I believe that we are living in times where all the definitions of genres like pop, classical, jazz are not relevant anymore. These tags might be helpful for people who are selling music, but certainly not for people who try to create it.
In fact, first the new music has to arrive, then critics will find a word for it. Does the word "pop" or "rock" describe the musical universe of Beatles? Where would you put Keith Jarrett's recording of Schostakovitch Preludes and Fugues?
Who is Joni Mitchell — folk musician, jazz singer, pop phenomena, or simply an ingenious poet?
Berklee College of Music is a place where I always felt that the musician community is very open
to any musical expression. The only thing that counts is honesty. I experienced that first as Berklee student, receiving a tremendous
support for my personal music, a strange hybrid of all my influences — jazz, pop, Russian rock, classical music... Hard to imagine, but it was my PERSONAL original voice that got me into Gary Burton's band..
Since I started teaching at Berklee from January 2011, I see it as an important mission for me to nourish and support a complete honesty of musical expression in each one of my students. This approach has led me to establish our own concert series at Berklee "Finding Your Own Voice". First two concerts were incredible and have created quite a buzz around Berklee community.
What makes these series special?
Every time I meet a new student, I am trying to figure out what music gives him/her a gooses-bumps. The answers are very different, and stylistically very diverse. In fact, I am learning about many new bands from my students, who are, on
overage about ten years younger than me. As a next step, we 're trying to create music that goes in line with one's personal taste, music that the student would enjoy listening to himself/herself. When we finally put together a program of original composition of all the musicians in my class — we suddenly realize that we have an unbelievable diversity — from prog rock duos featuring distortion guitar via modern classical solo piano pieces to big productions involving turntables, keyboards and recorder players. I encourage everyone to bring their musician friends to play their music with them. The question that I get the most after the shows: "How is that possible to get so much music out of a regular private piano instruction class?
This semester's concert promises to be incredible. It will happen on May 7, 1-3pm in 1A (Alma Berk Recital Hall).