Yesterday I had the honour and opportunity to interview and speak with an established Maltese composer – classical composer if I may shock you even more – who lives in Paris. He came to Malta because he organises the annual International Spring Festival here.
Quite an event for local standards.
Karl Fiorini. I did my homework before I went to meet him and found out just how much his music has been recognised, awarded, and played.
Well done for a tiny island to have such great talents, to begin with the wonderful Joseph Calleja.
I wonder if this blog should actually be about how many outstanding people this minute country has produced and not about what I initially aimed.
Soho in London, for example, was Maltese-owned.
Although, if we have to start from somewhere it should be with the Phoenicians and their own invention – largely known today as ‘money’.
Come to think of it, that’s quite a topic in its own accord.
No wonder my husband teases me that Julius Caesar, the Roman general, was actually Julius Cassar (a Maltese common surname).
I think I’ve given them enough credit – the Maltese and their little gems like Joseph and Karl.
I’ll stick to my initial objective for this post: how learning about a composer’s way of writing music made me realise that only by weeding off distractions one can achieve something.
In other words – the simplicity gives lieu to the genius, just like the blank paper gives space to the poem.
I asked Mr. Fiorini how did an average day in Paris go.
“I am quite conventional when it comes to composing. I use pen and paper and write my scores. I write everything for a piano first and then distribute the various parts per instrument. But I can’t use computers or any other modern equipment for my composition. So, it’s pretty quiet. I’m at the piano and will be trying out accords and melodies and will be scribbling down on a paper. Then, I’ll stop. I’ll go to a cafe. I’ll sit and have a cup of coffee and will let the music sink in. I’ll observe everything around me. Still quiet and very Parisian. Paris is a city that can inspire you a lot.”
To some this may sound like a boring day of a loner.
But to me it revealed a truth.
The truth about what I’d want my kids to discover one day: the wealth and value in the simplicity of doing something without the media noise, peer pressure influence, and complex technological aides.
The simplicity in the blank paper.
The single goal and the ability to focus on it by locking out all the white noise and electronic rubbish that’s yapping and blipping around us.
The purity of a natural day clear of artificial noise and advanced paraphernalia which we keep buying with the false pretence that they’re here “to help us and make our life easy and more advanced”.
By saying that, I don’t mean we should go back to the forest or live in a cave.
Or maybe we should!
Every now and again.
When we need to focus.
When we need to see what is it that we want, need, must do.
Just think of the amount of distractions we have every minute of every day.
And I don’t refer to the kids as our distractions. In fact, they are a priority to many mothers out there and having to sit with them patiently and read to them a story or teach them the colours, is an objective that gets encumbered by all sorts of distractions, from when the phone rings, to our curiosity to check on this or that website, or a message on Facebook.
And if we disarm, just like Karl does – and throw away the pile of daily distractions, renounce them and announce our going back to the natural and the simple?
Will we do any differently?
I dare think so.
Just like Karl, when he composes – he’d have the piano keys, a view of Paris, a pen and a paper.
One mind and one goal.
That’s how his music is born, metaphorically for us and, to Karl Fiorini – literally.