Paulo Bottas, born in Brazil and settled in Canada since his early twenties, is a musician with a background in both classical and popular music. His path allowed him to be in contact with varied genres, from baroque to contemporary music. With formal academic musical training and a Master's Degree in musicology, he has been in contact with several musicians and artists, resulting in a multifaceted artistic development. These contacts have given a deeper meaning to his artistic and music profile, which is expressed through original compositions.
It has outlined my personality from my early childhood. It shaped the man I became. I have found in it the relief for the difficulties that life imposes on me and the impetus for the journey that I have lived. The most significant experiences of my life have always been associated with music. At first, passively, but as I progressed in learning music, I began to turn those important events into music. Through music I found my place in the world, both physically and metaphorically. Finally, music is the thing which I’m involved with for the longest time in my life. In other words, music means a lot to me.
Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?
My music is all about fantasy. That I can say! I tend not to make assumptions that might lead to a generalization. Although I am not old, I got involved with music very young, both artistically and academically. Throughout this journey, I have seen and heard several statements regarding the role of music and consequently of composers. None of them lasted for long. I seek to recreate with my music, a space which I can only ascend through the imagination and this connect my music with fantasy.
If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?
I would love to have worked in a circus
The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future?
This seems to be a general statistic that by itself might have very little to do with art. It has been much discussed in places where classical music has already ist public, especially in Northern Europe or in countries like Canada. It turns out that also in Europe, the average population is aging, just like the classical music audience. At the same time, the population of those countries is living longer and therefore continue to prestige classical music scene for a longer time. This type of assumption tends to understand classical music as a product in the entertainment business and, in this approach, they aim at the demand. Compared to other genres of music, classical music may seem to have little expressiveness in sales numbers. Confusingly, however, in 2016, a month after the release of a box with Mozart’s works, sales reached 1.25 million copies, surpassing pop stars such as Adele and Beyonce. Finally, I will end by saying that systematically my online sales are so despicable that probably nothing would change even if the world’s average population ages more thus I’m not worried at all :D
What do you envision the role of classical music to be in the 21st century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?
Just as in the twentieth century classical music was absorbed by the movie industry, so 21st-century classical music will serve the video game industry.
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?
There are things that change, and art is one of them. Classical music, being a social phenomenon, is related to all the changes that occur and will occur through the centuries.
Do you think that the classical musician today needs to be more creative? What is the role of creativity in the musical process for you?
Our time is obsessed with something that we decided to call “creativity”. However, if we ask ourselves what creativity is, we will have an answer that could be applied to everything that has been done before us. Creativity in today’s music would somehow be relate to the desire for novelties. My concern is not about creativity but about my desire to make music and communicate it with someone.
Do you think we musicians can do something to attract young generation into the classical music concerts? How will you proceed?
Whether as entertainment or communication, musicians could use the current technological media to reach the audience. However, one must know what media their audience uses. Personally, I am an enthusiast of modern media and I use all of them to promote my work.
Tell us about your creative process. Do you have your favourite piece (written by you) How did you start working on it?
I wake up early, and I compose every day, two hours a day, but inevitably, of course, sometimes I compose in different moments of the day.
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?
I am an enthusiast of it. As a classical composer and songwriter, I already collaborated with many different arts and I keep doing and taking great pleasure in doing so. Some of my music has been composed in this way, as for example, my string quartet dedicated to Frida Kahlo is accompanied by wonderful illustrations by Cara Carmina. My piece Orishas, for string orchestra, was composed on the photographs of Lidia Barreiros and my harpsichord pieces were composed for a comic book. Finally, some of my songs were initially poems I wrote.
Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?
Stick to what causes you deep emotion. If you are learning how to play an instrument or how to compose, so practice and write with pleasure and engage with people who share your 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?
Well, as I said many things nowadays has been drained into the consumption ideology, music included. But not everything applies to this logic or not everybody shares this value. What I do is not for everybody and I seek to connect my music with those who don’t share this consumption values. Through the internet, I have reached many people that cultivate the same garden I’m cultivating.
Do you have expectations what regards your listeners, your audience?
My only one is: be openly respectful because the history of music is not limited to that written in the books.
What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?
I’m composing a piece for piano and voices, in which we will have the operatic mis en-scene, mixing photography, cinematography on a theme that is dear to me, the degradation of the environment. I experiment a lot in my compositions to achieve something better than what I did before, even if I do not always succeed.