Kevin Jiang

Composer and Student of Natural Science




I am Kevin Jiang, otherwise known as the composer - colorsofsound1 on the platform called Musescore. I will be 18 years old this year and I am currently a full-time student in Sweden studying Natural Science.

Compared to other musicians and composers, I really started getting into music at a mature age. Even though my mother got me piano lessons when I was 7 years old, I disliked my strict teacher who would tell my parents that I had little talent. As can be expected of a shy boy at that tender age, I did not touch any kind of music or instrument at all until I was 14. That was when I, out of pure serendipity discovered some Chopin on YouTube. In turn, starting my journey of being a serious part-time pianist, musician and self-made autodidact composer.



What does music mean to you personally?

This is difficult to answer it is like someone asking you what you think about a loved one. To put it simply: for me, music is a vehicle to communicate. I think that whenever someone produces sound, it is to transmit their message. It can be anything that brings something between listener and composer.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Both, yes and no. The first step is definitely fantasy, it can provide escapism and give a source of creativity. But, on a deeper level, you start to find that there is more. I do not believe Bach composed for us to fantasize. Music actually teaches the understanding of ourselves and the world, so by giving yourself to music, music will give you what you need in return.

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

As of right now, I dare not label myself as a professional yet. But, I would probably be a pilot or a painter instead.

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

I have seen more and more young people of my generation getting into classical music, therefore I am optimistic about the future. Time has the best judgment of us all, so if Mozart can be popular for some 250 years, but a rock band for only one week on the radio, then, I suspect that classical will remain with us for a little longer.

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

One role that music will always have is to connect people. However, many of us have stopped listening carefully, most people just hear and tap to the drums. If you follow the first note unfolding to the last then, maybe we could transform back, but I know that we are drawn to things with more quality, so when the time comes, more people will look back at classical music and rediscover it.

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

Of course! Only through evolution can we advance, and as the world changes around us, inevitably musicians needs to do so as well. Creativity is the initial spark that creates an idea in my mind. The musical process needs to be orderly to an extent, but, creativity injects what is unique and original to me.

Do you think we as musicians can do something to attract the younger generation to music concerts? How would you do this?

I think the problem lies in the outdated education of today. I was never taught to stop and think about music. Instead, we teenagers are bombarded with new, mostly useless information. So, a first step would probably be to teach the younger generation about art and philosophy in a way that sparks interest instead of kill creativity. Unfortunately, these two disciplines are ironically mostly labelled as useless.

Tell us about your creative process. What is your favorite piece (written by you) and how did you start working on it?

If I had to pick one favourite, it would be a waltz, my opus 13. My magnum opus at the time of composing. To start a piece, I improvise on my piano and write the main subject. Then, I would make a dramaturgical curve in my mind and lay out the basic structure. When I compose I like to write all of the sections simultaneously, I know many other composers prefer to write down chords first or melody first, but, that does not work for me. Then, I have an idea of where I want the piece to go. And, with a bit of resolve, review and experimenting I am ready to post it for some feedback and critique.

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

Find some easy-to-listen-to compositions, like ones by Tchaikovsky or Chopin are good places to start, and then see which one speaks to you. Then, you can find out more about the piece and who wrote it and when was it written. I think we have all the tools we need, our hearts just needs to be there too.

Do you think about the audience when composing?

Yes, in terms of putting out something that I can show to people. In the creative process, I am in my own world, and I think it is best to let it be so. If I am influenced by others, then how can I put out something that is truly mine?

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

I am working on two big projects right now: one which is the first movement of my first piano concerto and another piece that is written for solo piano. I cannot say when they will be done, as balancing studies and music is an art of its own already. Due to some time constraints, there have been petite pieces like etudes and waltzes here and there in the meantime. Experimenting is what creativity is born from, so I do a lot of it. Almost all of my pieces come from experimenting and improvising at night by my piano.