Interview with a French composer Sylvain Guinet - "to compose is to reveal oneself, to define oneself, to be exposed and vulnerable". He thinks music is a very powerful art. Read more about Sylvain thoughts about artistic inspiration, about emotions in music, why one smile counts more than a dollar and about his new project!
Nowadays we understand the world we live in as made up of oscillatory vibrations covering a wide range of frequencies and various physical phenomena. Sound waves are an example of such vibrations that can deeply affect us through the different emotions they convey to us while perceived as a single entity, music. Some music pieces have therapeutic qualities, others can make us cry, allow us to escape, others make us dance or relax. As a composer I consider music more as a need for my own well-being rather than just a simple passion or craft. Sensing the pleasure and emotions people feel when listening to my music is what makes me remember why I enjoy writing music in the first place.
If you were not a professional musician, would would you have been?
What matters to me is to create, everything boils down to that. If not a composer I probably would have been a writer or a draftsman, two professions that share the same process of creation and the same reward, the feeling that one gets back when people are pleased by this creation.
The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future?
No, I am not worried. It is true that the audience of classical music is often on the older side. Young people like to differentiate themselves and I guess music styles are a way to do it just like fashion is. However note that the artist who sold the most albums in 2016 is still … Mozart! Classical music is timeless and will always be present in 1000 years from now. Fashionable music I am not so sure.
Do you think we musicians can do something to attract young generation into the classical music concerts? How will you proceed?
Have you ever heard in more expressive music like rap the use of classical music? The result is wonderful. In that same spirit I think that to attract younger people, classical music must be modernized in some way, live with its time, adapt to different styles. Even though that would make purists rebuke at first. “If classical music is timeless, to attract young generation into the classical music concerts it must also evolve to the evolutions of each epoch to be understood by a wide audience.”
Tell us about your creative process. Do you have your favourite piece (written by you) How did you start working on it?
As many composers, I write music when I feel “inspired”, this is what I call the “writing of the heart” as opposed to writing music based on the rules of solfeggio only, which represents more the “writing of the brain”. I have spent many years trying to understand what is called "inspiration". And I finally found the answer and this is very subtle because today I still do not know how to provoke it but can only wait for it. Inspiration is a "connection to oneself", it seems easy to say and yet so difficult to understand. When one is connected, the music seems to come from itself, everything seems lucid, easier, and wonderful. This is the astonishing result of an "unconscious meditation". In this state one is usually cut off from the outside world.
On the other hand, I am not judge of my own music, the feedback you get from listeners is what allows you to judge the level of your work. So my favorite pieces are the ones that bring the most happiness to people, and in particular a piece I called "Dragonice". Writing this piece opened a lot of doors for me, and brought a lot of recognition. The title is related to the spirit in which I was at the time (Buddhism, martial art).
Sometimes some compositions are a cathartic reflection method. As far as I am concerned, to compose is to reveal oneself, to define oneself, to be exposed and vulnerable. That's why criticism can affect you … I also wrote a tribute piece that is very important in my life as a composer. The piece is called "Yuko Takamatsu" and relates to the story of a Japanese man named Mr. Takamatsu who decided to learn how to dive to search the sea in the desperate hope to find his wife’s body, who died in the Tsunami of March 11, 2011. His wife’s name was Yuko, she disappeared after she took refuge on the roof of a bank of the Onagawa small fishing harbor on the east coast of the country. The whole harbor got devastated by a 20 meter wall of water. Mr Takamatsu had never listened to music since the tragedy and yet, this piece written as a tribute to his wife enormously helped him, and reconciled him with music. Mr Takamatsu told me "this music helps my heart to heal, this piece is my treasure”. That's why I write music...
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?
Music is a very powerful art. But when you pair it with another art form, you multiply the feelings and emotions it can convey. I think cinematography and music are the perfect fusion. When we are moved at the same time by what we see and what we hear, the emotional impact can be very intense.
Do you have expectations what regards your listeners, your audience?
I decided a few years ago to offer all my music sheets and mp3 formats for free. I'm not crazy though ! The best reward for me is that my music is played and listened to. Money does not matter, but the listener who appreciates your work is a form of recognition, for my part one smile is better than a dollar. I always ask musicians who make money with my music to give to charities (not to me). "Giving without expecting anything in return" means opening one's heart to people. My audience increases every year: new listeners, performers, music schools and radio stations, I am very happy with that and ask for nothing else !
What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?
I have a project that I care very much about, but that will require a lot of work. I would like to put together a piano piece written by many composers from different countries. This piece will be called "Around the world". Each movement written by a different composer will carry the spirit of a nation. I am imagining a piece that starts in France, and goes through Spain, to go to Africa, and then to India, then Asia, crosses the oceans and goes to the USA and finishes in South America. A music that unites all races of men with a universal language. I already made contact with a few composers who would like to take part in this project, but I still have to find a publisher who would accept to make an edition and a CD from which all benefits would be donated to a charity.
Link of Sylvain's Free Sheet and mp3: http://www.free-scores.com/Download-PDF-Sheet-Music-sylvain-guinet.htm Youtube Chanel: https://www.youtube.com/user/sylsof Contact mail: email@example.com Country: