10 questions for Pieter de Graaf

Door 24classics

The next 24chambers will be February 24 in Eindhoven together with pianist Pieter de Graaf.

As a child Pieter de Graaf was inspired by his father who played Bach, Chopin or The Beatles. Pieter went on and studied as a jazz pianist at the conservatory and at the start of his career, he blossomed as a keen talent who could adapt all kinds of styles – pop, jazz, classical – down to the most complex theory and techniques. That brought him on the path of artists such as Colin Benders – with his Kyteman Orchestra – and Wouter Hamel, with whom he toured all over the world.

After a period of creative and physical toil, Pieter had to reinvent his entire approach and technique of piano playing. The records he made from that point on called for a different approach. “My main rule is always that I have to feel it. I don’t think it’s until a musician feels something one hundred percent that other people start to feel it too. And I think that’s the beauty of music.” Get to know Pieter a bit better through our 10 questions. We are looking forward to our second Eindhoven edition with Pieter and hope to see you there!

1. What is the best advice that you ever got as a musician?
“If you are making or creating music do not think about what you practiced on your instrument. Just focus on the music.”

2. If you would not be a musician, what would you be?
“I probably would have studied something like bio chemistry. Something in that direction. So I’d be a chemist. Or a biologist. Or I would have started writing a book. So a writer. Could be.”

3. With which composer would you drink your morning coffee and what would you ask them?
“Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. I’d ask him if he could improvise something for me, with my electronic setup.” 

4. What is your favorite music piece?
“Mozart’s Requiem. Because it hits me. Hard.”

5. What are you afraid of?
“Spiders. (Only the hairy ones)” 

6. What was the most defining event of the past year for you?
“The concert I gave in DOT, Groningen during ESNS festival. DOT is a fulldome 3D theatre. I played tracks of my upcoming album and people of the University of Groningen made visuals of the universe specially for my music. The audience was surrounded in space while attending my performance. It was like a dream! I will be playing there again on the 9th of May!”

7. What is at the top of your bucket list?
“Traveling around the world. Still want to see many places! Among them Nepal, the south of China and Vladivostok. But also West-Papua: This year I’m making the music for a film about this country. Because of this film I’m even more stimulated to go there.” 

8. Who inspires you?
“All people who can be happy without making any tangible achievements. People that find the happiness in theirselves and in nature.”

9. What moment of the past would you like to relive?
“My childhood days. Playing outside, football and hide and seek. Not having to worry too much. And specially, as a kid your thoughts are not that framed yet, which is really lovely I think.” 

10. What is your guilty pleasure?
“I don’t really believe in this concept. Don’t feel guilty about anything. But I get the question. ‘I will always love you’ by Whitney Houston is the most beautiful power balled ever written. Is that a guilty pleasure? For some it is…”

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