Piotr Anderszewski:”there is no such thing as a good piano in the absolute sense”

Do you not find this paradoxical, in a world which is becoming more and more standardized?

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Piotr Anderszewski: It’s less standardized than you think. At the end of the day, I think I would prefer pianos to be identical everywhere (although I’m sure that would actually make me crazy!). Before, there were more piano makers on the market, and their instruments had more unique traits. Today, if Fazioli tries to gain ground, for example, it’s faced with a quasi-monopoly by Steinway on the concert circuit. But Steinway remains a house of high fashion, which makes hand-sewn products: every one of their pianos has its own personality. The tuning, maintenance, storage, the general state of the piano makes each one different – a Steinway from Hamburg is different from one from London, New York, or Tokyo. That said, I hate nothing more than talking with technicians who come to ask you if you want a piano with a ringing sound or a more muffled one, rich or brassy, heavy or light action. That doesn’t make any sense! I want it to ring and be muffled, I want brassy and rich, I want heavy and light! The worst is when a technician assures you that, if you don’t like the regulation, they can “have it all fixed in 5 minutes” – nothing is impossible, they can change everything – in 5 minutes! That makes me scratch my head. I prefer technicians who tell me outright, “You’re looking for something that this piano cannot do.”

The same thing goes for sound engineers: we don’t speak the same language. I just express my point of view (the idea being of course that I be able to recognize my playing), but this kind of conversation seems rather vain to me. I don’t understand anything, really nothing at all, regarding the changes they say they have made on the tracks. For me, in any case, it’s just as bad as it was when they started! I don’t know a thing about all this business of spacing, placing, positioning mikes. I’m not an expert in instrumental mechanics. Is that wrong? Should I be more like my compatriot Krystian Zimerman? Whatever the case, there is no such thing as a good piano in the absolute sense: you always have to account for the space around it that you have to fill with sound. That’s why I don’t think traveling with my own piano would solve anything. At times, I’ve chosen a piano to record an album in a warehouse or in a backstage room, then once the piano is in the recording studio, I think there’s been a mistake: I’ll check, realize that the serial numbers are the same, but nonetheless I don’t recognize it any more, not the touch nor the sound.

Source : http://www.iplaythepiano.com/piano-mag/piotr-anderszewski-interview.html

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Doris Lessing : “my husband couldn’t afford a wife who had [radical ideas].

Q: Were you surprised at the criticism you received after writing, in your first book, about leaving the kids from your first marriage behind you?

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image source : internet

Doris : Of course I wasn’t surprised. The thing was that this was a terrible thing to do, but I had to do it because I have no doubt whatsoever if I had not done it, I would have become an alcoholic or ended in the loony bin. I couldn’t stand that life. I just couldn’t bear it. It’s this business of giving all the time, day and night, trying to conform to something you hate. Nobody can do it without going crazy. My husband was a civil servant who became increasingly high in the ranks. He couldn’t afford a wife who had [radical ideas]. I wouldn’t have lasted. I became friends with the kids later, and the grandkids, and so on. I’m not pretending that anything terrible didn’t happen.

Source : http://www.salon.com/1997/11/11/lessing/

 

Jean-Luc Godard : cinema won’t refuse me

Interviewer : The films you’ve made since beginning Histoire(s) du cinéma are more emotional than anything you’ve done before. Each feels like an attempt at reconciliation with cinema.

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image source : internet

 

Godard : Yes. I think, if I may say so, it’s like a sentence by Picasso I was once struck by: “I like to paint until the painting refuses me.” I would say that cinema won’t refuse me for a couple more films, a couple more decades, so it’s a reconciliation. Not with what I want, because I don’t know what I want, but with what I want from what I have. And to be more able to not ask for something else, but to do only what you really like, to deal with what you have. It’s a more peaceful attitude. When I’m doing a picture, I’m not angry anymore when it is not well done. Not to be angry that the picture should be this way or against another way, but just to do it your way.

 

Source : https://www.filmcomment.com/article/jean-luc-godard-interview-nouvelle-vague-histoires-du-cinema-helas-pour-moi/

Gunter Grass : “the truth is mostly very boring”

INTERVIEWER : What lies have given you the greatest pleasure?

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Image source : Internet

GRASS : Lies that do not hurt, which are different from lies that protect oneself or hurt another person. That is not my business. But the truth is mostly very boring, and you can help it along with lies. There is no harm in that. I have learned that all my terrible lies really have no effect on what is out there. If, several years ago, I had written something that predicted the recent political developments in Germany, people would have said, What a liar!

source :  https://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/2191/gunter-grass-the-art-of-fiction-no-124-gunter-grass