Keith Jarrett A Biography (English edition)を読む




Ted Simons: Good to see you here, thanks for joining us. 



Lang Lang: Thank you, Ted. 



T: I mean, you are, you are a big deal on a classical music. Before we get to all that business, though, (have) you been to Arizona before? 



L: Yes, it's actually my sixth time in a... 



T: Sixth time! What do you think? 



L: It's very nice and hot! (laughing) 



T: (laughing) OK. Have you had a chance to kind of see the scenery much? And I wonder about concert artists and such. Do you just kind of go to a town and stay in the hotel, and perform and go back to the hotel? How much do you get around? 

司会:(笑)なるほど。 ところで観光する機会はありましたか?演奏家の皆さんってどうなんでしょう?現地に入ってホテルに詰めて、本番やってまたホテル、なんて感じなんでしょうか?街に出れたりしてますか? 


L: I remember my first time being here was 2001, and, uh... I still remember I came with my father. And it was .... We were prepared a Chinese box before the concert and we take out from the freeze, so it's a bit cold. So we put it on the street. So five minutes later we had a very nice dinner. 



T: There you go! It's boiling the egg on the... frying the egg on the side walk here. 



T: I got to ask you before I get you what you're doing now. I want to know about... because you were a prodigy. You started very young but you started.... you were inspired by a cartoon, a “Tom and Jerry” cartoon? Talk to us about that. 



L: So I was two years and a half. And my parents bought me the piano, but that's already when I was one year old. 

ラン:2歳半のときですね。両親がピアノを僕に買ってくれて… あ、それは1歳の時のことです。 


T: Wow! 



L: So I was watching one of my favorite cartoons, uh,... “Tom and Jerry,” and, as you know, there's an episode called “The Cat Concerto.” So Tom, you know, with tuxedo, nice tie, and start playing the piano. And that was my first inspiration. 



I had a look at the big concert grand piano, and I looked at my little upright piano. And (thought) “Oh, that's the father and that's the son.” So I start(ed) playing. Those (were) my try-out. 



T: Was it something that... How old were you when you felt the .... I mean, because the kids are kids, and adults kind of feel the music differently. But when did you feel that music as part of you? 



L: I would say when I performed frist time. I was five years old. 



T: Five years old? 



L: Yeah. And I played Chopin's “Minute Waltz.” And I thought that was such a beautiful music, and also, you know, the stage light, like now, it's warm, and, uh .... also after playing, I got a flower from a little girl. I thought that was cool. 

ラン:ええ、その時はショパンの「子犬のワルツ」を弾きました。その時思ったのは、この曲きれいだな、とか、ステージの照明が温かいな、とか、あとは… そう、演奏が終わったときに女の子から花をもらって、こりゃいいやって思いましたね。 


T: Five years already! When you start(ed) so young, and you're good so young, and people are watching you. Didn't you feel pressure at all? 



L: Well, I mean, I must say it was not always, you know, very lucky. When I was seven I joined a competition, in which I actually got lost. So I was right, num, num, num, even number seven. So I got a consolation prize, a little toy. But I think that was actually what encouraged me the most for so many years. So I think sometimes when you are NOT so good, it actually makes you try to work harder. 



T: Interesting! And you did work harder, and you did obviously move up in terms. Again, it seems though you connect with the audience in ways that might be a little different than other artists. Talk to... Do you feel it.... Do you feel it when you are connecting with the audience? 



L: I would say no matter whether you are a pop star, whether you are a jazz musician, or you are a classical musician, in the end we need to get moved by the music. and we need to be totally connected with our heart and our soul to the composition that we are playing. 


And sometimes I felt that you're going to a concert, everything was very perfect, but somehow the soul, the heart, is not there. And I think it's very important when audience or musicians listen to another performance, what they like to hear is your sincere, your sincerity. And that, you know, the totally concentrated bridge between your heart and the keyboard. 



T: When you have your heart and your keyboard bridged like that, how do you know there's another bridge going out to the audience? How do you know they are with you? 



L: I actually, you know, the thing is when you start thinking about that, then it becomes artificial. If you like. “Hey! Look at me! Look at me!”... you know, that is not good. You need to be totally sincere. So the thing is when you are moved by the music yourself, then you have a chance to move to other people. 



T: It's interesting you mention that, because some critics of your style say you're too flamboyant, you're too showy. Is .... first of all, respond to that, what is the difference between having a flair and having that connection, and being too showy? 



L: I mean there are a lot of different kind of repertoire. I mean, tomorrow we will play a very virtuosic piece, Prokofiev's third piano concerto. And that is absolutely, you know, you need to be, you know, not to show off but to give all your abilities, you know, to take it out. 


But sometimes when you play really incredible music by Beethoven, like, slow movement, adagio, you know, or by Brahms, and that time everything becomes to heart, the intellectual power rather than, you know, the technique part. It depends on the pieces. Almost like a great actor. You need to be capable in ... uh... playing different roles. 



T: Do you find yourself as you age, handling that differently? Are you different now than you're ten years ago in terms of that persona on stage? 



L: It's a little bit easier to calm down a bit when you're getting a certain level of playing, a certain maturity. But I mean the freshness of what you call the instincts shouldn't change because, if your instinct changes, then it's not good. 



T: Do you find, as you age, that certain piece of music, when you were younger, affected you this way ― now they affect that way? 



L: Yeah, for example, you know, the piece I played ten years ago, even the piece I play tomorrow, it's slightly different because after ten years you learn a lot of new things. 


And those new ideas give you another way, another alternative way to play this piece. So it's sometimes hard to know which one is better, but certainly it's a different input. 



T:  And you don't really care about which one is better per se? You just care about what you are feeling in the moment, correct? 



L: I mean, there are a certain, you know, a frame of the work you need to follow. You know, the instruction of the scores, obviously. 


But after that you need to free yourself, you know, and to put some, you know, personal ideas on top of the original scores. And the interesting (thing) is that when you hear the composers playing their piece, you see a very, kind of, an interesting input on top of the scores. So you know, that they gave you the room to do it. 



T. Interesting! Hey, you, you obviously as you started as a kid. I know that getting other young people involved in classical music is very important to you. Talk us about that. 



L: Yeah, so in 2008 I started a foundation based in New York called the Lang International Music Foundation. So now we have 15 very talented next generation artists, which we are mentoring them in our program. So some of them already played with me three times at Carnegie Hall. 



T: Oh, my goodness! 



L: Hopefully, you know, I'll bring some of them to Phoenix area next time. 


And we also started a public school support, what we call “Lang Land Aspires Program.” Now we gave about six hundred thousand dollars for three years in a school in Boston, and we gave them new instruments, and also we hired some teachers to train them in music. 



T: As far as getting young people involved in this type of music, how do you keep their attention? How do you get that spark? Because there's  ― between computers and the TV and the smart phones, and the this and the that, there's so much going on. 


So much of it is pop, quick, fast. How do you get them to figure out that that adagio  

really is something special? 



L: Obviously you don't start with adagio! 


That's a great, I mean, a great suggestion because today our world becomes so fast and so, kind of, remotable, what you call, but actually in music, you know, when you think about it good performance, it's like a multi media platform, the only way, you know, to listen to music is the ear, right? 


But then you also, you know, when the music comes IN to your ears, comes IN to your brain, and they need to be vertical. They cannot be, you know, just a kind of flat. 



T: Yes. 



L: So you need to see the characters. You need to see the messages. You need to see the colors. You need to see the construction of the building. You need to see the dynamics. So I think everything needs to be multiple. 


So in a way that, uh, this time of the year when I am talking about a music to kids, when we have, you know, we use smart phones, we use whatever pad. 


And we start also physically playing it together, not just talking, because talking is good, but it's more like a music class. What we want is to get people to play together. 



T: That's for kids. 



L: Uh, huh. 



T: Let's talk about some older kids. Talk about adults here, who still find classical music intimidating, and they don't know what they're missing. 


“Sounds, kind of, nice.” But there are people you are putting your heart and soul in to that, and that they are trying to figure out, “What am I mi ....” what are they missing? 


What,....well, how do you tell someone this is what you need to do to appreciate classical music? 



L: I think they just need to go to, uh, more concerts. And, uh, maybe to see a good concert. 



T: Yeah, I... that's a good idea. Maybe not try so hard. 



L: Yeah, not try hard... not TRY hard, but to, you know, maybe you go to YouTube, you know, just to find some videos of, uh, you know, great musicians perform. People like Yo-Yo Ma, people like Itzhak Perlman, people like Pavarotti, you, know, and like Leonard Bernstein, you know, get, uh, maybe shorter clip. 


And then, you know, I think it's very automatically, you know, and, uh, they just feel it. And when you feel it, everything opens. 



T: Yes. 



L: And sometimes through some kind of a, maybe, paper in front of you. But if you, kind of, pass, if you break through, then everything, uh, kind of, comes. 



T: And you buy Lang Lang CD ever made, and you can't stop playing them. 


Hey, you played for the opening ceremonies at the Olympics, the '08 Olympics there in China. What was that like? 



L: There was a gigantic stage, and I was playing with the little girl who was five years old at that time. And I was like a baby sitter. 


And then, “You know, please.... don't run.”  You know, there are lots of people watching you now, you know. “Let's play together, you know, having fun.” 


And then after five minutes I couldn't find her. I was so scared, you know. 



T: Where did she go?! 



L: She's run somewhere. 



T: But was .... did you, again talk about pressure when you were younger on a situation like that. You're a kind of, you were representing China and in many ways you do representing China in terms of the arts, in terms of the growth of the country where the country's future is headed. Do you feel pressure there? 



L: Not really. I just do my best, you know, to perform and to be as a good, a kind of a cultural ambassador. 



T: So you don't feel like necessarily a symbol of China's growth and China's changing sta... image on the stage. 



L: I'm happy there, you know, I become a kind of, uh, a global citizen. You know, uh, to share what our generation is thinking about toward the future. 


And I think it's..... And this generation needs to be very open generation to the global, I say, one big village, and I think, you know, as a musician, there's probably one of the best thing is that we are communicators, and through a piece you don't need to know the culture but you're kind of understood what you are talking about. 



T: You live in New York, correct? Why do you live in New York? 



L: I used to live in Philadelphia, and I moved after graduation. And, uh, so, that's a very big city and, uh, a lot of people, so... a lot of parties! (laugh) 



T: Oh, OK, we could talk about that later. But you have places in China, as your hometowns in China, as well? 



L: Yes. 



T: OK. But most of the time in New York? 



L: Most of the times I am actually in airplane. 



T: Before we go, I got to ask you, what is your, I mean, not necessarily to play, but when you just want to listen to the epidemy of a classical music, what do you listen to? 



L: I actually love to listen to Mahler symphonies. And I love to learn, you know, actually I love jazz. I ..... 



T: Do you? 



L: Yeah, my favorite artist is Herbie Hancock. 



T: Oh, you PLAYED with Herbie Hancock, didn't you? 



L: One of my best friends. And he taught me a lot of, uh, great tricks.... 



T: Isn't that something! 



L: .... for playing jazz. 



T: Isn't that something!