Vincenzo Silvestris talks about how to avoid prejudice against style and musical genre and why the task of the musician should be to call the audience’s attention to the beauty that the music itself has inside.
Music has been my life since I was young. At the age of five/six years old I was blown away by listening the 5th Symphony by Beethoven. Like in the movie Immortal Beloved, I flew high in the black starry sky for a few seconds and soon after I fell down on the earth. At the parish youth club a nun ( the piano teacher) asked my mother if I wanted to study the piano because I liked listening to her lessons when I walked around. I said “yes!“
Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?
Music is all about fantasy but to feed fantasy it is necessary to study hard, too!
If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?
At the age of fifteen I wanted to become an electronic engineer. Orazio Svelto was my father’s friend. He is one of the pioneers in the international field of laser physics and its application. I told him I wanted to study engineering. But he told me:“ music or engineering, you choose !“. I chose music! Electronic engineering is still in my heart but only like a hobby!
The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future?
I am worried about the future but I hope that school will let know the new generations the beauty of classical music and the work that there is behind.
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 can‘t see a transformation of the role of classical music because I think that the power of this kind of music is the no-transformation. I think that the role of the classical musicians is in transformation.
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 think the attitude of the classical musicians is a change (not for everybody). They are closer to the people, but this was what happened in the past. Lots of classical musicians forgot this or they want to forget it… I was thinking of singers and violin soloists in a concert with orchestra when the Opera was born.
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?
I don’t think that the classical musicians have to be more creative, because creativity is a personal skill and it depends on the culture of the musicians.
Do you think we musicians can do something to attract young generation into the classical music concerts? How will you proceed?
In my opinion young people don’t need to be persuaded into classical concerts. I usually think the guys have no prejudices. Maybe musicians have prejudices against music. However I think it’s better to select a musical program suitable for them, which contains some samples of different styles of music; but this is a personal choice.
Tell us about your creative process. Do you have your favourite piece (written by you) How did you start working on it?
I started my career by writing a composition for piano, looking for an emotion: through it I found a melody, a rythm, a dynamism , a colour. When it began to take shape, I put it on the staff. Looking at the notes on the staff again and again, I came up with the idea to develop the composition. This is not the first time that it happens in the history of composition. Before 1750 and after 1900, looking for the “pleasing to the ears“ was not a priority for the composers. Then I continued looking for a development. Now I do this with the help of the parameters of the music grammar and always under control of my feelings.
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?
The combination of classical music with different disciplines is very stimulating but every language (every discipline has its own language) must be its grammar in this process. Common meanings can be found in the specific parameters of each discipline but it is important to point out to the “signifier“ of the ideas you want to develop
Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?
I can give young people some advice: listening to classical music and going to concerts of classical music. Then, if they want to study music, it should be better to tell them that talented people are almost always the result of a daily and very hard study!
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 that it’s important to be in this system. If I want to change something, I can’t do it from outside but from inside…
Do you have expectations what regards your listeners, your audience?
I’d like my listeners had the same passion for music like mine. I think that the task of the musician must be to call the audience’s attention to the beauty that the music itself has inside. For example, if there is a beatiful moon in the sky, I tell my son: “Lorenzo! !There is the moon!!!Look!!“ This is more than enough and the moon is beautiful for itself!
What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?
My next project is a new album with music for piano solo but….. I’m not sure it’ll be for piano solo…
In my projects I try to find always something new . I go to any direction, without any prejudice against style and musical genre.