Pianodao – The Way of Piano – seeks to inform, challenge and inspire piano players, teachers and students.
Interview by Frances Wilson
This interview includes material that originally appeared on Frances Wilson’s site The Cross-Eyed Pianist, and is reproduced here with her kind permission.
Around this time last year I wrote a post welcoming the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Fire Monkey, in which I considered what might lie ahead according to the Daoist Astrological traditions of ancient China.
It proved to be prescient in many ways – and also ended up being one of the most popular posts of the whole year! For a general introduction to Chinese astrology before reading on, it is worth looking back.
Regular readers will know that for several years I have been sharing my recordings on the SoundCloud website, as well as enjoying the music that others share there.
One musician whose tracks have regularly impressed me is young Belgian composer Koen Janssen. Like many whose music I admire on SoundCloud, Koen does not come from a traditional background in music education – following piano lessons as a child he has largely taught himself, and his musical adventures have included stints as a DJ and playing in bands.
Having returned to more classical roots, his first EP of epic soundtrack and piano music is now available on iTunes. I was delighted to have a chance to discuss his musical journey with him …
As you read on, enjoy listening to this example of Koen’s music, ’Touch’:
Why are there some composers that we just don’t really like?
That’s a question that has reappeared in my thinking at regular intervals since I read a blog post on Norman Lebrecht’s site Slipped Disc way back in 2014 entitled 10 Works of Composers you never want to hear again.
All this time later, the comments section of that post is still receiving periodic additions as more music lovers choose to name and shame the music that particularly irritates them.
A Facebook group for classical music lovers has recently had popular threads asking such questions as:
- Which is your least favorite, most cringe evoking piece of classical music?
- Name your three least favorite composers.
- Which instrument most offends your ears?????