Why write a blog? If I have the theatre to express my musical world, why would I need to transform in words some of my thoughts? When I am practicing and I happen to answer the phone, the other always asks me if I were asleep. The concentration of the ear is very powerful, and I seem to have a sleepy voice, but I am very much awake. And that makes me be very aware of the huge difference when one makes music, and when one produces words.
I decided to take up the pen to explain and transform in words some of my many experiences as a travelling and practicing performer. I do believe that my work with music has changed and transformed who I am as a person. I do believe I became more patient, humble, and conscious as a result of my daily work at the piano. And it is to that experience which I would like to honor by talking and sharing it. One that is not often talked about: in the solitude of a studio, 4 walls, a pianist and a piano, who wins? Composer? Music? The piano? Or the pianist? I tend to think that the pianist is but a witness to the processes at hand. And that experience is formative and transformative.
I lived in four different countries, and speak several languages. My student years with many different teacher made me realise that I became the depository of a wealth of information from different corners of the world, different schools of thoughts and different piano styles: the Russian, the German and the Italian and the American School. Each one of my teachers were able to share experiences, memories of concerts and repertoire, of rehearsals witnessed, of orchestral and opera concerts. All this was formative. My analysis teacher Haim Alexander, a formidable improviser and composer, studied with Bruno Walter in Berlin… and my first piano teacher — Olga Rizzardo Normanha in Brazil, was a protegee of Carlos and Francisco Mignone and their father, Alferio Mignone, a celebrated Italian flutist and pedagogue, whose solfege lessons were the terror of São Paulo’s music students… Dona Olga, as we called her, was also the protegee of the famous Mário de Andrade, and was acquainted with Villa-Lobos.
Each one of my teachers created in me a world of references and memories, and tastes which I craved to be able to reproduce…
So, I decided to write a little about my own memories and experiences. I believe we lack communication and exchange of experiences in a world of information explosion. And so that my public will have some of my thoughts and my own voice in words here exposed, I dedicate this new writing venue.