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The eyes of an artist

How musicians see music

Robert Buzila

18th January 2021

Music. What can I say about music that hasn’t been said already? To say that music is my life would be a cliché since it is already the life, and part of the life of so many people. So let’s start by saying that music made me who I am today. I started enjoying music and especially classical music at an early age, my parents would bring me often to the city’s national opera house where they work. They are not artists but they interact with artists and they saw how life on stage was, and I was given free range to do what I wanted inside the building and so the opera became my playground. I always had front row seats to every rehearsal and every show and I remember being fascinated by the orchestra and the music they played.

My beginning

The first step in my musical career was when my parents decided to send me to piano lessons even before going to school. After which I started school at a national arts school where I continued studying piano but changed to cello after 2 years. I was thinking I will end up in an orchestra but after 8 years of cello something changed, I don’t know how to explain it, I like to tell myself that I got bored of it, but I think the truth is I was not feeling satisfied with what I was doing. I knew I wanted to do music all my life but I didn’t found yet the means to do it. Until I realized that I enjoy very much singing. From that moment I felt that everything was right, and so I finished school, I went to the university where I got a bachelor and a master degree in canto classic and now I am working as a choir member of the national opera from my city and also collaborating with other arts institutions from the city.

Space and Time

They say that with a painting or a sculpture you decorate space but with music you decorate time, for me it is a bit of both. In school we learn in physics that our reality is composed of space and time; music needs both to exist. A sculpture doesn’t need time to exist once it is created, it will continue to exist until an outside force damages it, on the other hand music needs both time and space to be appreciated because it is always changing, always moving. It would be a very boring thing if it would just stand there like a statue, imagine playing only a chord on a piano and nothing else, it would not represent anything, but if you add rhythm and other chords and a melody, that’s when things start to change. I like to imagine music like a sea, always moving always changing and you are just floating in it during a performance. 

The Voice

Ever since I started singing lessons I became fascinated by the human voice and what it can do. For one thing, it is the only “instrument” that is unique to every individual. There is no one else in this world that has a voice like yours. It is true that for instruments, depending on how it is made (cheap or expensive), you can also hear differences, but they are small compared to the differences from one voice to the other. Just like your fingerprints are unique to you, so is your voice. Knowing this puts things into a different perspective and because of this I started to be interested in a capella music. A capella is a music style in which only the human voice is used but also the music has to be written in a certain way to create the desired effect. The beauty of this style of music comes from the uniqueness of voices but working only with voices without the aid of an instrument creates problems, dropping out of tune being the biggest one. I am part of a vocal group and it takes a lot of practice to stay on tune and also to harmonize with the rest of the group.

Keep asking questions

Most people listen to a song and they like it but they don’t know why they like it. For some people this doesn’t matter, they just enjoy it and it’s enough for them, but I am not like that, I want to know what makes a song enjoyable. And so I have questions: is it the voice? Is it the melody? Is it the harmony? The answer is not always easy, sometimes it could be a combination of many things but what makes me happy is that after all this time I still have questions about music and I am still trying to understand its nature.

Music helps us grow

I started this by saying that music made me who I am today but I would like to think that it is still changing me and making me grow. Thanks to music I met many kind and intelligent artists who shared their experiences with me and opened up my mind to new ideas. My love of music allowed me to go and perform on stages and locations that I would not have expected and for this I and grateful. And also, being part of this musical world means I have a better understanding then the average person of what is going on in the mind of the performing artist that we see on stage. 

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