May 24, 2024

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Interview with Svetlana Marinchenko: Music expresses who you are … Video

Jazz interview with jazz pianist Svetlana Marinchenko. An interview by email in writing. 

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

Svetlana Marinchenko: – I was born in a small town near Moscow called Ramenskoye. My parents are not musicians, but my father is an amateur guitar player, he loved rock and some pop music, so in our house music always took its place. My grandma was also an amateur singer and we sang different songs with her, when I was a child. With my papa I started to visit rock concerts (mostly hard rock) and I really loved all this music as well. I was a fan of Deep Purple, Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, Doors, Pink Floyd,  Jefferson Airplane and so on. I never went to musical school and also never got in touch with “serious”music like classic or jazz, before I started to play it. My way in music begun, when I first heard John Coltrane’s “Love Supreme”. I was stunned by this energy that musicians were transmitting through the playing, I wanted to be a part of it. I felt it was so spiritual and so meaningful. I decided, that I ll play piano, bought myself one and at the age of 17th started from nothing to learn jazz.

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

SM: – I think practicing classical music brang some definitive development into my playing. Also Playing lines layback. I feel that sound depends directly on feelling. The less tense you feel, the better your sound is. For this one needs to feel connected with an instrument. I am still on my way)

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

SM: – Rhythm till some point was the weakest part of mine. I was working and I am still working hard on it.

JBN: – How to prevent disparate influences from coloring what you’re doing?

SM: – I am not quiet sure if I am understanding the question right… But I let myself be influenced by everything that I experience and by all kinds of music as well. What about emotions: negative emotions could be a very big resource for being creative. What about great music that we listen to, I think it’s cool to let yourself be influenced by it, I don’t think one can lose individuality by absorbing what other people have done. According to my experience it only makes you reach.

JBN: – How do you prepare before your performances to help you maintain both spiritual and musical stamina?

SM: – The technical side is to go briefly through the music, make a good warm up for both hands in order to feel an instrument.

Spiritual side is more difficult, because I get distracted by anxiety and all these over-responsible thoughts and fears, that I ll not accomplish something, that I should and stuff. I am still in the experimental mode about it, but what helps me is to let go and try to be playful. Stop putting over myself expectations of perfection and just make music in the moment, how I can do it right now and with love to it. Sometimes when colleagues are just totally your people and musicians, the sound is nice, the atmosphere is relaxed, it just happens – you have fun on the stage. But sometimes the air is tense and then you need to work on yourself and open up, trying not to be scared about being vulnerable in front of people.

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

SM: – I think it’s a very individual thing and completely depends on that kind of person you are. I am like my music – more emotional than intellectual. I think there is no recipe for this balance. Music expresses who you are and if you are just honest with it – it works and it’s beautiful!

JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; you’re okay with giving the people what they want?

SM: – I think if we speak about art (not  the gigs, where one should play covers for money), I personally never have in mind that I should give to the public what she wants, because I simply don’t know what exactly she wants! I can give only what I have. According to my experience, people can actually like something totally unpredictable. You think: “this song, they will totally love it!” and after the concert people mostly speak about other songs and stuff that you never imagined as something special. I think here is the beauty of the process – you come as you are and people perceive you as they are, there is no control in the big picture. But what I think is my duty is to transmit a good vibe, give 100 procents of my energy and be open.

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

SM: – I am lucky to have really many funny, pleasant and deep experiences connected with music. We rehearsed with Ofri only once before the recording and I was very nervous before the studio, rehearsal went very easy, but we had 9 pretty complicated songs and in that time I had less experience with studio work. And I remember the moment when we started to play and music just started to happen! I was feeling how I am jumping over my level at this time, how my ears are wide open and how my hands are just doing the right stuff and music flows. On a composition “Morning Alone” I even shared a tear, because I felt that we were transmitting exactly what I wanted to say through it!

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

SM: – Good question. I think jazz music is a very very wide concept right now and it evolved into just music with improvisation elements on it, which are rooted in jazz harmony and phrasing. People can be interested in jazz, but not interested in hearing  standards or musicals from 20th, 40th, 60th…  I think modern jazz can be very catchy for the younger generation, because it has everything: rock riffs, folklor sometimes, classic, electronic, dance, hip-hop, rap and whatever. Just keep on experimenting and keep on going further, that’s what I think. Even inside of standards… Actually it’s whatever when “you’ve changed” for example was written, the situation is so human, that it will repeat over and over again.  The question is how you interpreted it?)

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

SM: – I think the meaning of life is a highly philosophical topic) I don’t think that the meaning of life it’s something created by the human mind, I feel it is something much bigger and it’s meaningful and meaningless at the same time. I believe that every human has it’s job on earth. And if we are completing this job – we are feeling fulfilled. The direction of your life you choose by going somewhere, where you feel happy. I think it’s what Coltrane meant. He reached the deep connection of his soul with music. Music was him, was his spirit. I think spirit is what keeps us alive, our essence, our will to be, our compassion and connection with others.

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

SM: – I think it would be nice that all jazz clubs, festivals, newspapers would have a couple of people who would REALLY check all materials which are coming and the connections and NAME would not be so crucially important, because  people would be judged by their music.

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

SM: – Now, during this interview I was listening to Aaron Parks, but actually already for a couple of days I was listening to Louise Cole and Knower – these guys are so hilarious)

JBN: – What is the message you choose to bring through your music?

SM: – Look at this picture and colors! I find it beautiful!

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

SM: – I think I really like this time very much! If I would go to the past – I would be treated like an animal, because I am a woman and all other brutality. Future scares me a bit, because of total digitisation and the climate crisis.. So I am really fine here, I like it))))

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

SM: – What made you a jazz enthusiast?

JBN: – The Swing!!!

JBN: – So putting that all together, how are you able to harness that now?

SM: – You mean “to sum up”? Sorry, my english is not perfect!

As a last word I would like to say that I would be really happy if you guys give a try to my album and listen to it! It was a lot of work and a lot of heart invested into it!

Thank you very much for reading it and you can always contact me on Facebook under Svetlana Marinchenko or on instagram under svetlanushka_music

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Svetlana Marinchenko | eventpeppers

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