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ANASTASSIYA PETROVA

Pianist / Organist / Composer

Music helps me express my thoughts. They say music is an international language, for me it’s also a language to speak with myself. 

 

1. What slogan would represent you and your art the most?  

  • «Life is like jazz – an endless improvisation». A quote from my jazz piano teacher – Vladimir Demchenko – comes to mind: “Improvisation or intuition”. At my first lesson he said this phrase and I realized that those two things are inseparable and that I want my life to be filled with spontaneity, freedom, charming complexity and mystery – things that always attracted me in jazz. 



2. What do you value the most in music?

  • I truly appreciate the freedom of self-expression, the level of creativity in music, the melodic side of it and mastery. It is hard coming up with something new nowadays, however, it is real. When something new comes up, for me it serves as a creative spark to develop further. 



3. Many musicians say that they get to know themselves more and open own new talents because of your art…How the music influenced you?

  • Yes, that’s how it is. I noticed that playing original music resonates with me the most on the emotional level. I believe that it’s connected to the fact that original music is written based on emotions that we experienced in the past, events that happened in the past and had an impact upon the progress of life. Naturally, every time I play an original composition, it serves as a small emotional trip to a place in the past and that helps understanding yourself better. Composing helps me express myself in a way words can’t. It could be a goodbye to someone; it could be a conflict, gratitude, and excitement, bringing up a social issue that is hard to talk about. Music helps me express my thoughts. They say music is an international language, for me it’s also a language to speak with myself.  If not getting into details on how music helps me emotionally and socially, I have to say that music, and especially the improvisational component of it, helps me on a daily basis. Every day I try new recipes, I try choosing a new path on my way to school, it helped me making spontaneous decisions more often. Also, music helped me find the true friends. It’s possible that I’m better at expressing myself using the language of music, perhaps that’s why with musicians I have a special connection. 



4. What does music mean to you?

  • Music is a reflection of life. A famous jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter once said: «Music is just a drop in the ocean of life». That phrase resonated with me because if we describe life with our art, then maybe life can become art and reflect music. 



5. Who are your idols?

  • One of my first idol was and is my teacher Vladimir Demchenko. After that – the list got expanded to the jazz legends such as Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, who recently left this world, Joey DeFrancesco – from organists, my mentor – Danilo Perez. Also, I am truly impressed and inspired by the word our local jazz diva – Iren Aravina – does. She is one of the leaders who inspire me to grow, move forward and never give up. 



6. If you weren't a musician, what would you be?

  • When I was a teenager I wanted to dedicate myself to sport. I chose jazz music over it and I've never regretted since. If music was taken away from me, I would still stay in the art field: photography, visual art, and crafts. All those things are a part of my life right now as a hobby; however, I could envision myself being a full-time photographer or designer. I doubt it will happen though! 


7. Do you think that musicians have all opportunities to become popular and successful in Kazakhstan (on globally)? Why?   

  • It is certainly possible to become a highly skilled musician due to so many resources being available in schools and online. However, it’s hard to talk about success and demand, because there are simply not many platform where young musicians could express themselves. Music and culture in general are not the things our country invests tons of money on. Our youth has a burning passion for music and it’s truly amazing to see, however it would be so helpful if their passion would be followed by support, exposure, and creative realization.  

8. What is the ideal life for you as a musician?

  • A perfect life is the one I see my mentors from Berklee Global Jazz Institute living (Boston, USA). Among them are John Patitucci, Terri Lyne Carrington, Joe Lovano, Danilo Perez and many others. I believe that they found a perfect balance between being extraordinary performers, studio musicians who record with the top musicians of the world, they’re brilliant educators and they have a family. I wish to become one in the future: find balance between everything, love, teach, tour, travel with master-classes erasing any geographical borders with music.