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Welcome to Reflections! Here I offer some personal insights into my journey as a classically trained pianist and artist-researcher. I hope you discover something useful and interestinig here!

Who am I? How studying artistic doctorate has changed me

At the outset of my studies, I initially believed that writing was all I needed to focus on. However, I'm grateful that I embarked on not just a regular PhD, but an artistic doctorate, which proved to be an entirely different endeavour. I think it was both a conscious and unconscious decision to delve into researching an academic musician’s persona. Initially, I envisioned this as merely exploring how a classical musician could build a personal brand, something crucial these days. However, I soon realized it wasn't just about algorithms, sales, and marketing; it was an artistic and profoundly creative process. It wasn't without challenges. Self-doubt has reached its peak as I questioned my ideas, life goals, and my connection to music. Confronting painful childhood experiences that hindered my playing and expression was daunting. Yet, through this intense introspection, required for the research, it evolved into a form of self-therapy. This journey revealed my discontent with the academic environment and the disconnect between classical art and everyday life. Consequently, I resolved to take a different path, one focused on connecting with audiences, fostering reflection, and bridging gaps between classical music and people. This is my journey which wouldn’t exist if not for the 4 years of this beautiful academic torture.

Should classical music be more visual?

My experience as a performer and an audience member has shed light on the unique and sometimes challenging nature of classical music concerts. While popular music events often feel like social gatherings, classical concerts offer a deeply intimate and reflective atmosphere, where even amidst a crowd, one can feel entirely alone with the music. In today's world, where we are constantly bombarded with visual stimuli through social media, films, and series, the act of simply listening can indeed be a challenge. Marina Abramović's collaboration with Igor Levit in the performance 'Goldberg' (2015) underscores this, as they encouraged attendees to leave all the technological distractions in lockers prior the event so they could fully immerse themselves in Johann Sebastian Bach's masterpiece. Even though I absolutely admire this performance, there exists a softer approach to this issue. There's a growing sentiment among some performers and researchers that classical concerts could benefit from incorporating visual elements. While purists may argue that visuals could detract from the music, others say that experimenting with concert settings, lighting, or other visual enhancements could potentially deepen the connection between the audience and the music. This could make it easier for both newcomers and even academics to engage with the music on a deeper level, fostering a sense of reflection and detachment from the everyday hustle. While not every classical concert needs to incorporate visuals, I think that occasional experimentation could enrich the concert experience and make it more accessible to a wider audience. What do you think?

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