Michael Stitt explains his concept of landscape architecture and music and how it is possible to create places of Stillness, Meditation, and Tranquility.

Michael Stitt

What does music mean to you personally?

Spiritual happiness, Self-expression; Essence of Life ; My Identity – my existence! A reason to breath air and to share with Nature and Humanity.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Yes – the faculty or activity of imagining impossible or improbable things.
Yes – a fanciful mental image, typically one on which a person often dwells and which reflects their conscious or unconscious wishes.
No! – an idea with no basis in reality.
Music is very real, ipso facto, a basis of reality. It frustrates me that some people see absolutely no purpose, and no necessity to give music anytime at all. In my view, a person who absolutely has no empathy with music, is a very flawed individual. They lack a soul and very rarely do I share my time with zombies.

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

I am not a professional music in the strict definition of making a living composing and earning a living writing music. My mainstream is Landscape Architecture. I ‘marry’ the natural word with the human expression of design – a nexus between music and landscape design. In my own eyes I see my other career – role as music writing.

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

As I do not rely on music as a paid career, I am fortunate not to have to worry about this.

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 believe there will always been a need for classical music, at least I really do hope so. There seems to be a decline world wide. As a young boy I used to save my pocket money to buy a classical record, and now – other than buying CD’s or music tracks online, the enormous range of music access seems to be less so. I do fear that Western Art music is declining in popularity, though in Japan it seems to be still popular and special.

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 would sincerely hope two things: Musicians and audience in large would accept greater freedom in experimentation of popular historical composer’s works. Right now it seems that it is sacriligious to improvise Bach, Beethoven and Mozart. Why not? The cadenza of a concerto as always been accepted, but not the concerto itself. I personally have tired of listening to the same concerto, sonata repetoire over and over by dead composers. Why can’t performers experiment more? Centuries ago that was accepted. I have great respect for Flamenco and Jazz performers, who see music in a dynamic “living“ form! Can you imagine a Flamenco artist reading note for note a traditional dance form by another Flamenco artist. Never!

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

Absolutely. Taking my former comments before further, we need to reflect a world of uncertainty. The world of science changed dramatically in the early to mid twentifth certury. Poincaré, Heisenberg, Gödel, Turing and others changed all that. The Art works of M. C. Escher and music by Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Villa Lobos, and many others, attempted to explore that uncertainty as new aesthetics. We musicians should strive to create new Aesthetics – new musical expressions.
Every morning I wake up excited about music and composition. We need to take the listener more and more to contemporary compositions and not simply the rehashing of “old classics‘ of dead white male composers.

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

We must try and create a mix in our concert programs between contemporary and historical Wesern Art music. We should not be afraid to add a musical composition of our own, or at least a composer of our own times. I refuse to give concerts on the classical guitar by only the mainstream composers. For example, I recently included a set of Varations I wrote on Packington Pound, and was delighted how the audience enjoyed this work. One person after the concert commented that they had never heard this work before and asked after the name of the composer. When I told them I wrote it, they were genuinely shocked and surprised. Why is it that we don’t have courage to do this more often. In future that is my goal – to promote and share my humble create compositions.
At some point I will record it.

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

Oh my God! What a question.  There are so many works. Okay here goes. On-the-whole, I write my music extremely fast. I have a music idea well formulated in my head. I then simply write notes on a computer, which is a perfect medium because as a Design Manager, I just don`t have lots free time. My knowledge of strict rules relating to harmony and music structure is intuitive, rather than academic. I write music more like a painter goes about dabbing paint on a canvass. Indeed, I have an idea and structure in mind, and then I go about trying to create it. To a large extend it comes about but along the journey, new discoveries occur along the way.
I have two favourite works.
My first truly satisfying work is the concerto for harp and chamber orchestra. It was my first attempt to write a concerto: a work for a solo instrument with a story to be told woven with an orchestra. The original idea was to write a concerto in the style of Villa Lobo’s guitar concerto. I even set up the instrument combination based on this beautiful work. The empty electronic canvas looked bear and I just started to consider the structure in my head. I quickly decided I preferred the harp rather than the guitar. In real life this might be different, but subconsciously I think I associated the Western harp as having a delicate sound more like a koto, perhaps even the banjo-like sound of the Japanese 3-stringed Shamisen.
The concerto took shape very quickly and I simply started to write it in a joyous happy style with more and more the thought that it would become a concerto for flute and harp. Only when I started writing the cadenza for the first movement, did I persuade myself that the work would put the harp above the flute. At some point I may revisit this and incorporate the flute as a type of duelling element between it and the harp as a final cadenza.
The second and third movements were written over two days. I wanted a sombre tone in the second movement. The listener still a letter to hear the original theme but with some thought towards Pathos.
Shortly after writing the concerto and sharing it amongst friends on the Internet, a work colleague, who I’d also a musician commented that the work is rather Japanese influenced. I found this comment curious and at the same time delighted that there is within me a Japanese voice, for I believe that elements of the Japanese thinking and culture is so strongly part of me.
I really learnt the art of composing in Japan. Then I disliked my Japanese Sensei for her strictness in teaching me to play the Shamisen. For two solid months living with her in Tokyo I endured strict practise discipline and long nights of her students learning to play through the thin walls. I left Tokyo telling myself I would never play the Shamisen again. Little did I know that all those hours, days, & months, of Japanese traditional music, sunk into my subconscience. A few months after returning to Australia, I would wake up desperate to write music down. I have a lot to thank Toshiko-Sensei. She significantly added a rich layer of musical creativity within me. I have many wonder musical ideas in my mind, just not enough time to put them on e-paper.
My favourite work is my Japan Symphonic Poem. I wrote it in one go combining traditional instruments including Shakuhachi, koto, and Shamisen, with Western orchestral instrument, and the result was a myriad of Japanese musician friends all seem to enjoy it. The second movement: Peace Song, seems to be enjoyed by all. So many ask for the works inspiration and meaning. For example a Japanese composer, Yasuyuki Katayame wrote and asked me: I listened and found this very interesting. I thought I could feel how Japan was thought of. Can there be some uneasiness within this kind of peace? Shall I take this “From war” or “Into war”?

It simply reflects a complex set of emotions for the love of Japanese people, who showed me such extraordinarily kindness. A people who taught be Kindness, Humility, Humility and love of my fellow human beings. I have never been the same person since. Each day I‘m filled with inner happiness, love, and peace. My Japan Symphonic Poem seems to reflect all emotions. I cry when I listen to it, so many emotions.
Japan Symphonic Poem

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 love the idea. I tried to encourage a similar approach with Landscape Architecture. You may like to read an article I wrote recently on this theme.
Music as a Tool in Landscape Architecture: Creating places of Stillness, Meditation, and Tranquility.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/music-tool-landscape-architecture-creating-places-michael

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

Start with popular easy listening works like Vivadi and Mozart etc. At the sametime learn a musical instrument. When I was a child I begged my parents for a piano, but they wouldn’t have one in the house. So important to give two things: books and music. Love comes in the form of giving books and music!

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?

Sadly, there is some truth in this. I am fortunate to share my compositions for the free enjoyment of others. If someone cres or likes my music works, I am happy to oblige.

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

No. You can’t force people to like your compositions, but you can introdue them to your efforts and hope they see some merit, albeit, enjoyment, listening to them. I’m pleased I have a small number of followers. I am easily content.

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

1. I currently like writing Japanese style meditation music for people seeking inner peace:
TEARS OF RICE 米の涙

The Anguish Languishing Mind Calls for Peace

2. Further development of a suite called SYLVIUS IN KYOTO asking the question:
What if the greatest German Lutenist composer, Sylvius Leopold Weiss (12 October 1687 – 16 October 1750) had visited the great Royal Court of Kyoto, Japan? What a wonderful fusion of Western and Eastern fusion/ composition would have resulted? Sylvius was a German composer, who was an exact contemporary of Johann Sebastian Bach, and George F. Handel. He was also the highest paid musician in the Dresden Royal Court, and was legendary in his day for the quality of sound he produced from his instrument.
Sylvius was born in Grottkau near Breslau, the son of Johann Jacob Weiss, (also a lutenist) Like G.F.Handel, he spend time as a composer in Italy. He served at courts in Breslau, Rome, and finally in Dresden, where he wrote an enormous body of music, the vast majority of which is for the Baroque lute only, some chamber music, and that is where the problem exists.
His music is exquisite and harmonically inventive, but the instrument he wrote for has been redundant for at least two centuries. Only in the early 21st century was it revived, and only over the last two to three decades, many of his works have been recorded. Here is but a small taste of this huge endeavour:

3. I also like writing for the piano and working on a large scale work, a quasi- composition in the style of Liszt’s Sonata in b moll, and Villa Lobo’s Rudepoema.

===
I am a Fifty-five year old very happy male, who fortunately has not had to fight in a war, and now probably have about thirty years of life left – if I am lucky! I intend to do my utmost to live a life of kindness and humility. Give to my only son, Adam. Perhaps write a few more works that give a little pleasure and happiness to any person willing to listen to them. 

Thank you. ありがとうございます

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Our Fantasy Notes composer Gordon Francis Blaney speaks about a new role of classical music in the modern era and hwy it is important to share thoughts and feelings through music with audiences.

What does music mean to you personally?

Music, to me, is an art first, then a craft, and a business last. To conduct, to perform, to theorize, and to teach are all wondrous aspects of music; with such it is about becoming one with the mental state of the original creator or creators of a work. To write, however, is about creating a clear and concise entrance into the landscape within.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Music without thought is too illogical and irrational; it is without craft. Music without feeling is too logical and rational; it is without art. Without art and craft music is not music, it is, at that junction, the mere propagation of sound.

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

Professionalism in music is less tangible and more intangible. If we believe we are, then we are. Financial independence is a beautiful achievement. It, however, is not the beginning, middle, and or end of professionalism in music. It is a distraction to what professionalism in music is, which is the pursuit of enlightenment in art and craft. I do not recall, based upon the philosophies I believe in, that I was ever “not” a professional musician.

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

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift, which is why it is called the present. The present, the moment, is what I need to focus on for success. I must also recall that I cannot change people, places, things, and ideas; I can, however, influence such. I must have courage to change from within though, and, perhaps, influence all to affect and or effect a positive environment.

If the above is cryptic, then I will state this on record as personal opinion: “It is not the fault of the concertgoer for the declined intrigue in serious concert music. It is the fault of the people and places of serious concert music for permitting outmoded etiquette to persist into a modern age”.

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?

The role of classical music in the modern era should be for musicians to share their thoughts and feelings through music with audiences. Such matters to be shared should be those from the plights of mankind and the individual to the pleasantries of such. The transformation in the role of classical music in the modern era is a return to less policies, procedures, and formalities for one and all involved as well as a loosening of etiquette. It will become more about the art and craft and less about all else.

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?

The search is on! It is excellent to see and hear that musicians are attempting to change the face of classical music in the modern era. The present face is one of a snobbish connoisseur waltzing and darting from one high-end brand of wine and cheese to another in attire that is akin to that of a grieving husband and or wife for their losses. As time goes on, it will be jeans and t-shirts for attire as well as clapping and booing whenever the mood strikes; the face of music will become organic once more, and the concert halls will become engorged with people from all walks of life.

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

Classical music in the modern era needs much, much, much more in the department of the creative. We all should open to old and new ideas. Such ideas as integration of other visual and or performing arts into our works or audience participation. I, on a personal note, am not close-minded: I am open to whatever idea is presented me, as long as it does not degrade a person or an instrument.

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

The best advice for musicians in attracting younger generations to classical music in the modern era is thus: “Ask them what is needed and wanted for there to be interest in attending!”

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

There is nothing magical concerning the creative process, at least in how I go about it. I work long and hard. I write, then I listen, then I edit or delete, and then last I repeat that process a measure at a time until the work satisfies me.

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?

All combinations are as good as those who do them. Not all art is equal. Not all craft is equal. However, opinions are often subjective and biased. Quite complex, difficult, and hard to be objective and unbiased concerning an opinion of such; it, however, is not impossible.

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

Those who are interested in discovering classical music in general should listen to all possible music, even such music that is not liked and or loved. Just as learning an appreciation for a new food and or drink can be complex, difficult, and hard, learning an appreciation for new styles and genres of music can be arduous. Advise on how to listen is thus: “Do not listen with a subjective and biased mind that is ignorant: listen with an open mind and an open heart”.

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?

A misnomer exists in music business that: “The rule of supply and demand reigns supreme”. Be prepared to be a miserable musician is that is the rule that guides, as it will lead to opportunities that will make all love for music dissipate into nothingness.

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

I do have expectations of the listeners that listen to what I write. The expectations is one of being open and honest. If someone does not like it and or love, then I need and want them to think and feel it is alright to state such. The inverse of the previous statement is also true of an expectation I have. Audiences deserve freedom: if I do not deserve a standing ovation from those that attend a work of mine, then I do not need and or want them to do so, for such is insult to me and to them.

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

Each project is new. Each project is different. Experimentation is something I am open to all the time. The latest projects are a set of jazz lead sheets, a piano character piece, and symphonic tone vignette. I am, indeed, quite excited.

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Orion by Kamil Kosecki


New – Inspiring – Beautiful
Fantasy Notes Composer Kamil Kosecki
“Orion” from “Constellations for piano”
Discover more about Kamil Kosecki at http://www.kamilkosecki.com

“Etude Nr. 9″ by Irminsul


“Etude Nr. 9″ by Irminsul
Discover more about Irminsul http://movingclassics.tv/classicpeople/irminsul/

Etude Nr 9 is Homage to Philip Glass

Belgian composer Wilfried Westerlink shares his view of creativity, he is talking why classical composers should think a little more economically and what new projects he is working on.

Wilfried_westerlinck-1476658223

What does music mean to you personally?

It means a lot for me . In the first place it inspires me to look always for the beauty and balance in my own live.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

No. It is not only fantasy, because music is structuring sounds in harmony of the expression you want to give it as a composer. It has also a lot to do about honesty. With those elements you can create a world of fantasy, that is true!

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

I think I would like to be a lawyer. Also there it is all about honesty and looking for truth.

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

Oh yes ! Not becuase the audience becomes older in age, but because music and arts in general ask a certain commitment of the public. Nowadays the public and certainly the younger people are no more agreed to do that effort.

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 there will be a change , yes, but in which direction this evolution will go, I can hardly give an opinion.

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 really do not know , but I think it will be more in the ‘ entertainment’ field …

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

He has to be more creative in making the programs. The programs are now to much made of piece of the 19th century… For example, improvisations can be involved in those new kind of programs.

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

Oh Yes, You can do a lot. To give some introduction to the works you will play. To tell about all the problems you have to prepare a concert. To make programs that are more attract to young people .There is more music then only Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms and Schubert. Put more other interesting music and start with short pieces…

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

The last work that I wrote is always my favorite piece. A lot of pieces I wrote is on demand, or just for musicians I know and that I can I have an musical affinity with.

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 have already written a lot of pieces that has paintings as inspiration. Painters as Andre Goezu ( clarinet and percussion),E.L.T. Mesens (flute and harp), Jan Cobbaert (piano-solo); but also the poetry of Jo Gisekin( Gisekin Rhapsody for 4 hands-piano), Pierot on bas of the poetry of Anbert Giraud; Melopee based on a poem by Paul Van Ostaijen have been an inspiration for me.

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

Open your heart for the real beauty of music.

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?

It is true that the consumption business is more and more using classical music for their purposes. It is not always a good evolution. On the other hand, a classical composer has to think a little more ‘ economically’.

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

As all composers I want to reach the heart of the listener who has a really open mind to discover music of today.

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

I am writing at this moment of work for string-trio. I want to write a 4th sonata for piano solo, and already for years I am working at an orchestral suite around the theme of Pieta

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Gian Paolo Luppi explains why music represents his whole life and why the best for young people is to sing in the choir and listen to music

gianpaololuppi

What does music mean to you personally?

For me, music represents my whole life. The song, the choir, the orchestra, the wind orchestra, the liturgy, the teaching, all my life is filled with music, before a work is a great passion

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Not only, music is also reality.

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

I do not know, maybe a mathematician

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

For me no, for my son and for my very little students, I would not stop. only to music, European society does not give the right space to art

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 see a big change, I grew up with Webern Maderna and Donatoni, Berio, Boulez, Stockausen and all the musicians who went to Darmstadt. I educated and taught my first students this very revolutionary “avant-garde” language, now the new generations have a lot more attention to consonance, they love tonality again, and look closely at all kinds of music, I think the future will take us a return to the past. Art doesn’ t change his role……I hope…..

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 remember that music and art are always evolving and seek new ways and new paths.

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

The artist must always be creative, I think I’m always creative, both in writing and in interpreting. This is of great help in continuous confrontation with the new generations.

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

Involving the world that they attend and work hard in schools not just in music schools.

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

I consider all the pieces I wrote as children … I do not have a favorite piece, but I have some pieces that have changed my life a lot. One of these is MANI and AURE for solo Clarinet. I had finished military service, and it was not easy for me to start writing again. Franco Donatoni helped me so much by suggesting me to start using three simple intervals, combined in all possible ways, using a solo instrument, the clarinet. This work was born as a study for the instrument, but now it’s almost a classic, from there I started writing and never stopped.

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 is normal for me to do this

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

Sing in chorus and listen so much

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?

Consumption is entering consumer music ….. certainly not classical music, at least in Italy. I do not have so many performances, but I’m largely related to interpreters around the world who run and love contemporary language, which does not come into consumption ….. unfortunately ….

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

I do not care….

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

I’m thinking of two very important anniversaries for me the 25th anniversary of J. Cage’s death and 150 of G. Rossini’s death, surely something will happen.

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