English

Chillian Pianist Sebastián Gallardo

By: Azad Karimi

Since I was a child I always had the opportunity to play in public at little halls and other events, that’s why from the beginning I developed this intention to communicate, to show what I wanted to say.

 

Interview

Chillian Pianist Sebastián Gallardo

By Azad Karimi

 

Chile is a Spanish-speaking country in Latin America. Sebastian is from Chile. He is a young pianist and wishes for success, progress, and development.

I would like to invite you to read the text of our interview, Me and Sebastian.

Although he is very young, he has strong logic and high intelligence ... I hope he will always pursue perfectionism and bring his art to the peak.

I wish my dear friend Sebastian success and progress.

 

 

Thank you!

Vestland-Norway

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1-Please present yourself: (Name, education, Civil status and...) 

.Since my early childhood I was very interested in Art: Music, painting, architecture, and I loved to read about history. I started to play the piano when I was seven years old, in the beginning, I thought that to be a musician you needed to be a genius, I thought that was very difficult, then I realized that you don’t need to be a genius but need to work really hard. I started to take lessons when I was ten years old with the pianist and composer Alexis Salazar, at the age of fourteen I was accepted at the University of Chile to study with the Russian Pianist Svetlana Kotova and I began to go out of the country to take lessons with different pianists in South America and Europe and attend to Masterclasses and Festivals. When I was nineteen I met Edith Fischer, who was a student of the well-known pianist Claudio Arrau, and she was my professor for some years.

Then, I started to receive invitations to play in different places, Argentine, Uruguay, The United Kingdom, Spain, Brazil, etc. Since that moment I dedicate my whole life to perform music and I keep learning…

 

2-What is your artistic specialize? 

.I’m a pianist! But I have a completely different point of view about music. I’m always looking for doing things differently; recreate the work of the composer from my own point of view. For me, that’s what is important... Freedom… I’m a musician but overall I think about myself as an artist. Since I was a child I was interested in many forms of art: I paint, read literature, learn as much as I can about architecture and others forms of art, I’m very interested in ‘’performance artists’’. We should be able to understand these phenomenons to understand better our work as musicians, it is important for every artist to understand the ‘’art as a whole’’ .

That’s why, yes for sure, I’m a musician, I’m a pianist, but overall I’m an artist, this is my goal.
I have some students, and I always look for them to make things by themselves, I’m not the kind of piano professor that say exactly what to do, I want to make them show me their own point of view about music as well as they can. I don’t want them to play like I do; I want to help them to play in the way that they want to play. In that sense I’m not a professor, but a pianist who enjoys helping other young musicians to find their own voice.

3-When and how did you become interested in this field of art? 

.Since I was a child, art was something that was always in my life, I cannot even remember when I became interested in art because it has been part of my life since the beginning, but something that I do remember is that I used to read a lot, my favorites topics were music, painting, and history. I remember that I was especially interested in sacred music and Baroque music, and I even tried to sing it.

I think that all this strong background of culture, it’s the reason why for my thoughts about art today, and my way to understand it.  For Instance, if I’m listening to Symphony-No 7 by Beethoven I related it with the Treaty of Fontainebleau, ‘’The Disasters of War’’ by Francisco de Goya, and the building of the St. Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg. That’s why my perception is that they're different layers of reality in one fraction of time, all that information makes us understand better the composer’s work but at the same time make us realize that it is impossible to bring to the present all those things, that’s why ‘’historical performances’’ are a waste of time – Just my opinion.

 When I was ten years old my attention was focused on composing, I used to practice so little for piano lessons and spent all day making music, but then I discover the works of Scriabin, Rachmaninoff, and Liszt, They made me decide to start to take my lessons more seriously.

 

4-Who was your motivator? 

.If I look at the past I would say that my main motivation since the beginning was my thirst for knowledge.  Since the beginning I made everything by myself, my family it’s different from me, different interests, they gave to me the tools, but they never made me do anything. Something important that my parents gave me was the faith that could be whatever I want, and I could be the best, that made me fight for my goals, that’s why I always have been a very independent person. No one said to me that I should practice piano; no one said to me that I should read, I always made everything by myself.

On the other hand, I always felt inspired by the people above me, all that people that are better than me are constantly giving me an incentive to keep growing, some people that inspired me from my early childhood were, Vladimir Horowitz, Anton Rubinstein, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Maria Callas, Vassily Kandinsky, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarotti, Marina Abramovic, All they represent to me an ideal in artistry that until today I’m trying to reach. Those people made understand that I was able to do whatever I want, my family gave me the tools, but I’ve made all the work by myself.

 

5-What was your parent’s reaction? 

 

There is a problem when you want to become a musician. When I was 11-12 years old I said to my parents that I wanted to become a musician, they didn’t like the idea, and they didn’t want me to do it. And I can remember saying to them ‘’I will do it anyway, I will find a way’’. Sometimes people think that to be a musician is not a real job, my parents didn’t believe that being a musician was a real job, but, when they realized how much I love to play piano, all the hard work that I was making, you know, at the time I used to play five hours of just technical exercises by Liszt, Henselt and Rudolph Ganz daily, trying to develop more technique every day. That’s  why when people say that I’m talented, I say ‘’ no, it is that I work really hard’’ my playing is not a consequence of talent , but a consequence of a really hard work for many years.

Despite the fact that being a true musician involves a lot of different efforts, many people – especially in South America - don’t take it seriously, and they believe that it is not a real job, that perception makes things even more difficult for all the new generations of musician that are trying to make their way. There’s a lot to do in South America referring to musical education, musical culture and musical market, government should create more spaces, founding new institution to help talented artists. Some of those things are done, but, are not serious enough.

All that made my travel difficult at the beginning, but I truly believe that if you feel ‘’the call’’ you should follow your desires and do everything to reach your goals.

 

6-When started you such as professional musician and pianist? 

 

Since I was a child I always had the opportunity to play in public at little halls and other events, that’s why from the beginning I developed this intention to communicate, to show what I wanted to say. On the other hand, when I was eighteen years old I started to give lessons at the Enrique Soro Music School in my country, and I started to give concerts, and receive invitations, then I started to build my career and I realized that to be a concert pianist is more than just play, you need a lot of time for organizing, and in certain point you need help to keep growing, Olga, who is my manager right now, she came to me in the right moment, and she has helped me a lot with all this.

When I started I tough that a good way to build a career would be participating in piano competitions, but the truth is that piano competitions every day are less important, because are many of them and winning one of them is a guaranty of nothing. Bartok himself used to say ‘’ competition are for horses not artists’’ and is a fact that art has nothing to do with the competitions for musicians. If what I needed was to play according to the right traditions about the composer and the historical period, play what’s on the score and play a piece like it were something sacred, It was way too easy for me and I needed something else, I needed to create something. I have found very few competitions that really worth the fight, they are focused in individuality, creativity and charisma, but this is not enough to make me participate.

 

I discovered that I didn’t need it because people love my playing, and that’s why I always keep going on, because that gives me the incentive that I need to keep making music, I don’t really care if someone can play faster, play less wrong notes, or make more money than me, I cannot replace the feelings that I have when I play sincerely in front of the public.

 

7-Are you thankful and happy because of your activities as musician and pianist? 

 

Yes, for sure, when you dedicate your life to make music for others you receive a lot of love, today I’m happier than ever with my life, sometimes I think about it and I feel that I have it all, the opportunity to travel, discover new cultures, do something for people, and overall, I reached my biggest dream, being a concert pianist.

 

On the other hand, being a musician, and make things different is being very exposed to criticism, I used to be afraid about what people could say about my playing, but today I accept it and I understand that … if you don’t like my playing, you don’t like me… that could sound radical but it’s completely truth, every person that listens to my playing knows my deep inner self, because on the stage I say everything that I am not able to show through my acts and words.

 

Despite those risks I can see that most of the people can feel that connection with me and within themselves when the concert takes place, it is something magical, I cannot explain it, I can feel that I have their hearts bleeding in my hands.  Sometimes people come to me after the concert with tearful eyes, they give me hugs and kisses, I know we shared something special then, other times when I’m checking the videos of my performances I find in the public people  bitterly crying, something that they cannot control. All that has a very simple answer to me, we tend to hide our emotions, showing emotions is a sign of debility, we tend to hide this weakness which we are ashamed of,  but, this sensibility is what makes human so beautiful, and I feel very happy to be able to reconnect people with their own nature.

 

This connection which I’m talking about is not physical and uses our senses just like a means, sometimes I can play wrong notes, but no one cares about it because the content exceeds the form, would you mind if I stutter if my words are sincere and show you all my inner world? Are important the words that I chose? The words, the sounds, the images, and the acts always must be the way; you should never turn it into your goals. Music is not the goal; music is a means to reach hearts. I’m thankful and happy to reach hearts throught music.

 

8-What is music culture? What is music logic? 

.This is a really interesting question, I understand culture like a part of the identity of a group of persons, and why not? Part of identity, heritage and history of the human race. Despite the fact that – how I said before - I respect and everyday learn more about this matter, I truly believe that art should always look toward the future, for sure that we can find some inspiration on the past but we cannot pretend bring it back to the present, something that often happens in classical music nowadays.  Never in history the musician looked at the past in the way that we are doing today, and then a question rises,

What’s the reason? For me the answer is that we cannot find our way, we don’t know how evolve, things like that happened before in others fields of art, Architecture for example. There will be a moment when we will need to leave all this behind and from this build our path to the future.

What can I say about logic in music? It is a little bit contradictory. Music must born in the heart and soul, you cannot reconcile these two elements, you cannot be spiritual if are focused in material, you cannot be rational and impulsive at the same time, you cannot be logic and emotional in music, for sure, the mind must work, but not very much, the emotion is the goal. This impossibility to reconcile this duality has been studied deeply by the Tibetan Buddhism... You need to forget about the illusive material world to reach the true spiritual world, to be able to perceive your soul. In music you must do the same; logic should be subordinated to the emotions, not the other way around.

 

When I play, in first place I please my heart, second place I please my ear, and then I please my mind, it is important, because music should always reach the hearts, this is our goal like musicians, the mind and senses are just a way, you should not lose endeavors trying to reach them, your goal is to unveil the core.

 

Despite the fact that we need to put in order our feelings with logic, music must be a place where our feelings are able to speak freely.

 

9-Why does some melody become immortal? 

 

.I think that if you compose music by heart it will to reach the heart of people, the most famous music has a charisma that many times cannot be explained logically because is part and lies on its spirit.  We can see that today the ‘’academic music ‘’ is not giving us any ‘’immortal music’’, composers like Krzysztof Penderecki and Arvo Pärt would be an exception because their music has a lot of content, but the most composers of today make music for other composers, they make music in a language that no one understand but themselves, they turned music into the ‘’goal’’ – I would say that they made the brain their main goal- replacing the message with contortions, producing the worst crisis in classical music ever.

 

Despite the fact that these contortions could be interesting it is something superficial without an important goal, it is like an empty coconut shell with strange colors on the outside but without anything to give. This crisis is needed, we need to make a new way, we need to dig deeper in the origin to find again the ‘’reason why’’ we make music, the reason why we make art.

 

As well as the stock market averages must confirm each other according to the ‘’Dow Theory’’, we can see lines of tendency in different forms of art, these lines must go on together toward an idea to confirm this tendency, otherwise the line that is not following the others will not continue in this direction, because art, as well as stock market works as a whole. At this moment in history we can see that painting, sculpture, architecture and art cinema grows toward minimalism, looking for express through simplicity the real content of the message, this movement in academic music still overshadowed by the contortions of the near past will be the one that will unify the whole art until the next level. What I say is not speculation but probability. Musical performance tends toward restrictions while all others form of art tends to freedom, that’s why this tendency toward

 

Immortal music comes from the core…

 

10 - How you see the Music, art and culture in your perspective? I mean your prediction for the future of music! 

We are living at a crucial moment for arts, we exploited the superficial resources in art, we exploited everything that pleases the senses, we are in time when our conception of reality every day is changing, making it more abstract, we are in time when we need to start to see beyond the veil, we are finally discovering the connection between human beings and the connection between human beings, nature and earth as a whole. I remember that when I was reading the ‘’Treatise on Painting’’ by Leonardo da Vinci I found a very interesting reflection in the first pages, Leonardo says that if you would find a ‘’whole’’ composed by a thousand ‘’dots’’, and you would take just one of them you would have something equal to the whole, the sum of two ‘’dots’’ is equal to one dot. The divisions are possible but just in our minds, I cannot separate myself from the earth, environment or other human beings, divisions are an illusion. Unity,This is for me the way toward evolution.

Music, for me, is a tool for human evolution. I always wondered, how can it be that I’m able to feel so deep something that was composed by someone else?, why I feel that this comes from inside and not from outside of me? It is because we’re the same, we are part of a whole, our original source is the same, we all are parts of one body, our nature is the same, but we cannot see it… my subjective personal opinion is that the way for evolution is toward the sense of unity.

How I said before, music reconnect you with your inner self, and when you are aware of that vulnerability, that sensitivity it is when you will be open to give and receive love without fear, because we share the same nature. I’m pretty sure that arts in future will have like principal goal to make hearts soft, to make them beat, to make us able to recognize our fears. Art will not be mean to please the senses but to please the soul, that ‘’human art’’ will be an important tool to be better persons every day.

 

11- Can you become one part of the cultural movement for motivation in youth or new generation in your country and so than? 

For sure, I’m writing a book about this topic, and I have found a lot of people that think exactly as I do all around the world. This book talks about philosophy in music, the relations between body, soul, feelings and music, it is a book about music (musical performance) but all the principles presented in the book are applicable to every field of arts. At the beginning, I thought that I was the only one who used to think that way, but I was really impressed to find a lot of people that feel exactly like me but no doing anything about and in complete silence, a lot of musicians feels how their creativity is killed by ridiculous rules, how their personality is imprisoned by nonexistent traditions, they admire freedom but embrace the restrictions. That’s why I realized that I can give an incentive to people to make music by heart. Vladimir Horowitz used to say ‘’ I want to the public to cry with me, I want to the public to laugh with me’’ that shows that intention is everything, only if the performer find the release in playing music the public will feel that release listening to him, your message should be sincere.

12- How can you help our world become a better place to live? 

Many references tell us that there’s just two human emotions, love and fear, all our emotions stem from these two.  All the problems that we are facing today, war, crime, terrorism, corruption, etc. they are a consequence of lack of love, they are a consequence of people full of fear. How can we blame a branch for being dry? It is not the tree’s fault? We all like society need to take responsibility for those who are afraid, I will never justify their acts, but our individualism crates inequality and our inference creates resentment.

Music is always a way to unveil and discover our true essence, to make our hearts soft and free of fear because we are able to see inside of it the nature of our own fragile souls.  What can I do for making our world a better place to live? Play music and give love, always after a concert I feel that everyone in the hall become part of my family, I can see how some of treat me like a son, some of them like a brother, I receive a lot of hugs, kisses and kind words. The reason why is very simple, in just one hour we shared a lifetime of emotions. That’s how I make our world a better place.

13- Have you more word to say or suggest for our readers? 

Just wanted to say that I’m very thankful for the interview, I feel very happy to share my thought with all your readers, I really hope that these thoughts will be interesting for them. I really hope my words inspire them to discover music from emotion and spirituality, today more than ever, we need it.

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