Somewhere between minimalism and Post-classical movement, inspired by Erik Satie, Claude Debussy, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Philip Glass and Michael Nyman, Vivian Roost is a Franco-Swiss international classical training pianist, composer and producer.
Vivian Roost has taken part over more than 10 years in several audiovisual, theater projects and has composed for many artists. He is one of the songwriters behind the biggest selling French artist of 2010, ZAZ, who scored a double diamond record in France and sold over 3,4 million copies worldwide.
What does music mean to you personally?
Music is part of me, it’s my way of expressing my feelings. After a long classical training, I spend most of my last ten years forgetting my knowledge in order to compose more instinctively. Music doesn’t have to be complicated. It is all about energy and resonance, to be the most authentic with yourself and with the public. We are facing terrible and difficult times in the world right now, I know that music can’t stop a war but it it can serve not only as a refuge and escape but also can be a source of inspiration and creativity.
Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?
I am not sure to understand quite well your meaning about fantasy, when I heard « Fantasy » I am thinking about one of my favorite piece of Mozart : the Fantasia in D minor. what I am sure of is that music has to be « fun » to create. I like when listeners don’t feel the hard work behind the production and composition.
If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?
Ah ah good question ! I really don’t know as I started the piano at early age of 4 years old. But I would probably do an other artistic profession, why not a chef because I like cooking and it’s an other amazing way to make people happy and give them pleasure.
The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about the future?
I don’t consider myself as a « classical » artist but I am not worried about the future of the classical music, it will never go away. Modern classical, Neo-classical music and even film music are, for me, part of the « classical music » but in a more modern way.
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?
Music has changed so much since 50 years and more in the last 20 years with the new music technologies. Now we can compose everywhere on our phone and release a song in few weeks without professional label and few knowledge in music business. The listeners are more and more using the digital streaming platforms to discover music. Social media changed the way to listen to the music. Lot’s of people use the music to illustrate their own video. I try to always stay on the lookout for the evolution and technologies as an artist and also producer.
Do you think that the musician today needs to be more creative? What is the role of creativity in the musical process for you?
Creativity can manifest itself in many forms. For « Neo-classical » mouvement, the sound recording is part of the creativity. Compare to the classical recordings, the new « felt » recordings became known thanks to pianist composer such as Nils Frahm or Olafur Arnalds. I think the most important today is that the artists must remain as authentic as possible. The creativity must bring something to the music and not hide it.
Do you think we as musicians can do something to attract the younger generation to music concerts? How would you do this?
Thanks to social media and also streaming playlists, our music is more and more visible to a lot of people and more by the younger generation. I will very soon be on Tik tok (ah ah) maybe to post few performing video and still working hard to compose good music that makes me vibrate and give people inspirations and emotions !
Tell us about your creative process. What is your favorite piece (written by you) and how did you start working on it?
It depends on the albums, my first album « Départ » was composed for piano, synths, strings quartet and drums so I had many « layers » to mix together. My favorite track from this album is « Echoes ».
It was on of the first instrumental piece I compose. It came to life when I recorded real instruments for the track. I first start composing the main part on my computer with Logic Audio software and a lot of VST virtual instruments.
My second album « The Seasons » and my new releases since are more piano solo on my main project under my name. (I run others projects where I composed more ambient and electronic music such film music). One of my favorite from this album is the Rework of « Autumn Rain » witch blend piano, synths, strings and electronica beats. I like that kind of mixing textures between acoustic and electronic sounds. I worked also on a Rework of a classical music from Erik Satie, the Gymnopédie n2 Rework that I had the chance to sign with Deutsche Grammophon in 2020 and then to sign the others two Gymnopédie Rework with Double J Music label in 2021 ;
Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?
The best way for me to discover classical music (and others music) is to play an instrument and try to practice famous compositions from the past.
Do you think about the audience when composing?
I am not thinking about the audience when composing, but for the live set, I adapt sometimes the music and rework few pieces for the audience.
What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?
I have a new single called « Crépuscule » out this 8th of April, part of my upcoming new EP « Colours » on Pianoramix label (Double J Music). I am so proud of this project, both of the compositions and also of the sound. Recorded on my upright piano Pleyel from 1909 years old, it is the accomplishment of several years of sound research. As a sound engineer too, I am still trying to improve and always evolve in the sound and the music.
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