Interview with Eriko Makimura about the DJ Spooky concert

How did the concert DJ Spooky go last night?

I think it went very well.  It was the first time I ever played with the piano amplified electrically. I am used to the sound of a loud piano, but not that loud and not directly in my left ear. But it was fun and I would like to play with amplification again. DJ Spooky was very charming and has interesting ideas and an impressive network of collaborators such as Pierre Boulez, Steve Reich and Ryuichi Sakamoto.

How did it go working the local musicians (two violinists and a cellist)?

They are all based in Denmark, but the first violinist was born in Los Angeles, the other violinist is from Canada and the cellist is half Iranian. I am from Japan and DJ Spooky is from New York, so we were a very international ensemble, indeed. They were all so easy going and during the rehearsals the violinist noticed that I was playing the Carmen Variation transcribed by V.Horowitz  (“The White House Version)” and he joined in. We also played a couple of phrases by Manuel de Falla. They were very flexible and we were very amplified.

The Statens Museum for Kunst venue is not a normal concert hall. How was it to play there?

I of course don’t mean to insult my senior fans, but I really do love playing for a young audience and the audience at SMK was a very young and a new audience for classical music. Also, I like the fact that they seemed to be very involved. Young people are often hesitating to go to classical concerts because it is perceived as old and boring and music written more than 300 years ago. But, for instance, my youngest student is 3 years old. I don’t want her to think that classical music belongs in the cemetery! And remember, we are losing audience in the classical world. We need to build a new fan base. Some are even allergic to classical music. I want to cure them for that!

The Fazioli piano you played last night is the longest piano in the world. Could you feel a difference?

Yes, it has four pedals. But I didn’t use the fourth one! It is the same thing with the iPhone. There are so many things you can do with it, although you don’t use all of the features. It is any way fascinating.

Please say a few words about working with the Art Frequency organization and their primus motor, Lars Top-Galia.

First of all, I went to a concert arranged by him previously. His taste and the musicians he finds, the artists he is bringing to Copenhagen are quite extraordinary. Of course, I also respect his positive attitude  and deep respect for the classical music and musicians. He is very focused on making a good balance between the acoustic and the electric instruments. Many tried to archive this before, but very few have succeeded. He does. He did.

Which Art Frequency arrangement did you go to before as a guest?

I went to see the Blixa Bargeld (the singer from Einsturzende Neubauten, guitar player with Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds) solo performance in Gasværket. I live partly in Berlin, so I feel a strong connection to Blixa and his German attitude.

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