Tiziano talks about why making music is a social activity that allows to be in touch with people and grow as a human.

tiziano bedetti

What does music mean to you personally?

The music is an universal language that allows you to communicate with others people, breaking down any social, cultural, dialectical and geographical obstacle. It is probably the only authentically democratic thing we have within everyone’s reach. Personally, the music takes up a long time of my day between composing, teaching, studying, researching, listening and reading; it is always a form of inner improvement and enrichment, reflection, sharing and exchange with people.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Yes, partly I am agree, music is definitely fantasy and imagination; the pedagogy should incites the capability of musical fantasy in the students and help to emerge their creativity, teaching them to image the music with the own internal ear. But we can not reduce the music only to a fantasy’s issue: in the case of a musician who performs a piece, he would not be able to properly read a score without practice and know well the technique; either, for a composer who writes a new work. In fact, in the composition writing, beyond fantasy, there is always a good component of rationality, where craftsmanship is indispensable for verifying and correcting the first unrefined material. Craft differentiates the professional from the naïf and the musical amateur. The self-criticism sense allows the author to make of an extemporary idea dictated by his inspiration and improvisation, a solid work by an accomplished sense, able of an independently “life”. In the writing of a piece, the stage of control and verification depends on the expertise acquired by an author, for this, it is important for a beginner composer, learn deeply the composition subjects, just so in the future, he can have more expertise to verify and correct his scores. As the painter J. Braque said:<< I love the rule that corrects the emotion and emotion that corrects the rule>>.

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

When I was a child, I had a certain predisposition to the drawing and I wanted to become a painter. So that, at eight years, I even wrote to Salvador Dalì, sending him my first “surrealist style drawings” and asking if he could give me some suggestions! … I also tried to meet him in Spain but by then, he was too old and sick to be able to receive visits …it was a great pity! Meanwhile, I began to pass on the music that, later, became my first interest. Coming from an artistic environment, I probably would have remained in that creative field, perhaps embracing seriously painting, graphics or design … I wonder!…

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

It is not only the public that ages but it is the “music system” that risks to be self-referential, too closed in itself, in its rituals and habits. The Conservatory and Academy courses develop an excessive “contest mentality” in a student by bringing him to work on technical perfection, at the expense of creativity and a deep knowledge of music that forms him as a true “master of himself”; I often see students repeating repertoire pieces like “parrots”, showing great technique but then… they don’t understand the composer’s thought, they have any idea of the harmony, form, counterpoint, they are not authentic musicians but they are “imitators”, copies of someone else, living in a world full of superficiality, lack of culture, and a frivolous cult of image ….This mentality can lead to great flattening and cause many frustrations if those musicians that does not reach the goal of winning at all costs the major musical competitions. This may influence to much a student whom should be taught to reason with his own head, trying to develop a different ways of making music, especially in relation to the others, because making music is a social activity that allows to be in touch with people and grow humanly. A society that is only tared on the competitiveness (so if you are not the first, you are an excluded) loses the true meaning of making music but also the “sense of life”; the world of music is full of musicians who do not feel to be up because they did not win that important competition, because they were not engaged by that prestigious agency, because they have not recorded a cd for that famous label, because they have not become quite famous and consequently, they may discharge their frustrations into the others: a society based only on competitiveness, appearance, cult of image and empty contents, is a society that does not go to nowhere, destined to create everyday anthropological disaster!

The second problem is of an ethical nature, the world of music and entertainment, in general, is very often in the hands of a small “establishment” that imposes choices and interpreters (sometimes very disputable choices) and which is not capable of renewal. They impose, from the top, an artist as an unquestionable truth, but at the same time as export goods, creating a fetishism and idolatry. But very often this choice is not arrived from the people in a democratic way, but from an oligarchy (not democratic neither aristocratic). We have often the case that an artist, enaught rich or well recommended, is a good investment because put in pawn his money, in this way became in few time a star!
Very often, we have to deal with accountants, managers who think more about how to make their business and earn always more with already well-know artists, rather to notice the world around them: the name is the guaranty of their earnings, an unknow young talent (withouth money), no! It is not good, young talent people have the right to have spaces to perform, many good musicians have lost their enthusiasm and interest in music, often changing job because they have no space to work! There is a whole system that would be renewed beginning from TV and radio programs that should do a big educational promotion and diffusion of classical music; instead, it has always less and less space, many orchestras and theaters are closing, young artists are not paid or they have only engaged into a theatrical seasons when they are too old. Same thing happens into the field of publishing, a profession that, for the myopy of certain people, is disappearing: many editors, often conditioned by politics and wrong choices, are closing their activities because they were not able to follow the changing of this time and the society….a piece of historical firms is going to the devil, some people, instead to hold salon, should do an examination of their’s conscience, confess, and act a “mea culpa”! At the end, criticism …. we are not talking about the later category where for many many years we have had those who dictated law, constructing and destroying the careers: there are authors, unjustly left in the shadow that still cry to “vengeance”, because snubbed by criticism and publishers. But now, people, thanks to internet, begin to understand, select, research, and find out how things really are, they realizes the lies that have been passed on as truth, the falsification of reality and deceptions done.
Why is there no more space for everyone? If there is more democratic space for everyone, since music is the most democratic thing we have, there would also be more public that would interest in classics and concerts and more potential music users. But what the national televisions do? Instead of making culture and spreading, they lower the level and quality of programs, put the concerts at improper night shift, so classical music becomes a more and more restricted circle, as if it were a something “forbidden”! Television is became a surrealistic anachronistical waxworks! Hey, friends, let’s go to occupy more space, this we are entitled to!
This way to schedule the tv shows, according to the logic of the audience, must be completely eradicated. But do you think the people who make up the audience are really stupid? Today, people are educated, well informed and not like to be tease. In addition, the conductors, musicians, critics and industry operators should have an another way of making and overcoming those “dated” rituals. In my opinion, knowing how present a program directly to the people, acquaint more the public (as Leonard Bernstein knew how to do), inviting the young audience to follow the classical concerts and showing them how to construct a representation, involve them in workshops and educational activities where they themselves are protagonists, is crucial. It is also decisive to search for a new and intelligent repertoire, different programs, not the usual music, this would also benefit the rediscovery of unjustly forgotten authors. New forms of comunication are decisive, in addition to the traditional concert, to raise interest and cultivate a new audience and educate persons to the taste of the beautiful. I’m confident because there are so many young people who are interested in music and surely over time, they will know how to change this widespread mentality and rewrite the history of music over the last hundred years, putting all the missing mosaic tesseras in place.

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 every era of history, has taken many nuances in different contexts. Now seems we are come back to a “pre-Gutenberg era” where composers manuscripts are spreading withouth editors and in a “pre-radio and television era”, where live performances come back to be the most important thing. In the past, music was almost exclusively tied to the commission of the church and the aristocracy; printed books were a prerogative of few and who had the possibility to buy them. The advent of opera theaters and public concerts opens the music to a wider and heterogeneous audience. As time passed, with the development of publishing, buying a book become easier and within everyone’s reach. In the 20 century, with technologies for the reproduction of records and compact disks, classical music become part of an industrial process. Today, music has exceed any barrier and filter through media, radio, internet TV, I pods and mobile phones. Certainly, the classical music has an important role today and can create new communities of sharing and aggregating through internet, bringing people closer to its world: this is, definitely, a great opportunity to educate listeners, give incentive, create interest, I think it all this is very positive. In addition, music can help people to develop greater sensitivity, grow on the human plane and improve themselves; it is well-known by scientific studies that, at young age, music help to create a mental space and cognitive processes. In some of the poorest countries, music can still be an authentic form of social redemption, if we think of the Abreu system in South American countries and some recent projects of youth orchestras in the most difficult areas of the Middle East. But even in Europe, in the periphery of the cities, music can help to redeem young and remove them from the street, the drug, the underworld and violence, from the negative influences of the “bad masters”.

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 classical music today needs to shake off all those conditioning, rituals, all those ideologies, “encrustations” that have characterized and labeled it in the last fifty years. As I said before, a certain way of thinking from the agencies to the theaters, festivals, competitions, editors, record-companies and criticism did not benefit the music, for too long closed in itself and made an “asphyxiating”, “under cellophane world”, labeled “as a supermarket dish“ (for example, the division into classical, ancient, jazz, pop, rock kinds for the sake of trade .…) Music does not have labels and divisions, there is good music and there is bad music. Anyway, a lot of ˝well packed trash˝ goes today into the publications, records cd, tv, radio broadcasts… Since we have heard too much of unpalatable and insipid dishes, now we want to return to the “Gasthaus” (tavern) and enjoy real food! We have said that an interpreter should go out of Academy and seek new ways of making music, being more communicative. Also in the composition, a musician should learn to think with “his own head” and not be conditioned by what is required to demonstrate in that contest or to wink that publisher or critic and what they expect of him; my old teacher Bruno Bettinelli said that a composer must have: <>.
Unfortunately, I find that there is so much “art” and so much “less authentic music” and so many authors seeking compromises, putting togheter collage without personality or hiding their shortcomings behind complex, farraginous systems that only them understand. This because? Because many arrogants, taking command posts of public life, wanted to make “tabula rasa” of the culture of the past, which became an unnecessary burden to be eliminated; so, for somebody, also the teaching of composition became useless, thus precluding to the unaware students the possibility of self-criticism, understanding of history, becoming “masters of themself”, in accord with who wish create a society of “rag dolls”, easy to control. Without the past, there is no future; without thinking people, where is no planning; in the last fifty years, we have seen experimentation in such absurd contemporary music, an masochist ars subtillor with scores full of pictograms and drawings, untill the extinction of sound in silence or the liquidation of the individual creativity pro machines and artificial brain. Even today, we can find strange characters who speak incomprehensible languages, have their own circle of “adepts”, able to package fiascos and eat state subsidies, that could be terrifying surrealism, instead is a reality! Compliments!
Until recently, a composer to make himself known had to go through certain filters, such as the music contest and the publisher. If you did not write with a style that is geared to a kind of technicality that was compliant with the jurors of competitions or editorial boards, you risked not having any space. This is not democracy, it a kind of totalitarism! In the history of music, the most courageous authors went against the rocks, did not care to please the system-critical critique (even at the cost of isolation), just to think to Eric Satie and his pungent words about those music critics who they denigrated his scores! …. Fortunately, today there is internet, music spreads without censorship, try to gag the composers again if you can!

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

Surely the composer should be a creative and not one who plays only with systems, numbers, tables …. Olivier Messiaen said:<< I also did the combinatorial, I also did musical research, but I always try that this does not to be bad for the sound quality [...] is not enough for a work to be interesting, it has to be interesting, it should be nice to hear and it must be touching. These are three different qualities … >>.
Music certainly has many affinities with math but it is a creative language. Stravinsky said:<< A “experiment” means something in the scientific field; does not mean anything in the musical composition. No good composition can simply be “experimental”; or it is music or it is not >>. For me, creativity is a good substance of the piece I write, the other part is the result of a work of reflection and filing, craftsmanship, what is part of experience.

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

Classical music, not reinvigorated by the suggestions of our time from the inside, has ended its social function and becomes a “sound museum”. Demolishing the fences help us to understand the evolution of music throught the popular idioms, Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Dvořák spoke current common language combining cultured competence with popular. As I said, I do not know what is the sense to perform the same repertoire: the great conductors or interpreters of the past have always performed a lot of new music. The interpreter had the curiosity to play the music of his time and to be the first user and supporter of the new music. But let’s go back to the first problem, who is really prepared today to deal with the reading of a new score? Who knows how to understand and analyze the new scores with dexterity, to deal with any repertoire with ease? Instead, coming back to the concept of “caste” division (the classification of genres and skills to distinguish between classical, ancient, contemporary, light music) it more easy, for somebody, see the things with the blinkers and restrict the field. But, music is not classifiable with a tag as into the supermarket.
A great challenge for the composer, too, will revitalize his art through a careful analysis of society. For whom am I writing? Which messages do I want to send? Am I playing my time?

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

The String Quartet No. 1 “Dance” was my “first work” of a certain importance in which, even after nearly twenty years, I recognize me; commissioned by the american patron Lawrence Dow Lovett, may be the first authentic manifestation of my aesthetics. In this piece, I began to investigate the influences between popular music and classical language, shalling treasure of the lesson of the great composers who wrote for quartet from Haydn to Beethoven, from Mendelssohn to Bartók, from Dvořák and Janáček to Erwin Schulhoff. Precisely to this last author, I feel close to his thinking, continuing to pursue some of his intuitions bringing up-to-date. Schulhoff had well understood, since the beginning of the twentieth century, what could be the antidote at the wear and tear of musical language, renewing his music not with abstract research and combinatorial systems but through an evolution of the mitteleuropean tradition, achieved through the incorporation of elements from the emerging popular folklore (jazz, blues) and dances of his time (fox trot, charleston, tango). Schulhoff tried to update the music by searching for a new “common language”, not with an esperanto artificially built by a certain type of the avant-garde (which had to replace the previous language and shine in the coming centuries) but using the idioms and neologisms spoken by everyone: his was a democratic vision of music (also the philosopher Theodor Adorno former spoke about a “wear and tear” of contemporary music language, well fifty years ago!…) Schulhoff had the right concept of music, directly handed by Dvořák, who soon discovered a great epochal social change and the dawn of the rising popular music “From the New World”.
On the other hand, Carl Orff himself asserted that “music is renewed through the dance”.
In addition, the swiss composer and teacher Jaques Dalcroze, who hoped for a renewal of musical rhythm and dance, were equally interesting for me, recognizing how much they were indissolubly linked to one another. Even today, few people understand the fundamental concepts of music and these subtle mixes between cultured and popular that have always characterized it. For an author, attempting to “take the plunge” requires an absolute mastery of the profession, a good deal of courage and creativity; what that many composers no longer have, trying to write in an “actual” style of “avant-garde manierism” that can still please some commissioners in the competition juries and obtain approval by the establishment, but is certainly, not the future of the music.
Also in my Trio for Clarinets, written for the professors of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, there is a search in the sense I said before, where the rhythms of popular music (in this case of South American folk), dialogue with the spirit of “classicism”, represented by the initial theme, thus combining the sonata form with a current “talk”. In this piece, there is also a special attention to the counterpoint which sees in the second part the develop of some canons and in the last movement a double fugue (indeed, the Adornian criticism to the industry folk music, characterized by an euro centric vision of history of music appears now old fashioned and surpassed by new position of the researchers Richard Middleton, Franco Fabbri and Max Paddison). I also would like to quote my Venetian DNA, where Venetian identity emerges unexpectedly with a new force. This track has always been very successful with the public and the interpreters and has been performed in different versions in many countries of the world, including Russia, Ukraine, Poland, France, USA, Japan, Mongolia, South America, Italy etc. Finally, I would like to mention the Fantasia Caucasica, written for pianist Ketevan Sepashvili and commissioned by Tino Zahedi, deep connoisseur of Caucasian traditions and ethnic music; there, I investigated popular worlds not well known as the folklore of the Ubykhs, of the Adyge, Circassians around the Georgia drawing closer to some research on the traditions of the Caucasus once made by Kachaturian, Prokofiev and Mosolov

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?

Surely, the combination with different disciplines helps to better understand music in relation to other arts, the context and environment for which some compositions have been written. In fact, I could not think to Debussy without Monet, Hokusai and the Japanese prints, to Scriabin without Kandinskij, to Schoenberg without the artistic current “Der Blaue Reiter”, to Stravinsky without Picasso, to Anton Webern without Mondrian, to Morton Feldman without Rotko to Ligeti without Brancusi and Maurits Cornelis Escher, to Steve Reich without the optical paintings. Art feeds itself of an other art, it is a testimony of its own time and is intertwined with a thousand suggestions, from painting, to poetry, to dance, to philosophy, to nature, etc. A musician has to be fed on readings, frequentations in the field of poetry, literature, philosophy and figurative arts. I find that Moving Classic TV is really a beautiful innovative project that gives space to the creativity, open to all musicians without barring, aimed by a democratic sharing of experiences and music.

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

If I would suggest to a young people who want discover classical music as starting to get an idea, I would recommend to watch Leonard Bernstein’s music lessons for American television broadcasts and reading his book, “The Joy of Music.” I would also like to offer listening guides and understandable analyzes even for non-professionals, sometimes even starting a collection of discs or cds through an encyclopaedia on booklets also purchased on a newspaper kiosk (in Italy we have often magazines sold with compact discs enclosed), can be a simple starting point. I would like suggest to create some selected listening from the music repertoire and then, based on the favourite historical periods or authors to deepen through more demanding readings, monographs of composers. If you discover to have predisposition and attitude, you can start practicing one or more instruments, it is never too late to do so: music has no barriers or borders.

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?

Classical music, in the various ages, still has an “appearance of consumption” as it is enjoyed by a certain audience; with the advent of the press, it was possible to buy the composer’s scores, with the emergence of the opera theater, the opera became the first “entertainment” industry well before of the cinema. In the last century, it became part of a wider consumption, we think that the records of the tenor Enrico Caruso have become the first “hit parades” of the classic, with millions of discs sold. Subsequently, most of the known repertoire of the classical music will be recorded. Today’s technology has also led to a decrease in sales and profits as consequence of downloading music for free, copying sheet music, duplicating discs or downloading them directly from the internet that it has become very easy.
This relationship of sale and consumption has always been in the classical style, the great composers can create masterworks also for a popular audience (Mozart’s Magic flute, for example). Selling compositions today, in the sense of recording a cd or publish a paper book, has been surpassed. I started to make a name for myself with the classical printed publications
going to knock the door to the publishers. Then I recorded CDs, finally I put my music on the internet and had an unexpected worldwide disclosure.
I think today it is very important for a composer to make a name for himself with the spread of his music in concerts, media, radio, digital platforms and portals, beyond the search for immediate profit.

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

My kind of audience is heterogeneous, you can find the classic music enthusiast of all ages but not only, who has the curiosity to listen to the new music, to get interested in an event. I’m glad that my music has been appreciated and performed in the most disparate places and listened by many people. Expectations are to continue writing to the audience and the interpreters, to create a new repertoire because it is amusing working for good and gives me satisfaction.

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

I’m working on a new ballet with Olga Aru, choreographer and first dancer of the Moscow Ballet. A preview has been staged this year in the state of New York, and see an Italian premiere, in 2018. I continue to write various kinds of music for different chamber organics, transcriptions and elaborations of my previous compositions. I have in mind also a new cycle of songs for voice and instruments on various poetic and literary texts of past authors but also contemporaries like Mario Fratti, Italian-american writer and broadway author. Yes, I do, I always experiments every new piece I compose….but using “common sense” and good taste. The Italian composer Goffredo Petrassi also said: << The piece is not necessary good if it uses complicated procedures, counts the result >>.My old teacher Bruno Bettinelli said that a composer must have: <<The rigorous sense of a dignity that allows him to reject completely compromises of all kinds, even at the cost of being isolated and out of the influences of certain “circles”, or “clans” of dubious extraction>>.

 

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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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Meditation by Zbigniew Preisner


NEW – BEAUTIFUL – INSPIRING

Zbigniew Preisner (b. 1955) is Poland’s leading film music composer and is considered to be one of the most outstanding film composers of his generation. For many years Preisner enjoyed a close collaboration with the director Krzysztof Kieslowski and his scriptwriter Krzysztof Piesiewicz. His scores for Kieslowskis films Dekalog,The Double Life Of Veronique, Three Colours Blue, Three Colours White and Three Colours Red have brought him international acclaim.

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