Rami Bar-Niv talks about the noblest art form - music - and why music can fill people's hearts with so much beauty.

Ramicolor

What does music mean to you personally?

Music is my life and livelihood. I am a concert pianist, a composer, an author, a teacher, a lecturer, a judge, a publication, a record company, the works…

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Fantasy would surely be a part of it. Music is an art, and the noblest of them all. You can’t do art without imagination. Certainly you need the skill too, but skill without imagination does not lead to art.

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

If I was not a professional musician I would have been nothing. Even though I can do and did many different things in my life, I can’t imagine doing something else as a profession.

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

Not worried, I’m also getting old…

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 is entertainment of the highest artistic values. Perhaps its role is to fill people’s hearts with heavenly beauty.

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 am old fashioned; I do not feel the need for new ways or new face. I am happy with classical music the way it’s been all along and I’d be content to let it take its own natural course by itself.

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 is plenty creative for me, whether as a performing pianist or a composer. When I perform classical music I am always creating and recreating; I never perform something twice the same way. The mere act of composing is already being creative.

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

Throughout my life I’ve been doing things to attract the young generation into classical music. I played all over the world thousands (no exaggeration) of concerts in schools during school hours in the mornings; I played hundreds of concerts for young people in the afternoons; I played tenths of family concert; I played tenths of concerts in universities and music schools. In all these concerts I always had verbal explanations and talked with the audience. Being somewhat humorous helped too.

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 varies. Sometimes I start with a melody in my head, sometimes I start with some improvisation on the piano, sometimes a certain rhythm is the driving force, and some other times a harmonic progression leads the way. E.g., when I composed my song cycle I made sure that I approached each song from a different composing angle; of course, the poems I was setting music to also had a lot of influence on the composition.
There were times that I got stuck in a composition and didn’t know where to go from a certain spot — something that didn’t let me sleep nights, but also got solved while in bed at night. In some of my Rags I actually added the opening part after composing the piece. Sometimes I even changed a piece after it was already published. Altogether, I don’t compose when I have inspiration, but when I decide to compose.
I don’t have a favorite piece; I like all my compositions equally.
Some of my pieces are based on songs; my Toccata is based on my own song that had its own life before I composed the Toccata.

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’ve done plenty of these combinations through my life but I prefer pure music.

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

Nowadays it’s easy enough. The Internet has many sites where one can hear classical music as well as watch videos. That said, going to live performances is a very rewarding experience. Of course, if one plays any instrument, just sight reading through the wealth of material for that instrument is a great experience, let alone playing in ensembles with other players.

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 know. In my own case, I play my compositions in my concerts all over the world, whether piano solo or with other instruments or singers. I publish my compositions as well as record them and make the music and CD’s and DVD’s available to the public. I am very flattered and happy when someone like Anna Sutyagina wants to play and record a piece I composed.

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

I hope they’ll like my playing and my compositions. Hope they’ll buy my recordings and sheet music.

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

I don’t experiment in my projects. My immediate upcoming projects are not within composition, not even within actual piano playing and giving concerts. I am producing my book “The Art of Piano Fingering” in its Russian translation. The book was originally written in English (2012) and by now published also in German, Hebrew, and Chinese.

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Paulo Bottas, born in Brazil and settled in Canada since his early twenties, is a musician with a background in both classical and popular music. His path allowed him to be in contact with varied genres, from baroque to contemporary music. With formal academic musical training and a Master's Degree in musicology, he has been in contact with several musicians and artists, resulting in a multifaceted artistic development. These contacts have given a deeper meaning to his artistic and music profile, which is expressed through original compositions.

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What does music mean to you personally?

It has outlined my personality from my early childhood. It shaped the man I became. I have found in it the relief for the difficulties that life imposes on me and the impetus for the journey that I have lived. The most significant experiences of my life have always been associated with music. At first, passively, but as I progressed in learning music, I began to turn those important events into music. Through music I found my place in the world, both physically and metaphorically. Finally, music is the thing which I’m involved with for the longest time in my life. In other words, music means a lot to me.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

My music is all about fantasy. That I can say! I tend not to make assumptions that might lead to a generalization. Although I am not old, I got involved with music very young, both artistically and academically. Throughout this journey, I have seen and heard several statements regarding the role of music and consequently of composers. None of them lasted for long. I seek to recreate with my music, a space which I can only ascend through the imagination and this connect my music with fantasy.

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

I would love to have worked in a circus

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

This seems to be a general statistic that by itself might have very little to do with art. It has been much discussed in places where classical music has already ist public, especially in Northern Europe or in countries like Canada. It turns out that also in Europe, the average population is aging, just like the classical music audience. At the same time, the population of those countries is living longer and therefore continue to prestige classical music scene for a longer time. This type of assumption tends to understand classical music as a product in the entertainment business and, in this approach, they aim at the demand. Compared to other genres of music, classical music may seem to have little expressiveness in sales numbers. Confusingly, however, in 2016, a month after the release of a box with Mozart’s works, sales reached 1.25 million copies, surpassing pop stars such as Adele and Beyonce. Finally, I will end by saying that systematically my online sales are so despicable that probably nothing would change even if the world’s average population ages more thus I’m not worried at all :D

What do you envision the role of classical music to be in the 21st century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

Just as in the twentieth century classical music was absorbed by the movie industry, so 21st-century classical music will serve the video game industry.

When I say that classical music is searching for new ways or that the classical music is getting a new face, what would come to your mind?

There are things that change, and art is one of them. Classical music, being a social phenomenon, is related to all the changes that occur and will occur through the centuries.

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

Our time is obsessed with something that we decided to call “creativity”. However, if we ask ourselves what creativity is, we will have an answer that could be applied to everything that has been done before us. Creativity in today’s music would somehow be relate to the desire for novelties. My concern is not about creativity but about my desire to make music and communicate it with someone.

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

Whether as entertainment or communication, musicians could use the current technological media to reach the audience. However, one must know what media their audience uses. Personally, I am an enthusiast of modern media and I use all of them to promote my work.

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

I wake up early, and I compose every day, two hours a day, but inevitably, of course, sometimes I compose in different moments of the day.

We, Moving Classics TV, love the combination of classical music with different disciplines: music and painting, music and cinematography, music and digital art, music and poetry. What do you think about these combinations?

I am an enthusiast of it. As a classical composer and songwriter, I already collaborated with many different arts and I keep doing and taking great pleasure in doing so. Some of my music has been composed in this way, as for example, my string quartet dedicated to Frida Kahlo is accompanied by wonderful illustrations by Cara Carmina. My piece Orishas, for string orchestra, was composed on the photographs of Lidia Barreiros and my harpsichord pieces were composed for a comic book. Finally, some of my songs were initially poems I wrote.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?
Stick to what causes you deep emotion. If you are learning how to play an instrument or how to compose, so practice and write with pleasure and engage with people who share your passion.

Now it is a common practice in the media to talk that the classical music is getting into the consumption business, do you agree? We are speaking about the supply and demand rules and how to sell your “product” in your case your compositions. How do you see it?

Well, as I said many things nowadays has been drained into the consumption ideology, music included. But not everything applies to this logic or not everybody shares this value. What I do is not for everybody and I seek to connect my music with those who don’t share this consumption values. Through the internet, I have reached many people that cultivate the same garden I’m cultivating.

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

My only one is: be openly respectful because the history of music is not limited to that written in the books.

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

I’m composing a piece for piano and voices, in which we will have the operatic mis en-scene, mixing photography, cinematography on a theme that is dear to me, the degradation of the environment. I experiment a lot in my compositions to achieve something better than what I did before, even if I do not always succeed.

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Wynn-Anne Rossi gives creative impulses in her interview and shares her vision of music and composing.

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What does music mean to you personally?

My life has always been intimately linked with music. My earliest memories include beautiful moments with my mom, making up stories at the piano. That’s why I’m a composer today. Music composition is a wide open vehicle for my imagination. I have always idolized famous explorers from Lewis and Clark to the fictional captains of Star Trek. I admired their sense of risk and courage as they tackled the unknown. Through composing music, I get to explore my own unknown territory.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Music is about a lot of things, including fantasy. It always bothered me when music was defined as “the language of emotion”. It is also a language of mathematics, intellect, imagination. Fantasy is just one facet of the diamond. Music can also record personal experience, much like a photo album. Playing songs from the past can awaken memories and sensations. Music is a unifying, human experience that helps us define, yet overlook our tribal differences.

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

Perhaps an architect. I have an appreciation for form. I’m curious about what makes a building or a musical composition come together as one structure despite a multitude of wandering “rooms and hallways”. I’m fascinated by symmetry and asymmetry as companions. I also recognize and even enjoy the chaos that is necessary as a final product takes shape.

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

Humans love the arts, so I trust they will be around as long as we are! However, I do think classical music has already moved beyond its golden age. We live in an age of fusion, and it is one of the most exciting times to be alive as a musician. Thanks to world communication, styles are blending in new and wonderful ways. In addition, self-expression for every musician is gathering new power. This challenges the highly-trained musician to be more flexible, but it also elevates the amateur. With this democratization, the best music (and musicians) will still float to the top.

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 is a particular cultural expression as is every other musical style. Those who feel it speaks to their souls will always be devoted fans. It will, however, have increasing competition for attention. Orchestral halls are already learning valuable lessons. In this age of fusion, it’s respectable to bring jazz and other compatible styles into performance halls. Composers like Ravel, Gershwin and Bernstein were trailblazers as they adapted contemporary sounds into their major works.

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 like to dream big. I envision multi-media productions that excite all of the senses. Visuals are extremely helpful for those who are not aurally sensitive. We may figure out ways to incorporate taste, touch and the sense of smell. A whole-brained comprehensive artistic experience! There will also be those who crave LESS stimulation. Composers are already exploring pure sound that leads to improved health and happiness. It will be interesting to see how these “meditations” might manifest in a concert hall!

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

You are asking a composer, so in my humble opinion, creativity is absolutely essential to music of the future. The arts have never been “fixed” and never should be. Transformation is what keeps them healthy and alive in the present. Imagination will always drive the arts.

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

As in many things, it comes down to education. Many kids have never been introduced to a classical concert, so they don’t even know if they might like it. Orchestra outreach programs in the schools can be very valuable. For over ten years, I was the resident composer for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra outreach program called CONNECT. While I was introducing young orchestras and bands to the art of composition, performers from this same orchestra visited area schools introducing students to instruments and the beauty of a live performance. There is no data on this, but my bet is that these particular students will be more likely to take a personal interest in classical music as adults. And they will introduce it to their own children.

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

Creative process is incredibly difficult to define. It requires absolute trust. Each time I write a piece, it feels totally new to me. I take a leap into the blank page, feeling as if I know absolutely nothing. I often describe this as a dark tunnel. It is not a comfortable feeling. But then a “butterfly” flies through the tunnel and I catch it. Once the energy begins to move, it’s great fun watching the music unfold as I trust its direction. As to my favorite piece, I like to say that I haven’t yet written it! I have certain works that have been life-changing for different reasons. Every piece has its own story, not unlike human beings.

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?

This echoes back to my comments on whole-brain experiences. I’m totally on board with this. Each person absorbs art in an individual, unique way. The goal is to reach everyone. The more senses we awaken, the more potential for a powerful, memorable experience. This is also very important to remember when we are teaching music. Recitals can be very engaging and creative!

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

Learn to play an instrument! Hands-on experience always usurps mere observation or listening. I would also communicate that all classical music is not alike. You don’t have to like what other people like. There are so many types of classical music, and the trick is to find what personally resonates. Aim to discover a particular composer that excites you, then take the plunge. This will help you define your particular musical tastes and identity.

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?

This is driven by the society in which we live. Each country will have its own model for success. Some will not succeed. If there are no active patrons and there is no designated government money, music lovers are forced to look to other ways to remain financially afloat. I understand this as a musical entrepreneur. I have a website to drive my business. I have a publisher to drive my sales. This does not conflict with my musical passion. Musicians have to pay their bills, just like everyone else.

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

My expectations are upon myself, not my audience. It’s important to me that my music has a positive impact. Different compositions will reach different audiences, and it’s important that I speak a musical language that is inclusive rather than exclusive. It is the responsibility of the composer to communicate something of value. However, this doesn’t simply mean pleasing people.

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

I have ongoing assignments from Alfred Music, my publisher. Currently, I’m working on completing a series of four piano duet books called “Jazzin’ Americana for Two”. I am always taking on new projects, both in my creative life and in my educational outreach. 2018 holds great promise! I will be working with the talented A.W.Duo on an experimental, new work for cello and piano. I also have several workshops and residencies lined up across the United States, encouraging both teachers and students to take the leap into self-expression.

Wynn-Anne Rossi
www.rossi-music.com

Wynn-Anne Rossi is a nationally acclaimed composer with vibrant outreach throughout the world. Best known for her numerous piano publications, her repertoire also includes works for vocal groups, concert band and orchestra. Wynn-Anne has been teaching composition residencies in schools across the United States since 2003, inspiring thousands of students to write their own music. Her video series, Wednesdays with Wynn-Anne, is now available for curious musicians of all ages and levels. For more information, visit www.rossi-music.com.

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French composer shares his views about the music today. He is convinced that if we put the "beautiful" in the center of musical creation the audience will eventually rush to be in "contact" with the beautiful!

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What does music mean to you personally?
Music is for me a way of communicating with others, of sharing not emotions (even if listening to music provokes emotions) but a way of seeing the world, a way of reorganizing the world, and proposing this new order to others. A work of art is for me a proposition of the world, a new way to see it, or at least to show it. ; See it through a new prism. I fully agree with the classical vision of the eighteenth century: the artist must order chaos. And to show this order, to share it with others is a way to appease the lives of men, and to rise, all together…

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?
I find it typical to think that the artist is whimsical or that art is only fantasy. And that will not surprise you, after what I have just answered in the previous question. If you mean fancy like effects or unnecessary elements because they should be beautiful, then yes, the music is fantasy. But if we mean by fantasy the opposite of rigour, the opposite of symmetry, the opposite of balance, then no, music — for me of course! — Is anything but fantasy: a work of art must be constructed, elaborated, structured in order to be understandable and perceptible to the listener. We are too often accustomed to oppose scientific rigour to artistic madness, but this is a cliché that we should get rid of. Certainly, art is not a science; But our art is a know-how, a technique in the service of an abstract language, the music. In summary, I will say that, as any language the music must have its rigour and its grammar. But once the words are in the right order, we can express everything, even the craziest fantasies.

If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?
I think I would have been a computer scientist or maybe a painter. By the way, I still create websites and write a code!

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future?
Not. I’m not worried. It is up to us (composers, performers) to make a more universal music and to renew the image of the classical music concert. If we show tot he audience that music is for everyone, if we find this universal message, then young people will return to the so-called “classical” music.

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?
Like any living art, music must show that it exists, that it is terribly lively and inventive. Without wanting at all costs to be fashionable or modern, it must be part of a creative process that is very concrete for the public. At the cinema, the audience will see the latest creation. You have to do the same thing in music. Although contemporary music, throughout the twentieth century, has moved audiences away from concert halls, it is necessary to re-create and re-weave a bond by showing the public that it is fun to come and discover the creations of its contemporary composers. .

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?
Few words to add to what I just answered earlier: Classical music could use the tools oft he 21st century like any other art: The Web, social networks, digital tools to disseminate, inform…

Do you think that the classical musician today needs to be more creative? Whats the role of creativity in the musical process for you?
No more creative than the others. It is the art itself that must bring something new to the public. For my part, I am convinced that if we put the “beautiful” in the center of Creation the audience will eventually rush to be in “contact” with the beautiful! The World darkens day by day, so the idea is to create and to recreate, to reinvent.. The more the world will be dark, the more human beings will be in search of beautiful, I make the bet…

Do you think we musicians can do something to attract young generation into the classical music concerts? How will you proceed?
It is not too difficult for me to answer this question because, with my modest means, I try to find concrete answers by organizing a new type of concert in my city, in Toulouse (France). It is the content itself that will bring young people back to classical music. It will take a long time, but I still believe we’ll get there. The “beautiful” gives pleasure. The musicians and the public should find this aspect of creation. The art that makes you think, that was in the twentieth century! In the 21st century we definitely need fun and beauty.

Tell us about your creative process. Do you have your favourite piece (written by you) How did you start working on it?
I always work pretty much the same way. First, I need one or two themes (three more rarely). I need characters to write my story: the themes. Then I oppose them, confront them. Then I mix them. And finally, I try to put them in osmosis, in phases so that they create a real balance within the work, and that something is solved; May the order be well born of chaos. I think I could summarize each of my works in this way. It is too difficult for me to choose a particular work: one does not ask a father to name the most beautiful of his children: they are all perfect and flawed, each with his or her qualities and faults, and I love them even if I know the weakness of some!

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?
With all due respect for this kind of approach, I think combining the arts is impoverishing them a little. On the contrary, I think that music should be enough for itself. It may be a purist’s opinion, but I remain convinced that good music does not need anything else to accompany it.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?
Too many people have suggested that art in general, and classical music in particular, were reserved for a certain audience. It’s just silly. Art must be universal and must address any human being, wherever it is on the planet. It’s our only common language. It’s our only link. So I will say to young audiences a simple thing: Do not think you are too stupid or that it is not for you. Art is for those who want to receive it. Be curious, and devour the world! Go and discover art, don’t be afraid! What are you risking?

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’s the absolute trap. Music is an abstract thing. Music has to stay. It must be shown to the public that it is not a consumer property. It is necessary to re-teach the audience the sacred thing that is music, as was the fire for the men of the caves. The modern world has lost the meaning of the sacred. I am not a believer in the sense that I have no religion, but I think I have a great sense of the sacred; Music is sacred because it raises us, it comes out of our own condition, it shows us that we are more than mere beings of flesh and blood. The artist must therefore show to the audience that the moment he or she shares with the audience is a unique moment, an invaluable moment that the audience can only experience; they cannot buy it or possess it. They just have to experience it, and nothing else.

Do you have expectations what regards your listeners, your audience?
I think they are just waiting for me to pursue the modest path that I have begun to trace.

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?
A new edition of a concert dedicated to the creation of my music in October 2018; The first edition took place in October 2017. This is a lot of work because this concert is made up of 65% by original creations, and 35% by music arranged specially for the musicians present at this concert…

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Jose Luis Turina is Spanish composer, grandson of Joaquín Turina. He talks about why experimentation is very important in every creative work and why composition is an act of balance between the composer and the path that music itself wants to follow...

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What does music mean to you personally?
The best vehicle to transmit emotions.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?
Given its subjectivity, music is probably the art more connected with other disciplines, both artistic and technical or scientific (poetry, dance, cinema and theater, language, architecture …). Why would not it have a strong connection with fantasy?

If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?
Apart from music, I have always been interested in linguistics and psychology, so I probably would have dedicated myself to one of them.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future?
If the question is about my future as a person, getting older is not something that worries me since it is something that every human being must accept naturally. I am more concerned about the fact that, as they grow older and disappear, the audience is not being replaced by a younger one. But perhaps the problem is not that the young public is not interested in what was being done, but in that we believe that, because it was done, the young public has to be interested. I think that no deep reflection has been made on 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?
Without a doubt, and the answer to the previous question partly answers to this one. We are necessarily in a moment of great social changes, and classical music and everything that surrounds it must know how to adapt to them. But it is very difficult to predict what its role will be during the century.

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 first thing I think is that these new ways or that new face are taking very superficial forms, creating a false appearance trying thereby to reach more people. Nor do I believe that the solution is to radically change the repertoire and replace it with film music, which however well composed it may be, cannot be the basis of serious programming.

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 musician, whether composer, director or performer, has to be creative, and that is the basis of the musical process. I do not conceive it otherwise.

Do you think we musicians can do something to attract young generation into the classical music concerts? How will you proceed?
With a radical change in musical education, especially in childhood, giving it a greater presence in the curricula and in a way that audition and musical practice lead to an authentic enjoyment of music, and not a museum rarity which must be attended once a year.

Tell us about your creative process. Do you have your favourite piece (written by you) How did you start working on it?
For me the most important thing is to have a very clear idea of what I want to do, and elaborate it in my mind during a more or less long period. Once the idea is clear I start to write, and then the music that is emerging is changing the contours of the initial idea, but never to the point of making it unrecognizable. Composition is an act of balance between what I want to write and the path that music itself seems to want to follow on its own, and that is the most exciting aspect of the creative act.

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 agree with all of them, because I have practiced them throughout my career. As I said above, music has the ability to adapt and connect perfectly with very varied disciplines.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?
That they forget the prejudices that a bad (or null) musical education may have brought to them.

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?
Obviously it is a great risk that is difficult to escape, and that is directly related to the ambition to succeed, earn money, etc. This is especially true in the case of conductors and performers, but not so much in the case of composers, although it is also true in many cases (not mine, since my way of earning my living is not composition, and therefore I can write with complete freedom).

Do you have expectations what regards your listeners, your audience?
My expectation is that when they listen to my music, some of the enjoyment I have had in writing it comes to them.

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?
To retire from my current job as artistic director of The National Youth Orchestra of Spain, and dedicate all my time to composition. And of course, in this the experimentation is continuous, as in every creative work.

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Fabio Mengozzi reveals the mystery of creation and how to bring opposite elements together in the same work.

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What does music mean to you personally?

Music for me is a research. I try to explore the mystery of creation

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Fantasy is an essential component of the creative process. Creativity can manifest itself in different forms. One of the major achievements of a composer is to bring opposite elements together in the same work. We have to get the right balance between rationality and irrationality.

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

Each of us has a destiny. My fate was to be a composer. I really cannot imagine a different thing.

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

What you say is true, but I’m not particularly worried for the future of music. In fact nowadays we have powerful methods of mass communication such as the internet. This is the reason why I believe that musical heritage will not be lost, even if our times are so difficult. Obviously, we must invest more on young people and educate them to music.

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 hope this transformation means to recover the value of spirituality and intuition. It is something we definitely need. I believe in the power of music to change people.

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?

“Opportunity” is the word that comes to my mind. New ways mean an opportunity for self-expression.

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 the base of art. I’m convinced that everyone has creative resources inside his soul. The task of an artist is to be himself and acknowledge his personal way: that makes the difference.

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

Music is a natural language. I’m also a piano teacher and I can affirm that young people are very spontaneous and sensitive. If you get them interested, they’ll always give you a positive feedback.

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

I try to base my music on the immutable law that governs cosmos and nature: everything follows a geometric order. I consider all my pieces connected together as if they were a single poem. I don’t have a favorite one.

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 like so much the combinations of music with visual arts or poetry. Since ancient times music has been associated with other arts as well as mathematics. Besides, in the past some composers were also painters, like Schönberg, or philosopher were also composers, like Rousseau.

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

Music has to be approached with an open mind, so they should wish to learn something new day after day.

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 compose because I feel the need to. My intention is to convey a message to the listeners and this is the main purpose of the music. The profit is not to be demonized, but it cannot become the reason for making music: music should remain pure.

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

My musical language is accessible to all audiences because music must involve the listeners. However, my music comprehends different levels: of these levels, the sound is only the most superficial. I hope listeners will discover all the other levels and the hidden meanings.

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

I’m very open to new things and experimentation. In a couple of day will be out my new CD “Mistero e poesia” for the Italian musical label Stradivarius. The CD is a collection of 18 pieces for piano composed and performed by myself.

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Melanie Spanswick talks about her passions: writing, composing and teaching and why she has been incredibly fortunate to have discovered music in her life.

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What does music mean to you personally?
Music has been a way of life for me since I was 10 years old (when I started to learn to play the piano). I‘ve been incredibly fortunate to have always made my living as a professional musician, and I hope it’s something I can continue to do. For me, music conjures memories, feelings and emotions; these might be happy or sad, but they have the ability to transfix our soul.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?
I agree, it is! Music can transport us to another place. Much depends on the style and genre – we are all affected differently, but when it resonates, it can simply fill our hearts with joy.

If you were not a professional musician, would you have been?
I’ve become increasingly interested in psychology, so the job of a psychologist appeals. However, I would absolutely love to fly a 747 jumbo jet – perhaps it’s still not too late to fulfill this dream!

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future?
It does generally attract an older audience, but it’s always been this way. When I was a student playing to a much older audience was par for the course, so I don’t think much has changed. The challenge is to interest younger people in classical music and the best way to do this is to introduce it in schools.

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 it will continue in much the same vein unless there is a radical shift. If we can convince those in power to consider music education for all, enabling us to really inspire youngsters via music, then we may be able to change or transform the role of classical music in our lives.

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?
It will probably only transform via education – if it can be presented as an attractive, viable option for children and young people, then it will become accessible, as it has in other cultures.

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?
Yes, creativity is vital; both for the soul and in order to find employment. I love writing about the piano, piano music, and how to play the piano. This process is enjoyable for me, and I hope it is helpful and useful for my readers too. I also love composing; writing music, especially for my instrument, is therapeutic and fun. I started by writing educational piano music for students (who have enjoyed playing it), but I am increasingly accumulating more commissions from professionals, who also seem to like my tuneful, simplistic approach.

Do you think we musicians can do something to attract the younger generation into the classical music concerts? How will you proceed?
If we can help young players to discover their talents and we can nurture their ability, then this is probably the best way to attract the younger generation to this genre. Most children have some aptitude, and they tend to respond best when they are involved and are able to play instruments for themselves. I enjoy working with young people, teaching and coaching them to become accomplished players; this should ideally be done in conjunction with an introduction to classical music as a whole. Going to concerts, listening to lots of music, and sight-reading through pieces are all beneficial activities.

Tell us about your creative process. Do you have your favourite piece (written by you). How did you start working on it?
I need a deadline to work optimally. If a work must be finished within a certain time-frame and for specific performers or a particular project, then my mind whizzes into action! I usually start at the piano. I decide on a key (I tend towards minor keys), and then focus on melodic development. But for me, the importance of harmony outweighs the melody. I love harmonic progressions, especially the use of more unusual chromatic twists.
My favourite piece so far is a suite for piano duet commissioned by a wonderful piano duo. The work consists of five short movements, each one with a different sound. I worked on the last movement first, essentially working backwards (I like to do this). My style is influenced by Minimalism, so the movements are tuneful but with an emphasis on harmonic development, whilst also featuring repetitive structures. The piece was first performed in November 2017 in the UK.

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 this is a wonderful idea. It kindles a stronger attraction to the music, and adds another dimension. I love music and poetry; a few years ago I regularly performed recitals with a narrator (or orator). We toured around the UK and Canada, performing many works written for this combination. Audiences were struck by how the music enhanced the text, adding emotional depth.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?
Listen to as much classical music as possible. YouTube, Soundcloud and the like have made it possible to hear almost anything instantly. Do some research, discover an assortment of diverse styles and aim to listen to a different work every day. By hearing a large cohort of music, favourite styles will be quickly identified.

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?
Marketing will perpetually be an important aspect of any business – music or otherwise. It’s a sad fact that if we don’t introduce audiences to our music, then it will remain undiscovered. I write a blog and run a popular Youtube channel, and I hope this helps in my quest to draw attention to my books and compositions.

Do you have expectations with regards your listeners, your audience?
I have no expectations at all. I hope they enjoy hearing tuneful, atmospheric, cinematic music. I also hope pianists like playing the pieces, and find them well written for the instrument.

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?
I‘m writing more educational text books and I‘m also writing various compositions. At present, a two-piano work for a two piano team with who I am collaborating on several educational projects. I‘m open to ideas and therefore do like to experiment with projects and with many music combinations; whether that be writing, composing or teaching.

https://melaniespanswick.com/

 

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Jacob Koller known as The Mad Arranger tells us about his coming projects and his inspiration.

jacob koller

What does music mean to you personally?
Music is my method of communicating thoughts and emotion that I cannot properly express with words.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?
No. Music can be all types of things. It can be very literal or very abstract. However, the same music can have a completely different meaning depending on who is listening.

If you were not a professional musician, would would you have been?
Probably a school teacher because I love to teach.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future?
I am not a straight classical artist so I don’t worry about my future. I think there will always be a future for classical music. As the younger generation gets older they will long for something more soothing and relaxing.

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 feel that classical music has an image of being for the rich and elite. I think classical musicians need to find a way to communicate its beauty outside of the rich and elite world.

When I say that classical music is searching for new ways or that the classical music is getting a new face, what would come to your mind?
There are a lot of crossover musicians now combing classical music with pop, rock, jazz etc. There are also many new classical composers who are experimenting.

Do you think that the classical musician today needs to be more creative? Whats the role of creativity in the musical process for you?
Most classical musicians play and interpret the music of others. There is definitely a need for highly skilled players in order for composers to achieve their ideas. I am more of an arranger and composer. So creativity is everything to me. I am always looking for new ways to test the limits of my instrument and my own musicality.

Do you think we musicians can do something to attract young generation into the classical music concerts? How will you proceed?
We have to play for kids as much as possible and introduce them to all kinds of music. I play concerts for kids(often for very low pay and sometimes for free) at least once a month. We have to give back our gift of music and share it with kids who may never get a chance to see acoustic music live.

Tell us about your creative process. Do you have your favourite piece (written by you) How did you start working on it?
I’m composing and arranging all the time. I can’t really play the same piece exactly the same way twice. To me music is always evolving and even if I play an arrangement of a piece 100 times I am still thinking of different ways to play it.

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’ve always been into music and film and often play video images of scenery that inspired my music at live concerts. There are so many possibilities of combining music with other art forms.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?
You just said it in the question. You have to discover it for yourself. Go to concerts, listen to recordings, play with many other musicians. Figure out what inspires you. Don’t be afraid to try a bunch of different things until you figure out which direction you want to go in.

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?
Music should first and foremost be about your art. But for most people, including myself, we have to provide for our families so if I can’t make money doing music that means I have to do something else which means I will have little to no time for music. Most musicians I knows have had to struggle with this balance in life.

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?
All my projects are experiments. My next project is an all original album inspired by forests and nature in general called “Healing Forest.” Nature has always been my biggest inspiration and one of my gravest concerns for the future. I have never done a project like this but am very excited to release it.

 

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Canadian composer and poet Claude Lachapelle shares his views about the great music, how he discovered his passion in life and why it takes patience to discover music.

claude lachapelle

What does music mean to you personally?

For me, music is a passion, appreciation and a therapy. Around the age of 14 or 15 years, I was a difficult teenager and when I started doing music, my behavior has changed radically; I discovered in the music the beauty, wonder, and spirituality

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

For me, music is more than a fantasy; it is an ideal, a breath of life, an escape, a creation and sometimes a job.

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

I have never been a professional musician, i do not make a living making music. I never had any external pressure to compose music.

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

Not because young people will discover the great* music one day and they will be the audience of tomorrow.
* I like to use the word (great) better than the (classical) word, which represents a time in the history of music.

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?

Great music will always have a place in the 21st century: cinema, concerts, television and new composers who will bring originality and novelty through their scholarly works.

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 believe that she is looking for new ways to please the public through different marketing experiences that are in my view quite effective.

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

Yes, the musician must be ever more creative; creativity must play an important role in the musical process, in its form, through its instrumentation and in the modernity of its time.

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

Introduce youth to music at the elementary level and pursue this approach further in high school; we should also reduce the cost of concert tickets for those 30 and under.

Tell us about your creative process.

When I want to compose music, I usually sit at the piano and improvise. So ideas come and I develop them. After I write them on paper (musical score) not to forget them. Then I go to the computer to transfer my ideas. And that’s often where magic is created. The computer is such a wonderful tool. It gives us extraordinary technical possibilities.

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?

Excellent idea to combine different disciplines; I myself use poetry and music in my personal art.

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

If you want to persevere in knowing better the great music, you have to be open to all musical genres. (Duo, trio, quartet, symphony, concerto, opera, etc.) We must also not be afraid to explore different forms and structures in music (ABA, rondeau, canon, waltz) and even more complex forms (Sonata, variations, fugue). Patience and tenacity are important qualities for anyone venturing into the wonderful world of great 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?

Yes, the music must be perceived as a consumer product like the bread of the baker, the work of the composer also has a pecuniary value.

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

We always have some expectations from the audience, but the ultimate reward for the musician or the composer is to feel understood and listened to in the faithful and sincere look of the listeners.

What projects are coming up?

I recently signed a contract with a publishing house to publish a collection of poems that I wrote; the title is (Romances without notes). I also continue to compose music.

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Lebanese-French organist, composer, and improviser who succeeded Messiaen as organist talks about his art, why music is the "word of the unspeakable" and about his love of the melody.

Naji Hakim

What does music mean to you personally?
„Music is the word of the unspeakable.“ This makes reference to the verse 14 of John’s Gospel Chapter 1 : « And the Word was made flesh ». I live in the Holy presence of God and wish that all my activities including music serve and glorify him by inspiring Joy to the heart of the listeners.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?
If fantasy (from Greek phantasia) is the „power of imagination“, the inspiration, then it is a manifestation of a divine grace. As in other arts, it is a beautiful reward stemming out of order, logic, rigor, technique, craftmanship, time, patience, obstination, calculation and reason.
If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?
Your humble servant : shoe shiner, server in a fine dining restaurant or teacher.
The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future?
« Worry » whether in music, health, geopolitics, or in any other field is a common disease of our time thirsting more than ever for the « above all ». But I have the conviction that “The beauty of the beauties («pulchritudo pulchrorum omnium») will save the world”. (Dostoyevsky and Saint Augustin)  Future of music is to be considered through a distant scale of observation of the past centuries, with the « hope » (a theological virtue) that we are getting to a new « renaissance ». I hope the resurrection of folklore and the rediscovery of the treasures of the past be parts of it. « Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. » Mat. 6, 34

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?
Having been teaching music analysis for 30 years, I realise how important it is to maintain a genealogical line with the composers of the past and follow their examples. As Verdi writes: „Tornate all’antico e sarà un progresso. » (Let us turn to the past: that will be progress.)
There is certainly a distorsion in the course of genealogy, coinciding with the Arnold Schönberg’s dodecaphonic series system and its plural troubling consequences, or by several philosophical/ideological currents. But as we say in French : « Chassez le naturel, il revient au galop » (when what is natural is driven off, it returns at a gallop). In this respect, Olivier Messiaen’s following sentence is self-explanatory : ” Musique sérielle, musique dodécaphonique, musique atonale… Le résultat est identique. On a aboli la résonance. Le reste, fonctions tonales ou forme sonate, disparaît sans que cela me préoccupe. Mais, sans résonance, seul demeure un sentiment de noirceur “. “Serial music, dodecaphonic music, atonal music … The result is the same. The resonance (harmonic series) has been abolished. The rest, tonal functions or sonata form, disappear without worrying me. But, without resonance, only remains a feeling of darkness “.

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?
Convincing new ways draw always their substance from harmonic series and/or modality, with a reference to melody and dance. „La mélodie, toujours la mélodie, voilà le seul et unique secret de notre art.“ (Melody, always melody, this is the sole and unique secret of our art.) Charles Gounod

Do you think that the classical musician today needs to be more creative? What is the role of creativity in the musical process for you?
As each of my works has a different genesis, the creativity remains a mystery. Once I have finished a work it is difficult to me to realize all the work I have done… There must be a spiritual presence pushing me ahead. Veni creator spiritus!

Do you think we musicians can do something to attract young generation into the classical music concerts? How will you proceed?
You remind me of a question I asked to my orchestration teacher, Serge Nigg, when I became analysis professor myself : „Maître, what advice would you give me for my teaching? “ He answered : „You know all the technical things you need for your class. I have only one advice : Love your students!“ To complete this testimony, I would quote Carl-Philipp Emmanuel Bach : „you have to be moved yourself, to be able to move others. ”
Practically, I would never program a work I don’t love from the bottom of my heart. Unfortunately I had to do it in the past and still regret it very deeply.

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

Would you ask me which one of my children I prefer? … I smile. Honestly, the work I cherish most is the one I am working on. I am writing now a 5th organ concerto (organ, string orchestra and timpani). I write all the work prior to start orchestrating it. I have orchestrated two of the three movements and already forgot how I started the composition! (I would have to get to my sketches. That’s why the study of sketches and drafts could help following the different steps of a composition.) But I can tell I have used free thematic material as well as an old moving byzantine melody for the last movement. I have a strong concern for harmony, melodic variation and getting distinct melodies above the vox prius facta (the part written first).

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?
Besides vocal music, I agree that instrumental music could be associated, conjugated with painting and poetry. Here are three examples :
- In my Sinfonia in honore Sancti Ioannis Bautistae, there is an artwork for the cover based on a painting by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo representing The infant St John the Baptist, http://ump.co.uk/catalogue/naji-hakim-sinfonia-in-honore-sancti-johannes-baptistae/
and each movement is preceeded by a biblical quotation.

https://www.najihakim.com/works/organ-solo/sinfonia-in-honore-sancti-ioannis-bautistae/

- In my recent Sonate pour harpe, each movement is preceded by poetical verses by my daughter Katia-Sofía Hakim (published in February 2018 by Schott Music)

- The manuscript of my Sakskøbing Præludier for chamber ensemble is in polychromic calligraphy, i.e. 12 different inks with different pens. This 12 movements work is based on Danish hymns and the colors follow the theological lines of the poetical texts.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?
It is a passion (patio, suffering). I really don’t know. It is as giving an advice for anyone to how to fall in love.

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?
We are forced to live in a consumer „mammonic“ society. It is a form of „hell“. „You cannot serve God and Mammon“ Matt 6, 24 Only a spiritual life would help mankind to get out of this vicious circle. In the 1970, Robert Beauvais wrote a book entitled „L’hexagonal tel qu’on le parle“ in which he gives ironically a new definition for a masterpiece : „Le chef d’oeuvre est une oeuvre dont on parle“ (The masterpiece is a work of which we speak). Which means people are deprived of their own judgment. Parents and teachers have the responsibility to lead younger generations to develop their own judgment and… « Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. » Mat. 10, 16

Do you have expectations what regards your listeners, your audience?
My listeners and audience are the sheep on the right hand of the father. I hope they know that my music and I love them. I don’t want to disappoint them.

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?
I look forward to conducting in January the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra in Beirut my homeland, with a program dedicated to my own compositions and accompany a wind quintet concert with three of my works. 23.01.18, Amphithéâtre Pierre Aboukhater, Beyrouth, LBN
Beirut Philharmonic Wind Quintet
Ana Suhaila, Flute – Oleg Balanuta, Oboe – Octavian Gheorghiu, Clarinet – Ionut Emil Mardare, Bassoon – Gabriel Mihaita Raileanu, Horn – Naji Hakim, Piano
Naji Hakim : Carnaval for wind quintet
Naji Hakim : Suite Française for wind quintet (World premiere)
Naji Hakim : Rondo for wind quintet and piano (World premiere)
26.01.18, église de l’Université Saint-Joseph, Beyrouth, LBN
Mario Rahi, violon – Orchestre Philharmonique du Liban -
Direction, Naji Hakim
Naji Hakim : Ouverture Libanaise
Naji Hakim : Sindbad pour orchestre (Création mondiale)
Naji Hakim : Concerto pour violon et orchestre à cordes
Naji Hakim : Trois Danses Basques

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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