All concerts of the pianist Riad Mammadov in April were canceled in the same way as other musicians around the world. However, the premieres scheduled for this month remained in effect. The first is the single "Waiting for Aziza" in the genre of jazz-mugam, which is rare for the ear of the Russian listener (but invariably catching him). The second is a classic mini-album entitled "Surrogate Dreams II" with works by composers of the Romantic era: Chopin, Tchaikovsky and Debussy. Different in genres and in meanings, these two releases illustrate the interests of the musician, who believes that the performer acts as a guide, leading us into the world of the composer, his thoughts and feelings. We talked about classics and jazz, the difference in perception and intuition with a pianist and musicologist who has time not only to tour cities and countries, but also to pursue his dissertation at the Moscow Conservatory. She,in particular, just about jazz-mugam, with which we begin our conversation.
- You dedicated your dissertation to jazz-mugam, and now the single "Waiting for Aziza" has been released. How did it happen that this genre became a sphere of both scientific and performing interests?
- Jazz-mugham for me is more a scientific history. My thesis is devoted to genres of contemporary musical art in Azerbaijan, including mugam. Friends led me to this. The idea of writing the work was suggested to me by my mother, but I found the problem thanks to my friends-musicians - Theodore and Vangelino Currentzis. Then we were just working on the opening ceremony of the European Games in Baku and wrote a large amount of Azerbaijani symphonic music. And being completely absorbed in this, I realized what exactly I want to explore in my work. There were some definite puzzles.
- It is often said about jazz that there is much more freedom in it than in classical music. Do I need to somehow be internally ready for this freedom? And can such comparisons be made at all?
- In fact, jazz is a genre with a lot of conventions. And the more freedom, the more conventions. But, oddly enough, it works in the opposite direction too: the more conventions, the more freedom you have to find. Jazz music has long been academic music. For a hundred-plus years of its existence, it has gone the same paths as classical music, starting from the Baroque period. And so it just seems that jazz is free. In fact, these are strict and complex harmonious relationships within one square (a square is the period of musical construction, a form of jazz composition. - "RBK Style"). What defines freedom? First of all, by the border. Because freedom without borders is anarchy. Art is how you feel within these boundaries. The point is to learn to be free within strict forms. Because jazz is harmonies. Not just a seventh chord, a triad with a seven, but a huge number of interactions - modal and harmonic - within several sounds in the left hand. And these sounds, they may sound the same, but their function carries the tone of the mood. And what is obtained from all the interaction of sounds forms the whole universe. If you create this universe convincingly, it leads to incredible beauty. Plus you need an intuitively accurate sense of taste and style inside. It should be at the DNA level, with mother's milk, let's say.forms a whole universe. If you create this universe convincingly, it leads to incredible beauty. Plus you need an intuitively accurate sense of taste and style inside. It should be at the DNA level, with mother's milk, let's say.forms a whole universe. If you create this universe convincingly, it leads to incredible beauty. Plus you need an intuitively accurate sense of taste and style inside. It should be at the DNA level, with mother's milk, let's say.
- Is there a place for improvisation in classical music?
- Bach was a great improviser, Liszt was the greatest improviser, Mozart too. In general, in the Baroque era there was no concept of "playing strictly according to notes", all cadenzas were improvised. This, with the advent of romanticism, the ego came forward, and everything became as fixed as possible, was recorded to the end. And before that, in medieval music, there were much less conventions. There was no particular scale, like a major or exactly a minor. If you now listen to any music of medieval composers - Josquin Despres or Guillaume Dufay, you can feel the absence of soil under your feet, because there is no modal representation, no thrust, no gravity. The same is, by the way, in jazz.
Freedom without borders is anarchy. Art is how you feel within these boundaries.
- If we talk about sensory knowledge and about the experience that we get through books, through art. How important are both of these components for a musician?
- When you read War and Peace at the age of 15, and then at 25, these are completely different compositions, and you notice that at 15 you did not understand half of what you see now. And at 35 you will again perceive in a completely different way. We change all our lives. But this is a complex combination of all factors. Age doesn't matter, and books don't really matter either. You can read a huge number of books, but not be able to feel the situation. Unfortunately, these concepts do not always overlap. You read in order to open some of your inner strings, to pull them out, this is a way to pull them and know yourself from the inside. But if from childhood there is a purely intuitive sense of form and style - this is usually called talent - then you can play. In short, a lot depends on talent. But, of course, I want to be an educated person. I was always amazedhow Remarque could accurately build sentences and draw these lofty matters in simple words in the post-war period, when everything around was destroyed. This is beauty. He could do this in literature. And our task, musicians, is to be able to do this in music, to express our thoughts correctly.
- It turns out that in order to improvise, that is, to express your thoughts, you need to be filled with feelings and experience? Thus, being able to "anticipate" your improvisation several steps ahead.
- The classical composer has the right to rewrite everything. He writes music, then goes to bed, gets up in the morning, he didn't like it - and he can erase everything and write again. When you improvise, everything happens in real time, there is no right to say: "Wait, now let's go back, I'll replay there." This is a very fast process of processing musical material, because a jazz pianist who begins to improvise already knows in advance how he will play in two bars, build a phrase, what his logical conclusion will be and where he will lead everything. So education is a good impetus and help, but not always the very essence. However, it really should be an integral part of a musician's life. To speak a language, you need to know it perfectly, and in order to follow your thoughts and be able to express them as accurately as possible during the game,you need to have a good technical apparatus. Therefore, it is difficult to say here what is primary and what is secondary. There is also a natural technical freedom for musicians. You can remember musicians who did not have an academic school, but people performed in such a way that … just a paradox. Ella Fitzgerald, Jimi Hendrix - but there, of course, intuition and nature prevailed. Everything is different. Jazz is such a "salad" that you will never guess. (Laughs.)(Laughs.)(Laughs.)
© Adil Yusifov
- Do you remember when you yourself first played jazz?
- I was, in my opinion, 10 years old, and my first jazz performance was at a concert dedicated to the memory of the composer, whose piece is now a single for me. I just realized that everything coincided so symbolically. The 60th anniversary of V
- It was not my first concert in my life. The first academic performance took place in the first grade of a music school. I entered in September, and in May I already played a concert with a symphony orchestra. As I remember now, Kabalevsky's "Third Concert", it is also called "Pionersky". (Sings) I didn't even reach the pedals at that time and I had to put down the stand. But there was no excitement, because you are a child, you still do not understand the full responsibility for each note, for each phrase. And you play on the perception of the world with the "sobriety" of a child. This is a wonderful feeling, and it is very important to keep it in yourself. A musician should always be able to dig deep within himself. You must solve the problems that arise in you, understand how you feel and why it hurts. Before we go on stage, we study the nature of feelings,we strive to look at them as if in a five-dimensional space. And talent in many respects does not always lie in reading, in musical revelations, although this too, but also in the ability to talk to myself, to understand why I am worried now - this is a responsibility. When you step by step resolve these issues with yourself, you keep this pure matter, which later helps to be frank on stage. Because experience is like a corn, our wounds should not be frozen, they should always bleed, and every time we should open them anew. Experience in music plays a cruel joke, I mean emotional experience. When you step by step resolve these issues with yourself, you keep this pure matter, which later helps to be frank on stage. Because experience is like a corn, our wounds should not be frozen, they should always bleed, and every time we should rediscover them. Experience in music plays a cruel joke, I mean emotional experience. When you step by step resolve these issues with yourself, you keep this pure matter, which later helps to be frank on stage. Because experience is like a corn, our wounds should not be frozen, they should always bleed, and every time we should rediscover them. Experience in music plays a cruel joke, I mean emotional experience.
- How to tune in to this conversation with yourself?
- This is not a question of the "tomorrow concert" situation, but a question of a lifetime. Often in films, especially American ones, the musician tunes in before the performance, then goes on stage, the lamps are lit, and now he plays … A solemn moment! (Laughs.) In everyday life, when there are two concerts a day, this is all connected with flights, with stress, so there must be two worlds inside. One is the one that is happening here and now, and the other is your own paradise, and they do not intersect. When necessary, you go there. You need to be able to switch to the world where there is only the author's text and your responsibility before God, the composer and the listener. And you are a conductor, broadcasting what is laid down in the music by the composer. There are three main pillars, points of reference. Like Brodsky: “He was just a point. And the star was the point. " Music is a lot of prayer. You pray sincerely and do not think about all sorts of everyday trifles. If you start thinking about it, getting distracted, everything turns out to be untrue, and the world you created ceases to exist. Sincerity lies in the fact that this is a deep process of communication between God and man. One must strongly believe in this. But it happens that he flew in, boom - a rehearsal, half an hour rested - and the concert immediately. And two hours later I got on the train and left. Sometimes there is simply no time, so you need to keep your paradise always close by. And two hours later I got on the train and left. Sometimes there is simply no time, so you need to keep your paradise always close by. And two hours later I got on the train and left. Sometimes there is simply no time, so you need to keep your paradise always close by.
- Continuing the idea that the performer is a conductor, I want to ask, is it important to immerse yourself in the circumstances of the composer's biography and life? Or, on the contrary, you need to distance yourself and everything he wanted to say, see, hear and feel in the score?
- Of course, it is useful to be aware of what Brahms had breakfast when he wrote the 3rd symphony. It doesn't get in the way. However, it doesn’t matter to me to know that some of the great composers were alcoholics or didn’t have the exalted lifestyle that we would like to imagine today, centuries later. When I read a score or clavier, I read the code of the era, time and the message that the composer conveyed, and at that moment everything else does not interest me.
© Adil Yusifov
- Let's talk about our everyday life, often overloaded with information, the number of gadgets and devices, the presence of which in life greatly affects its pace and rhythm. Can you feel it?
- We have to work faster, of course. There is no longer as much time as it was 10 years ago. The pace has increased, and it is growing everywhere, in all areas of life. Hear how Bach concerts, Mozart's symphonies are playing now. Sometimes the interpretations of conductors and performers completely sweep away the rhythm-metric system. It started back in the 20th century. Horowitz knew how to do it incomparably. And if we are talking about professionalism, about really difficult work, then no gadgets can simply be near at all. Standing in a church, for example, we try not to be distracted by the text messages that come, this is simply impossible. Otherwise, the meaning of everything is lost. You need to try to be very economical and take care of time. Well, no one has canceled the rule that the more loaded, the more you do. (Laughs) When you prepare a piece,then he must approach the process as meaningfully as possible, each note must be justified. It is important to sharpen the phrases with jewelry, combine these phrases into sentences, then some kind of picture emerges, and this is the key to entering the universe of the composer and performer. There are codes that you need to be able to read correctly. You don't need to do anything on stage for this.
- Can we say that in music, in comparison with other types of art, you need to be more disciplined?
- I come from a family of artists who have friends all the artists, I was their guest and many times watched the process of work. These are completely different ways of knowing the truth through art, let's call it that. Music, musical performance is more connected with physiology as well. It's like a sport: if a football player doesn't run for one day, he doesn't have that breathing. Constancy and stability are important here. Artists are not so burdened with questions of physiology, there are other matters. Still, musicians are more attached to their instrument. Although, maybe the artists will hate me after that. (Laughs) They have more freedom in choosing when and what to do. The musician, on the other hand, must constantly keep the performing apparatus in good shape and the like. The visual arts have their own colossal questions and problems that the artist solves, and they are just as painful. It is the achievement of light, color, warmth on the canvas, depth of the canvas. So there are the same number of conventions, only they are different.
- And in the case of your classic mini-album, how did you come to these names - Chopin, Debussy, Tchaikovsky. Why are they chosen now?
- Our whole life is a search in a sense, but you are not looking for anything on purpose, you just play, play, play and try to find your own paradise. And when you feel that you are standing as close as possible to him here, this is the answer to the question, and it is worth fixing it. Tchaikovsky, Chopin and Debussy became such composers for me two years ago when I started preparing this project. I do not know what will happen tomorrow, I can only assume, voice some of my desires. I am currently working on Brahms, opus 117. Big plans with Bach. But this is truly an eternal quest. You can set a goal for yourself based on your inner feelings, but for this you must have a large spectrum of works that you have performed, realized, experienced and put aside. And it's good if you have a desire to return to them. And if you haven't, you go furtherthen you look for yourself. And for 25 years you have been looking and looking, and you look - you find something. Or maybe you don't. Louis de Funes received recognition after 40, it seems to me, just a brilliant actor, one of my favorites. All art is jumping into the abyss without a parachute. There are no guarantees. Today you sit for hours and study Liszt's "Hungarian Rhapsodies", you study for days and you can play all these wild races with your eyes closed, get into them, you have already built everything, you know at what angle the hand, elbow will turn, what freedom of the shoulder, apparatus backs, you calculated it all. And then he went on stage, and something was wrong, you feel that you got up on the wrong foot or something, that something bothers you, keys wet with sweat, touched an extra note. There is no guarantee, but there is a will of chance. And when these unities are combined and interact with each other - place, time and action, as in literature,then something worthwhile can be born. Or maybe not.
- Are you fond of electronic music too?
- I was brought to her by my friend Georgy Mansurov, clarinetist, theater director. And my first impromptu events happened, probably, about 8 years ago. A couple of years later, we made several projects at the Diaghilev Festival in Perm. Plunging into this world, you understand that there are completely different rules of life. But even if you overlay yourself with a huge amount of equipment, technology that is available today, synthesizers, computers, microphones and so on, you may end up getting nowhere. Because here again the question of education, professional education of a musician and a sense of style is included. This is reflected in electronic music.
- How exactly?
- Now there are a lot of musicians who have studios, they are simply teeming with technology, and if you listen, there’s some kind of emptiness, there’s nothing at the end. No inside information. And there are those who have a midi keyboard, a USB cable and some kind of program on the iPad, and they sit there, do something, but the music turns out so that you can't forget … Here is my friend Lesha Sergunin wrote an opera on an iPad, and then she was staged at the "Helikon-Opera". He graduated from the conservatory, graduate school, and on this small device he created a whole opera with a huge number of parts. And the same is in electronic music, you can have nothing and create something great, or vice versa.
- Is it more a hobby for you, or another professional embodiment?
- I'm in the process now, studying. I can't say that I know this story, I try something, an interesting creative search is taking place. Still, I leave more time for performance, for piano.
- Do you notice when, for example, you go out into the street, an increased background sound, external noise? City sounds, loudspeaker advertisements, traffic jams and so on?
- I caught myself thinking that I was constantly singing something in my head, scrolling and so on. By the way, we first of all need to answer the question of what music is. Is music sounds, silence between sounds, or sounds that break the silence? In general, of course, if you walk around and pay attention to how the tiles are removed with a jackhammer, the asphalt is changed, cut, you can go crazy. In the 20th century, composers from this set created music, recorded everything that happened around. It all began with sound writing, when composers imitated birdsong by means of sound expressiveness, for example, Rustle of the Forest (Siegfried by Richard Wagner), The Play of Water (Maurice Ravel). But you can abstract from what is happening. The inner voice is important, and perhaps the inner silence.
- And how do you answer this question for yourself: "What is music"?
- I have already answered it. This is prayer, strictly organized in time. The process of deep communication between God and man. One of the ways to comprehend the truth. These are both sounds and silence, because silence must also be voiced, it must be filled. The pause is not emptiness, it is a breath before jumping into the land of dreams.>