May 28, 2024

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Interview with Enrico Zanisi: This is a very old argument that shaped all musical eras, and it will never be solved..! Video

Jazz interview with jazz pianist Enrico Zanisi. An interview by email in writing. 

JazzBluesNews.Space: – First let’s start with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music?

Enrico Zanisi: – I was lucky to grow up in a family of musicians, my father is a flute player and my mother is a pianist. We had an upright piano at our house and I used to see my mother giving piano lessons every week, so I guess it was natural that at one point I decided to try to play something. My parents never forced me to play, but it was my decision to start playing and they really supported me in a natural way. We used to listen to a lot of music (mainly classical), both at home and live, and my father used to practice flute almost every day.

JBN.S: – What got you interested in picking up the your musical instrument? What teacher or teachers helped you progress to the level of playing you have today? What made you choose the your musical instrument?

EZ: – As I said, the piano was already in the house, it was the instrument that caught my attention. I had two very important teachers, one for the classical music and, later in my adolescence, another one for jazz; they were really open minded and I feel so lucky to have had the chance to study with them. Of course, a part from them, I have definitely had many “virtual” teachers, all those masters and great musicians that I still listen everyday.

JBN.S: – How did your sound evolve over time? What did you do to find and develop your sound?

EZ: – I listen to a lot of different types of music and also I play in many different musical contexts. It has always been like this. Once I usually find myself studying or composing at home, I try to concentrate on what I think are my peculiarities, what I like and find representative of my music at least (which of course can change over time), and I mix it with all the new music, experiences and the most recent inputs.

JBN.S: – What practice routine or exercise have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical ability especially pertaining to rhythm?

EZ: – I think it is very important to work on few musical ideas, especially when we want to improve our rhythmic skills. For pianists, rhythm is very important, both in a band and in solo piano. We forget sometimes that piano is a percussive instrument, and that we can really use dynamics and accents to groove. I used to have a practice routine of many hours while I was studying classical music, but now it has became very difficult, due to the fact that I am quite busy traveling. So now, my “practice” routine, is focused also on listening to new music, not just for entertainment, but for study.

JBN.S: – Which harmonies and harmonic patterns do you prefer now?

EZ: – I don’t have preferences regarding harmony. I really think it is not important what you are using but how.

JBN.S: – What do you love most about your album 2017: how it was formed and what you are working on today?

EZ: – I really love the fact that great musicians such as the Quatuor IXI, Michele Rabbia and Gabriele Mirabassi accepted to interpret my music and all the arrangements of the album “Blend Pages”. For the first time in my musical life I composed and arranged music for such an ensamble, and it has been a real challenge. Also, the music was conceived by having these musicians always in my mind, and I think that their contribution to the album has been fundamental. I started working on some compositions for piano and string quartet but, because of the kind of music that I had in mind, suddenly it was clear for me that I needed more voices and colors (clarinet and percussions/live electronics in this case) and that I also wanted the string quartet to be able to improvise and to interpret in a more extemporaneous and immediate way the notes and phrases that I wrote for them.

JBN.S: – Which are the best jazz albums for you of 2017 year?

EZ: – I really enjoyed, among others, “Morphogenesis” by Steve Coleman, ”Small Town” by Bill Frisell and Thomas Morgan, “Daylight Ghosts” by Craig Taborn, “Preverbal” by Matthew Stevens, “An ancient observer” by Tigran Hamasyan, “All this I do for glory” by Colin Stetson.

JBN.S: – What’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?

EZ: – I think I can’t tell, because every one of us is different and there is not just one brain or heart: one song that I find moving can be boring or intellectual for another listener. I think this is a very old argument that shaped all musical eras, and it will never be solved..!

JBN.S: – Please any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?

EZ: – I remember playing a couple of years ago in a very big city in India, called Ahmedabad. I was playing with my Trio in this very nice venue with lots of people and…monkeys! That is definitely a concert I will remember for all my life!

JBN.S: – Which collaboration have been the most important experiences for you?

EZ: – I had the opportunity to play with some jazz masters like David Liebman and Sheila Jordan, but also with some of the finest Italian jazz musicians. I think the italian jazz scene is living a great moment, and it is nice to be here, especially in Rome (the city where I live).

JBN.S: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of the standard tunes arel half a century old?

EZ: – I think jazz has become more popular in the last 10 years. I see that lots of young musicians are interested in this genre nowadays. Jazz music was born as popular music and I think we have to keep this in mind while trying to get the attention of a young audience. The jazz standards were nothing but songs from Broadway and musicals, and I think today we are full of songs that can play that role in jazz. Also it is obvious that people listen to the music they gave them… maybe radio and tv shows can pay more attention.

JBN.S: – John Coltrane said that music was his spirit. How do you understand the spirit and the meaning of life?

EZ: – This is a huge question and I don’t think I am able to give you a complete answer (because I don’t have it…) but, from what I’ve understood so far, life has to be lived. If there is a meaning in all of this I think it has to be searched in ourselves and in what we do, in what we love, in our actions, in the relationships we have. I try to be passionate about everything I do, even if it is difficult or frustrating sometimes, but I find it is important to be in the process. It is all about us, nothing else.

JBN.S: – If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

EZ: – Working as a musician is not often seen as a professional job (at least in the country where I live..) due to the fact that music is everywhere and people think it comes from nothing. I really hope that this will change in the near future.

JBN.S: – Who do you find yourself listening to these days?

EZ: – Mostly electronic music like Flying Lotus, Roly Porter, B12, Childish Gambino, Todd Terje, Suzanne Ciani, Alva Noto, Autechre but also music from great drummer and composer Dan Weiss and from artists such as Benoit Delbecq, David Virelles, Tim Berne, Nils Petter Molvaer…

JBN.S: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really wanna go?

EZ: – I would like to go into the future! maybe a couple of centuries ahead, to see what kind of music humanity will be listening and how strongly the new technologies will influence and shape it.

JBN.S: – I have been asking you so far, now may I have a question from yourself…

EZ: – Have you ever travelled into the future?

JBN.S: – Thank you for answers. 🙂 With jazz and blues – YES!!!

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Картинки по запросу Enrico Zanisi

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