Improvisation through my Life
At the age of four, my mother enrolled me in a children's choir and a year later in piano lessons. Since she was a pianist herself, we had a large black piano at home and a huge number of gramophone records at the time. This was my world.
I played my mother's vinyl records, from Rachmaninoff to Mahler, every day. I always knew that I would be a pianist. Nothing attracted me as much as music and the piano, and no one forced me to it, only an inner force, my desire.
I didn't practice much until I was eleven, but I was steeped in music. The piano was my favourite toy. During this time, much more than practicing, I just tried to play whatever I liked on the radio. Although I preferred serious music, many hits from the late 1980s also found their way into my repertoire.
It was like that until I was eleven, when my piano teacher entered me in a national competition. We took the matter seriously, especially her. She practiced with me every day and I then took first place in the competition. The latter changed my world quite a bit. This marked the end of innocence.
The path that followed was similar to every pianist. New competitions, performances, successes and failures followed. After secondary music school, life led me to the Ljubljana Academy. I did my undergraduate and graduate studies there, along with a bunch of seminars. My love for chamber music also began to develop at the academy. Already during my studies I played in many chamber ensembles. It was precisely this extensive chamber activity of mine that led to employment as an accompanist at the Ljubljana Conservatory of Music and Ballet (KGBL) and the Ljubljana Academy of Music. I did this job until the age of 36, when I mostly stopped accompanying. I remain loyal to the institution that raised me musically, where I still work as a piano professor at KGBL.
Despite the fact that I was attracted to improvisation from an early age, my study focus was strictly classically oriented. The first serious departure from the classics was when, at the age of 25, I was drawn into the world of tango. I was particularly impressed by the world of Astor Piazzola. The need to break through musical worlds was his characteristic as well, so I found an important springboard for my later musical explorations in the performance of his music. Even though his music is mostly notated, it still required a much different approach than my previous work with classical music..
That's how classical and tango were intertwined in my world, until around 2015 a comet called Moonlight Sky flew into it, this unusual band with a playful virtuoso touch, focused on jazz and ethno. This was a world that was quite different from my native one. Finally, improvisation and own creativity could come to the fore.
With all this musical involvement, there was always a smoldering desire to put solo piano improvisation on stage. This desire has been growing in me since I was 17 when I first heard Keith Jarrett. At the age of 37, I finally allowed myself to overcome this "Brahms prejudice" and performed the first completely improvised concert. I was of the opinion that such an undertaking would require endless knowledge and experience and I wanted to achieve a spontaneous surplus. Not a fusion, but a transformation from the already known to something new, from the learned to the unlearned, from the conscious to the unconscious. And that's why I needed experience from different musical worlds, everything from classical to jazz, tango, ethno, rock...
Today, I live happily in my musical world, which is a kind of synthesis of creativity, recreation and improvisation, but my work and my journey are far from over. All these processes are very different, yet closely related to each other. I need all three. At the moment, improvisation is my main focus, but it cannot happen without the creative and the re-creative. Musical improvisation represents to me the initial and final state of development. So I myself walk the path of knowledge and experience, so that I can once again return to the elemental state. But richer. It's a musical synthesis, connecting the old with the new, the learned with the spontaneous, and that's what I do, that's what I live for.“