We are thrilled and excited to release composer-pianist Florian Christl’s beautiful composition, “Fly” on Skoove!
Sony Classical released Florian’s new album, “Episodes” on May 8th, 2020. We wanted to find out more about what makes Florian tick as a pianist, as a composer as well as a person. The passionate musician behind the album shines through in the following interview with him.
Florian had his first piano lesson when he was five years old and was instantly addicted. Self-taught as a composer, Florian Christi channels his emotions and life experiences into his music which carries through into his melodies as well his performances. Here, he talks about how the music he listens to inspires him and his writing process.
Which composers would you say have inspired and influenced you the most?
Well, this question seems to be an easy one to answer but in my opinion it is always one of the most difficult. Of course, I got my favorites. I love classical composers like Beethoven, Vivaldi, Mendelssohn and contemporary composers like Max Richter, Ludovico Einaudi and Philip Glass.
The problem I have with the term “I’m inspired or influenced by“ is that it implies I try to imitate the style of these composers, which is not the case. I have listened to the music of these composers a lot and I have definitely been inspired by their music, but it’s much more than that. My understanding of inspiration is that there is no way to name it or pick certain examples. It is the accumulation of everything I’ve ever heard and assimilated; every melody, every piece of music, every noise, every sound, every feeling, every picture. At the end it’s experiences and emotions that inspire and influences us the most.
“At the end it’s experiences and emotions that inspire and influences us the most.”
How long do you spend at the piano every day on average?
At least 3 hours. I start practicing in the morning for 1 – 2 hours. Over the day I play again and again when I feel inspired. When I’m working and composing there are days I pretty much spend the whole day at the Piano. It definitely is my favorite place in my home.
What type of piano do you prefer to play on – acoustic or digital – and what type do you have at home?
Acoustic. I love and need the “real“ sound; the interaction of strings, hammers, resonance of the wood and the feeling of vibrations in the air. No electric Piano can simulate that.
Can you play any other instruments? (If not, what would be your second choice instrument?)
I play the accordion, drums and a little bit of guitar. My focus has always been the Piano. It is just the most beautiful and versatile instrument. There are endless possibilities. That’s what I love so much about the Piano. But I also totally love strings – especially the cello. I guess that would be my second choice. I had some cello lessons a few years ago and I definitely want to resume lessons and learn to play this beautiful Instrument.
It’s never too late!
How long does it take you, on average, to write a piece of music?
When I write a new piece it is not like I’m sitting down at the piano trying to force myself to compose and say, “I have to write a new piece now“, because that does not work. It’s more like I’m sitting down and just improvising something. Suddenly there is a melody, maybe just a few notes, that perfectly fit in my current mood. A melody that perfectly develops and grows in this mood. In these moments I try to keep the melody, improvise and play with it. Out of this first inspiration usually pretty fast a draft of a new piece develops. It depends, but this first draft takes usually about 30 minutes. For the final score of a piece to be finished takes some more time 😉
“It’s more like I’m sitting down and just improvising something. Suddenly there is a melody, maybe just a few notes, that perfectly fit in my current mood”
You are about to release your new album, “Episodes». What’s the story behind it?
The album “Episodes” was released on May 8th.
Music is an amplifier for emotions, no matter whether joy, grief, happiness or enthusiasm. Music has a kind of magical power which can lift all these feelings to a “divine” level. For a moment it feels as if we are more than just human.
This special power of music hides in every single moment and every little episode of our lives. By definition an episode is an event within a larger event, and that is exactly what this album is about. These small, perhaps irrelevant episodes are what ultimately shape us the most. Far from all reason, music shows us what it means to live. From time to time it lets us feel the meaning of life, even if we don’t understand it. To sum it up in one sentence: It’s time to leave life behind and sink into thoughts to feel alive.
“To sum it up in one sentence: It’s time to leave life behind and sink into thoughts to feel alive.”
The pieces are taken from and inspired by “episodes“ of my life. The intention of the album is by no means to be understood as a kind of musical autobiography.
Of course, I would like to give the listener an insight into my personal emotional world. But I would much rather the listener find himself in the individual episodes. That he projects the piece onto his own life and links his own episodes and experiences with the melodies – regardless of whether they are past or future experiences.
What advice would you have to someone who is longing to play the piano and write their own music?
Never lose your passion for what you’re doing and for what you’re dreaming of!
Now you can get inspired by Florian’s music and learn to play his beautiful composition “Fly” 🎹
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