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“Chatty Pianist” Concept by Emir Gamsızoğlu

When I started studying music I recognized that, because of starting their education at an early age, musicians generally lose the ability to listen to music as an ordinary listener. They hear every single note with their names and can’t stop analyzing the music. Maybe because I was not indoctrinated at an early age, I can shut down my musician-self and listen to music as a person who never had a music education.

In one of these moments, while a Bach recording was playing at the background, we were discussing on a very distinct subject with a friend when we couldn’t stop noticing a beautiful passage in music, and then we praised it for 10 seconds and then kept talking on the other subject. When we were aware of what happened, we made fun of ourselves because first we thought we were disrespectful to Bach’s music and for this reason we blamed ourselves to be shallow, young and stupid guys that had no understanding of “higher” culture.

But a few days later we were listening to Bach again and this time talking about the structure of his music, the styles in architecture, paintings, sculpture, the currents in literature. Then I stopped for a moment and asked “How come we think it is better when we are talking over music about an intellectual subject, than when we were talking about girls”. I recognized that the important part was we loved Bach’s music so much that we lived our lives with it, and wanted to share every moment together with his music. We couldn’t have more respect and love for his music.

With this new awareness, I wanted to interact with the audiences about what music made me think and over the years, before the concerts, I kept talking about the pieces I played. When I came to New York and figured out that Americans already had a scholarly – or should I say serious – version of it which is called “Lecture-Concert”. After attending a few of these lecture-concerts something was bothering me, something about lecture-concert format didn’t feel right. You had two options, either play a short program to be able to have enough time to talk about them or, not shortening the program and to attempt to kill the audience with a three hour lecture-concert.

When I first thought about it technology was not as an easy thing to reach as it is now. Solution was simple in 2008, talk to the audience through a screen and play at the same time. I wanted it to be as “non-academic” as possible, so I chose the title for the concept in that direction; “Chatty Pianist”.

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