Luc Martin speaks about expanding sound palette and how important it is to immerse yourself in the music and listen to it several times.

martin luck interview

What does music mean to you personally?

Music is an essential part of my life. Making music is also a passion that I can rarely ignore from one day to another. I often find myself trying to work more efficiently through the non musical activities of my day in order to have a few extra minutes at the piano. It is while I am composing or practicing that I am most happy.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Like poetry or other forms art, music can be inspired by fantasy but a great deal of music has also been written as a result of how the composer perceived his surroundings. How many great works of art have been composed as a result of social or political events? One only has to think of Shostakovich. Music can also be a means for composers to share personal thoughts. I think music speaks from the soul and is the musicians greatest tool.

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

I am thinking I would have become a zoo keeper. I simply love animals.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future?

I think that although the audience is getting older, we, as musicians, need to create more opportunities for our young to experience music through school concerts, presentations and funding of music education. Lets put instruments in the hands of our young minds. I had the great opportunity to be part of a great music program in high school. I was surrounded by kids who loved to spend time in the music room practicing. Making music was a way to leave all of our worries behind for a little while. Kids need that escape. And who knows, it might become a passion.

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?

Classical music’s role will remain the same. The quest to reinvent how we write music will likely move back to the middle of the pendulum with regards to new sonorities and textures. We have already heard a move back towards melodic writing as opposed to textural or sonorous. There is for sure a place for all forms of creation but what will assure a continuation in what we do as composers will likely be music that is more accessible to a larger group of music lovers.

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

Creativity is at the core of everything I do. Whether I am teaching, performing or composing, creativity is key. Finding new ways to motivate as I teach. Discovering a different way of interpreting a passage as I play. Finding that special sonority or colour for a passage in my latest work. Its all about being creative. I think that its what I love most about being a musician.

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

That is a hard question to answer. The younger generations are too often not exposed to classical music. Other than the passing moment in a movie where classical music is playing in the background, children are continuously bombarded with the ever present pop culture. As school music programs keep falling to the away side in many regions of Canada, even more children will grow up not knowing the great works of Beethoven and Brahms.

I think, as professional musicians, we all have a voice when it comes to creating opportunities to bring our art to the next generation. Working closely with school boards and the non for profit art organizations in our region to offer projects or events with children in mind is one way we can participate in the growth of art as a whole.

As long as there is some funding available for music, musicians and composers should choose to be part of as many initiatives with regards to bringing classical music to children. There are various opportunities for funding to create and produce a concert series or an educational workshop for children, its all about choosing to creating the initiative and devoting some time and energy towards the growth of our audience. The children are the future of our art.

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 largely revolves around a personal sound palette derived from variants of non traditional scales and modes. I like to explore chord succession techniques and chord succession patterns to lead the melodic movements. I compose the main themes with underlying sonorities in successions. Then I develop the melodic material through the chord succession patterns. I do also like to play with expectations to create tension and resolution patterns. As I compose, I play with various structural aspects of the work to create an overall form that lends itself well to the motivic and melodic expansions. It’s all about have unity and creating a coherent process for the listener.

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

I would make the most of the advent of recorded video performances. Explore the Internet for live streaming of concerts. There is also an extensive collection of performances available on DVD of Blue-Ray. Explore some of these concerts and discover the works that you might like. From there, further explore that composer’s work. Attend as many live performances of the great masterworks as possible. It’s all about immersing yourself in this music. As you develop your ear to this repertoire, revisit the music and composers that, at one point, didn’t do it for you. As your ear develops so will your taste for various genres. Above all enjoy the experience.

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?

The marketing of my work as a composer is, as you might know, laborious. Classical music has a small market and as I continue to discover new music, I realize that there are a great deal of very good composers out there. We are all biding for the same market.

I see myself as a professional composer in the sense that my focus is to write and produce high quality music. I am however, not looking to make a living at it. I am a music teacher by day and a professional composer during the evenings and weekends. This formula enables me to write what I want to write and share it with musicians from around the world with hopes of having it performed at some point. I don’t mind sharing my scores without a charge because, for me, the performance is the value that I get in return.

I have had several commissions that have generated revenue from my work as a composer but not with the consistency needed to support a family. It is why I choose not to strain my art with the burden of having to make money at it.

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

I am presently working on a new piece for horn, viola and piano. I’m exploring further ideas with chord successions and patterns of chord successions based on whole-tone colours and other non-traditional modes. This piece will likely continue to expand my sound palette.

I am also work in on a choral piece dedicated to my late mother who past away two years ago.

 

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Juan talks about his thoughts about silence, why he likes experimenting and he gives advice to young listeners to just enjoy the music.

What does music mean to you personally?

It means everything to me. Music is possibility. 1) The possibility of finding meaning to existence. 2) The possibility of the discovery of the yet unknown. 3) The possibility of experience in joy, sorrow, amazement, awe and logic. 3) A true catalyst and vehicle of cathartic understanding. 4) A continuum of organized life and a way to understand organic methods and affairs.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Yes, to a certain higher degree. In the historical sense, it is through the ‘canzona’ (an earlier process of the ‘fantasia’) that the larger and standard forms came into existence as functional and solid processes. In a more practical way, I do feel that it is through the imagination and the fantastic world that ideas flow with a considerable amount of freedom so that the organization of music tends to proceed smoothly. The fantasy allows the material of music to circulate in such a way that the barriers of the mind are less likely to get in the way of the organic phenomena.

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

I probably would have chosen to be a movie director or an astrophysicist, or a mathematician or an archaeologist. I like many things.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future?

I’m not worried about my future in that respect. I have always found myself giving concerts for less than 50 people and sometimes it feels all right. I have seen, however, that, through the incorporation of the other arts, and the inclusion of popular idioms into my compositions, younger people have been attracted to attend my classical music concerts.

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?

If I have understood the question properly, I have experienced this transformation within myself, as I have included a interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approach in my concerts but I feel that classical music has still a very strong impact on historical values that I believe the transformation is still positive. The one aspect that must change for a better course is education. As long as there is good education and classical music is treated as an important element of it (being music a provider of good physical and emotional health or a great provider of invaluable experiences) the transformation will have a far more positive outcome than we think.

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?

Classical music has always been in the search of the new. It is like a historical curse. Every composer wants to be different. All music seems to patronize the ‘new’. Here I can reflect on something important: the age of the ‘avangarde’ is beginning to be tiresome. I feel that the freshness will be impossible to avoid; after all, every human being is capable of expressing his/her own uniqueness. When I teach composition, I am not interested in the student being capable of mastering a technique (he can do that in his own time) I’m interested in providing a way for him/her to bloom whatever good intentions can flourish out of their creations and I believe the ‘avantgarde’ have already sacrificed both, the emotional and the rational mind in order to manufacture Frankenstein that are completely different from the beauty around the intuitive. I sincerely hope that the people in power make a change in classical music for the better.

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?

Creativity has a deep relationship with experience. I am afraid that the internet is fracturing real experiences in our society. I have already know of 12 year olds who do not know what it is to climb a tree or let alone hug one with a loving heart! It is preoccupying that the experience is taking place more so through the interaction with a tablet or a cellphone. Creativity is crucial for composition and it is also for interpretation; even more so for improvisation. Creativity is at the core of every way of communication; it is a most important aspect of human behavior.
In my process, creativity is essential. It is more so like a path, or a way of channeling options and working with solutions that were not available in previous thinking processes. However, creativity is not to be overused or the end result can be much like a mess. For me, creativity is the art of breathing; it has to be exercised every day but treated with upmost respect and refinement. Creativity is but an ingredient of what craftsmanship really is.

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

Yes! We need to get involved with them. We need to be an example to them. We need to understand them but we need to find a way for them to understand us. This is only going to be done if we communicate with them; if we have meaningful experiences with them. We might need to become their mentors preferably at a very early age. We need to write more music for them. Sometimes it is not about having them come to us but the other way around.

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

I have a multidisciplinary theory –called the JLPER Theory- it relates music with astronomy and archaeology in unprecedented ways. The core idea of my theory is that the intervals resemble with precision the order of elements in our Solar System and the seven spectral classes of stars. When all the numbers in the sequence (G = 7 for example) are added together they result in 365; so this system works very much so like a Solar Calendar. In 2005, I found that the ancient Mayans and Aztecs did depict the same mathematical sequence I have been working for years, in their most relevant cities and stone carvings which indicated that they knew about astronomy far more than their European counterparts in those days; more importantly it revealed a unique aesthetic which sounds very Mexican, somewhat modern but with a preoccupation with harmonic beauty –like such we can find in flowers. In recent years, I found the same sequence in the recording of the XP module that landed on the Rosetta comet which made my research and compositions take on a turn of interest by the scientific community in Merida, Yucatán. One of my favorite pieces composed with this JLPER Theory is an orchestral piece in one movement that I composed in 2010 to celebrate the centennial of our Mexican Revolution. It has not been performed yet but I have a special feel about it. Another piece which I do love is named: Xoctlamique Nuxochiltzin – Ah Tlamiz Noxochiuh; a piece for choir, piano, contrabass and gran cassa, that was premiered and recorded by the San Antonio Chamber Choir. The audio is on my Soundcloud platform and on my website as part of my JLPER Theory album that I have displayed there. Most of those pieces are a real fascination to me. Alenka, my chamber strings and piano concerto is also one of my favorite works which work with this JLPER Theory.

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?

Perfect combinations! I wish I could do some things like those; I just have not find a learning time to understand light and film in the correct way. I did several concerts in Merida with poetry and theatrical arts. I believe they were a success at the time I presented them.
The interdisciplinary is wonderful and I believe that the multidisciplinary is also great.

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

Yes! Start with a deep listening of whichever composer has made you cry, or laugh, or feel goosebumps. I started very young, so that does not count, but I do remember the awe I felt with the symphonies of Jean Sibelius. Dedicate every day to a recording of music and try not to criticize it, just enjoy! Be aware that some of the tracks you’ll listen will be disgusting for you; pay close attention and remember their titles because later in time those same pieces will be among your favorites!

Now it is a common practice 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?

Horrible. I have often recorded my music with a very bad sense of recording to avoid getting into that. In fact, all of my registered compositions are available for free in the internet. But one thing is clear to me; I feel it will take a long time for my academic music to be music for consumption; maybe my Rock pieces but that is another story. The only bad thing this can offer is ‘bad taste artists’ dominating the scene; but eventually only time will favor the brilliant and the dedicated to the craft. I will put my efforts into that even if I have to eat on a diet.

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

It has been at times very difficult for me to perform to audiences that tend to emanate a sense of unease or criticism; specially when they are too close to my piano or my guitar. I expect them to enjoy but of course sometimes audiences can be very difficult. I also find that silence does affect positively my performances but sometimes that is hard to come by. I usually tend to expect my audiences to have a great time and to enjoy the music and ideas. Lately I have been thinking of making live broadcasts to share my music.

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

I usually write several pieces at the same time. Now, I am writing a very easy piece for a student of mine that has asked me to write a piece for his guitar and his piano friend. He has been such a great student that I am planning to finish it by Christmas as a gift. I am also writing some pop electronic music to distract myself and to make myself dance and keep some high spirits! I’m also writing some sacred pieces for guitar. Most of my performances can be seen at the YouTube Channel by the name of: Cuauhxochitzin

I do experiment always. Each piece is in fact an act of experimentation, which is a key element in the process of composition. If the project is all about improvisation it is all about experiments. Sometimes is proper to experiment and some other times is proper to go with caution. In the end, experiment is hand in hand with experience; so in any case I give it a thumbs up at any time.
Thank you so much for letting me be a part of your musical experience. It is always so rewarding to find people like yourself in this world, which makes life even more beautiful and meaningful. All best,
Juan

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Miguel explains why the experimentation is a fundamental part of the composition act and why he understands music simply as a way of thinking, feeling and a way of expressing emotions.

miguel bareilles

What does music mean to you personally?

I don’t like conceptual definitions. I understand music simply put as a way of inhabiting life. Music is a way of thinking, a way of feeling, and a way of expressing emotions. Besides, it’s impossible for me to imagine my life without music, so I can’t know exactly what the concrete meaning of music is either.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

No, I don’t agree that music is all about fantasy. Music is a purely human expression, and in it there are also many human aspects that have nothing to do with fantasy. Music is work, it is discomfort, it is conflict, it is beauty, it is denunciation, it is politics.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future?

I believe that this may be a specifically European problem. Because if you look at other latitudes (for example: North America, Latin America, Asia, Russia, etc.), we will see that the public is always renewing itself. And I believe that the European problem has a direct relationship with the avant-garde proposals of the last five decades: die “neue Musik”.

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 guess the same role as always: the encounter and flourishing of cultures. And I believe that many interesting things are already happening in this respect, especially in the new generations.

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?

Latin American children’s and youth orchestras, for example. It’s amazing how many orchestras and music schools have sprung up in recent years. In addition, classical music is no longer belonging to a social elite; the great academies of the world today are no longer for select students according to important surnames, but according to the capacity of each one’s work.

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 creativity is very important, as long as the musician needs to develop in a more integral way. But if the musician only seeks to be an interpreter, creativity is not essential.

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

Of course we can. It’s enough to take off your costume, talk to the audience in a more colloquial way, make a simple joke. On the other hand, I think it is important to renew the repertoires with new composers. Perform shows beyond conventional theaters. In other words: humanize the scenario.

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

I basically define myself as a composer. I therefore have many works of my own at this stage of my life; I cannot refer to a single work. The act of composing is totally subjective. I try not to rationalize, that is to say, I try that my music emerges from emotions and not from preconceived ideas. I also try not to use formulas previously learned. But it is true that with the passage of time, I have discovered elements in my music, things that are repeated and that inevitably refer to beliefs and ideologies. In a sociological sense, I recognize that in my music there are important features of a “Latin American ideology”.

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 think that’s the best thing that can happen to music. And that’s not new. The artistic meetings at the end of the 19th century brought together painters, sculptors, musicians, literary artists, etc. Then, from the appearance of sound film to the appearance of the video format, thousands of multi-disciplinary works have been produced.

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

Let them go to live shows. And remove all prejudices from their minds.

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?

Of course classical music is part of a business, like all large-scale “artistic” productions. There is, of course, postmodernism legitimized by the academies, that monopolizes the artistic movement and its effective marketing and institutionalization. But there are also hundreds of new polystyrene trends. artists who work by merging the tools acquired from formal education with tools that emerge around them, and which are usually self-managed. I believe that this type of production should be particularly supported.

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

No, my expectations only concern myself. I don’t expect anything in particular from audiences; I just hope they have the ability to feel, which usually happens.

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

The composer is a purely active agent, who throughout his life absorbs amounts of knowledge, and experimentation is a fundamental part of the composition act. My projects are multiple; I am permanently writing new music and looking for ways to perform them.

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Milana talks about her compositions and about the beauty of performing the music live and focusing on various styles and forms of music to blend and create something new.

milana foto

What does music mean to you personally?

Music to me is like breathing, I need it constantly, and change myself through it. As a child, I was completely absorbed inside my own world of secret life, full of stories and songs that I sang even in my sleep. I didn’t feel the need to communicate with other children much, unless I could sing or play piano for them. My closest family members would always surround me by various recordings, shows we went to together or my dad’s shows. So, I associated music with a close relative, some Spirit that is always guiding and guarding me through life. In short: music is my remedy and my best communication skill.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Despite of using the phrase “What is music if not a dream?” here and there myself, I am not sure if I agree with this statement. In my opinion, music is more primal and universal to human nature than, for example, Visual Arts, which are interpreted subjectively. So, I would agree that we add imagination to performing different styles and musical compositions, but musical “ingredients” are quite physical to me, especially the rhythm, vibrations of sound that move our body subconsciously.

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

I was studying Visual Arts, especially photography, and really loved drawing. I also think that fashion design or home decor would really suit me too. I also hoped to study therapy through Arts, which I now apply in my piano and vocal lessons. Aesthetics in life in general are a “must” for me: I can only perform, teach or practice in very well organized spaces, I guess I am Feng Shui oriented musician.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future?

Classical music to me is about performance legacy. I believe now, when we have a new generation of artists like Lang Lang, Yuja Wang, Emily Bear, the classical music is attracting young people again. Personally, I’m not strictly classical myself: I respect classical music but I focus on absorbing various styles and forms of music (like jazz, blues or rock) to blend and create something new.

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 am guessing that some roles wouldn’t change much: people will still want that special energy you may only get coming to concert halls and listening to live performances. However, nowadays, there are other fields where classical music can be used to support something else, e.g. films, games, theatrical shows and so on. There are also researches of how classical music affects studying and relaxation processes, so, there might be another role in that direction as well.

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 immediately think of “Baby Mozart” (a part of “Baby Einstein” series) and lectures for children by Leonard Bernstein (although, it’s not “brand new” but to me it was quite revolutionary). Now, in Canada we got Music for Young Children program, which involves even youngest in the process of ear training, composing and improvising with parents, which is super cool. In other words it turns from a “conservatory”, “academic” discipline into a vibrant and playful experience.

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 do think so. With all the broad spectrum of music that is available now, one needs to be creative to find their own style, without even thinking too much about how to classify their it. Take “The Piano Guys” as an example – among others, they take existing classical masterpieces and create their own unique versions. Classical music is quite often perceived as a set of strict rules, the creativity to me is about finding new unexpected ways of using those rules.

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

Depending on the age, there might be different approaches. For the youngest ones I’d focus on the playful experience: let them learn instruments by touching and improvising with their families. For teenagers I’d focus on helping them to compose their own pieces and make attending the concerts as a part of the learning process. Also, there is a lot of modern classical music used in popular movies and it might be very attractive to the young generation to see how this music is performed live. E.g. many of my students were introduced to Debussy’s Clair De Lune through Twilight Saga and that made them want to play it. Or, coming from a different direction, my own children were all tears when we took them to an open rehearsal of an orchestra, playing John Williams’s famous soundtracks. Not strictly classical but inspired by Richard Strauss and Antonin Dvorak.

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

Most of my pieces start as improvisations on simple motifs. Quite often these motifs are given to me by my husband, who is not a musician himself. However, this might be exactly what helps him to think “out-of-the-box” without bothering if his motifs are musical at all. So, he hits some keys and then challenges me with his usual request: “What can you make of it?” and I take it from there, instantly turning it into a full composition. Many of my albums happened that way, especially the one called “Accidental Etudes”, which name reflects the essence of this creative process: “Etudes” because the main motifs are pretty simple to be like a practicing exercise, “Accidental” because they happen spontaneously. Oh, and another reason for “Accidental” is because we both have the tendency to love black keys. So, it’s kind of playing with double meaning of words.

Speaking of the favorite piece, it’s hard to choose one. But one of my personal favorites is definitely “Moonlight Stroll” – a bluesy ambient piece in the rhythm of slow relaxing stroll with a nocturnal vibe to it – thus, the name. Btw, a couple of years ago we put this piece on SoundCloud and invited everyone to create different remixes and remakes and we were quite surprised to receive over 70 different versions ranging from hard rock and electronica to orchestral pieces and R&B songs with lyrics. The latter inspired me to write my own song (called “Pale moonlight”) based on the same instrumental piece.

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?

To me it sounds just natural to go in those directions and I really appreciate it when someone follows this path. You asked about “creativity” before, so, to me these kind of combinations are an essential part of the mentioned “creativity”. I see it as some kind of a “synesthesia” in Art: how a painting sounds? What color is this musical passage? And so on. First time I encountered it back in 90s, when I was studying Visual Arts, specifically, Wassily Kandinsky.

My recent album, “Yet another love story”, actually, belongs to the list of such combinations of different disciplines. It started as a mere attempt to create improvisational pieces for different emotions like “surprise”, “sadness”, “joy”, “anger”, even “disgust”. But after that my husband and I got the idea to turn it into a poetic story about our love and life together. We wrote lyrics for each and every track of the album and posted this story on YouTube, week by week, chapter by chapter, accompanied by musical emotions. Also, my husband and my daughter love to create cinematic videos and animations based on my musical compositions.

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

I’d recommend to start from… YouTube! It’s a terrific source for discovering everything, Classical music is not an exception. There are numerous channels that are extremely friendly and less formal, explaining styles, giving names of famous and less famous composers, teaching basic theory and helping with daily routine for any level of musicianship. E.g. “pianoTV”, “Classical Nerd”, Rick Beato. And, most certainly, do attend live concerts – once you get into the energy of it, it won’t be a “dry discipline” to you anymore.

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 don’t think it is specific to the classical music and I don’t think it is specific to the present time. I mean, it’s always been like that with any kind of art to one extent or another. E.g. in the medieval times minstrels were paid for their performances, artists were paid for their paintings, so, how is it different nowadays? However, there are couple of reasons why it is, actually, different. In the digital era it is relatively easy to produce new music: all you need is a regular computer and an affordable keyboard. It is also relatively easy to distribute it via Internet. So, I guess, due to these reasons, nowadays there is more supply than demand.

For selling your “product” these days you need to find your specific audience, the one that is going to love not just the music itself but also your story, your personality. Somehow, it correlates with your previous question about the combination of different disciplines.

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

I’d really love to see more people to learn about my music and I’d love to find those whom I can work together with on bigger projects. For example, to compose music for films full-time is one of my dreams. Right now, alas, it’s about sporadic opportunities only. Oh, and I am definitely excited to see people performing my compositions. So far I got this experience with one of my original songs – it was performed by a choir in a church. To say that it was an overwhelming experience to me is to underestimate it.

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

Right now my husband and I are all into one big project: filming a theatrical video for the song I wrote last year. It’s been quite a project, starting from writing the orchestral arrangement for the song, taking vocal lessons to learn about operatic singing, writing a script for the video, finding a location for the video shoot, designing the decorations, working with theatrical makeup artists, finding the right costumes and so on. These days we are working with a choreographer and a group of dancers who will be there in the video. So… talk about the combination of different disciplines ;-) Whoever wants to read more about this project, here is the page about the whole story:

http://milana.ws/TheSnowQueenWaltz

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Serenade of the Mermaid by Mayumi Kato


So….She becomes a bubble…~
The heart was made to be broken. Pleasure of LOVE lasts but a moment. Pain of LOVE lasts a lifetime.

Pianist: Paul Barton
Composer: Mayumi Kato
Message from Paul Barton…Background: I like the name of my friend Undine (Vinh) and asked her if it had a meaning. She told me “Undine” means “the serenade of the mermaid” which is very poetic I think”. READ MORE BELOW⬇

I thought it was indeed a poetic sounding name and perhaps could be the title of a new piano composition so asked my friend Mayumi Kato what she thought. It appealed to her imagination and she composed this beautiful slow serenade – today – and kindly sent the sheet music this evening, which she wants to share with you too.
bar 1-16 & 33-48 mermaid swimming in the sea
bar 17 she falls in love with the Prince
bar 25 bubbles in the sea
bar 49 she becomes a bubble

Mayumi Kato tells us how to attract young generations into the concerts with combinations of classical music with paintings, images, fashion and why music will never die...

mayumi image interview

What does music mean to you personally?

Personally, music means “ myself”. It is the sound that I hear within my heart and head coming out to let others listen to the music I made.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

I can’t say Yes or No. I think each musician make their own kind of music.

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

I would have been a Pianist or Fright Attendant.

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?

No, I don’t worry about the future classical music audience, because music never dies. I think this generation has more ways to listen the classical music than the early generation. For example, I can listen through the internet.

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?

Classical music is like lots of colorful blowing bubbles floating around me . And it makes me hear music that I want to play.

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 is neither yes nor no. In my song, mostly I use the Etude as my basis. I challenge myself to combine a taste of a romantic and gorgeous sound and some other various kind of music, too.

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

To attract young generations I think of classical music combining with paintings, images, fashion, various industries.

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

It is Serenade of the Mermaid. It started when my pianist partner Paul Barton asked me to compose a song for his friend’s name “Undine”which means Serenade of the Mermaid.

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? 

Exactly! That’s it! This month , I have a pianist friend who had a piano concert collaborated with paintings.
Coincidentally that I have the same awareness of Moving Classic TV .

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

Please try to listen to Chopin, Debussy, and Rachmaninoff’s classical music. I’m sure this music will make your heart pound.

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?

Human beings are doing what is penetrating to the consumption business. Music does not aspire to do so. However, I was very pleased and appreciated it so much that I was able to sell a CD which means that people know my music!

Do you have expectations what regards your listeners, your audience? I would be glad for my listener when they like my music and when I would become their favorite composer. I would like them to play my music and I can let them download it free.

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

My new CD titled “Mayumi Kato Piano Works volume 3”. It is collaborated with pianist Paul Barton. It is coming out on sale soon. Please listen to it .

 

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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

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