ability to move the soul will never die. There will always be room in the hearts of new listeners to appreciate classical music. I believe parents can have a great influence on their children with this, as well, by getting them involved in music, giving lessons in musical instruments, and attending live concerts and symphonies to support them.
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 that music is always evolving and new forms emerge based upon the older disciplines. There are always ways to keep it fresh and new. However, the known forms are already so perfect that I believe they will still continue to be studied, preserved, and played for many, many years to come!
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 mind are ways to reach a younger audience, to get them (and keep them) interested and excited about it and the many ways it can be presented.
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 musicians have always had to be somewhat creative, but even more so today with the advent of social media and the multitude of ways to present visuals to pique the interest of the listener. There are numerous presentation avenues to showcase one’s work and creativity. For me, creativity comes from taking prose and poetry on existing works, as well as writing my own music. What further fuels my creativity are the powerful visuals that form in my mind when I listen to (or create) music!! Creativity is part of the entire process and very, very important!
Do you think we musicians can do something to attract young generation into the classical music concerts? How will you proceed?
As stated previously, I honestly believe that it all begins at home. The influence of parents and family are very important. The younger generation will continue where we left off.
Tell us about your creative process. Do you have your favourite piece (written by you) How did you start working on it?
My creative process for composing always begins with “music playing in my head”. This has been happening to me since age 4 when I asked my parents for my first piano. I “dream” music in beautiful colors that I almost cannot explain. It usually happens in the wee hours near dawn and I awake with this music fresh in my mind. I have also been known to get out of bed and just start playing or recording my ideas in the dark, as powerful visuals unfold in my mind. There are other moments where a powerful conversation will even cause music to come to mind and soon thereafter, I usually run to my piano, blank music sheets in hand. Then there are those moments in life that inspire….a beautiful day, time spent reflecting at the water’s edge, the smell after a rain, and so much more. Interestingly enough, I did not formally compose any of my music until just a few short years ago and will never look back again! I am not sure I have a favorite work that I have written as they are all inherently different. Some are freeform improvisations, while others are more structured works. Examples of freeform improvs are “Forbidden Love” and “The Connection”. Examples of structured works are, “Nocturne in C-Sharp Minor”, “Waltz in C Minor”, “Love”, “Opus No. 17 in G Minor (Toxic)”, “Free to Fly”, and my latest work, “Raindrop Fantasia”. I also have a few works infused with whispers of modern jazz and blues, “Into The Blue” and “Autumn in Blue”. The works I have written that have the greatest emotional impact however are different. For example, my “Opus No. 17 in G Minor (Toxic)” was written last year during a time of extreme grief, the night I found out my only sister was dying, so very dark, deep, personal, and painful. In my performance, I am literally sobbing all over my keyboard and could barely finish. I am in the habit of having my recorder on while playing, but was not even going to keep it or post it, but my husband insisted that I keep it raw as he loved it. His feeling was that the emotion could never be recreated the same way again and now I am glad I preserved it. That same performance remains on my YouTube channel. The other was the piece I wrote to honor my sister after her death. “Free to Fly” was the music that embodied the notion that she is free to explore and dance the cosmos/heavens until we meet again. My sadness is there, but also my acceptance. She was a beautiful person that gave to all and there will never be a day that goes by that I don’t think of my precious and beautiful Kristin. So, in the end, the creative process of the composer is born of FEELINGS, some happy, some sad.
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 I am an extremely visual person, I agree with this wholeheartedly!! Visuals are so very important to evoke memories and emotions as it paints a tapestry of musical colors for the listener, while allowing the artist full expression of what is in his/her soul.
Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?
Don’t be afraid to be yourself!! Open your mind to the music and allow it to become part of your life. Listen, share, and if playing an instrument, create fearlessly what is in your mind and don’t allow peer pressure to steer your ship when it comes to music. Ask your parents to take you to a concert, the symphony, help you purchase a recording, or ask to take lessons on a musical instrument. I was one of those kids that listened to rock and roll and other genres of music, but also went to the symphony and loved it! I listened to classical music as a teenager, too and was the ONLY one among my friends that did this. I did not steer away from it or apologize for it as I enjoyed my uniqueness. Nothing could have ripped me away from the magical beauty of Classical music and especially the music of the Romantic period. Once I experienced the magic of Chopin and Liszt, I was inspired and hooked for 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 do agree. I think that with the advent of social media platforms, the works are being shared even more and Classical music is being given a new face and a new start. This also means that there is much more competition in the marketplace. I do sell my compositions in sheet music form and hope to be able to put together an album with my recorded works in the future as aforementioned, so I cannot speak to album sales at this time. I am hopeful that interest in Classical music will never go out of style and that I will enjoy playing and sharing my works well into old age. Of course it’s also my dream that people continue to enjoy my music long after I am gone.
Do you have expectations what regards your listeners, your audience?
I do not have any expectations whatsoever. I only ask that they listen fully, with eyes, ears and minds wide open to what the music is saying. I want them to allow the music to sink in deeply, touch their souls, and even create powerful visuals in their own minds as they listen. Music is highly therapeutic in my opinion.
What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?
I have no projects coming up per se, as I write my music as it “comes to me”. I cannot control the muse. When the music comes, it is usually inspired by something, a dream, an event, a beautiful moment, a smell, a visual and something that I cannot plan in advance. If I had more time, I would love to do more projects and even collaborate with other musicians, artists, poets, and singers, but corporate life only allows me so much time (at least for now)! I am in the process of having a website built for me and will slowly move toward planning and creating an album for release. In the meantime, I am on YouTube for anyone to see. I am wide open here and my heart welcomes any and all that want to watch and listen, even my imperfect moments as that is also part of who we all are….through trial, error and adversity, we achieve our best.