Selling music via Internet was an alternative way several years ago, now it becomes more official and more intensive. There are your recordings for selling, as well. Respected Dilek Redzep, How have you come to that idea?
– As soon as the Internet appeared as an option I as a pianist and artist have realized that possibility, because the musical circles were closed to me both within the country and abroad. The reason for it was that only political and state musicians were preferred. By opening of that kind of presentation I saw a really good possibility to approach the world audience where everyone can find something according to his taste. In that time everything was happening in the academic close circles and the classical music wasn’t in reach of the wider audience and public, even many of the artists weren’t eager to upload their recordings because they weren’t used to that kind of judgement from the world and the world audience. With the fact that the opened world of YouTube and the other forms of presentation and selling which are automatic and connected among themselves, are very big relief for the artist for him not to depend on some internal factors. On the contrary, he will look for his success globally and not only in his country.
How does the selling go with your recordings? How big is the interest of buying your music both with domestic and foreign audience?
-It was very modest at the beginning, but became bigger and bigger as the promotion went on. The profiles with many applications on the Internet has increased lately where the artist can promote himself, and there is interest within domestic and foreign audience, of course. But the domestic audience is still scary in regards to buying over Internet which is common way of buying various goods, not only music.
Could you tell us which recordings of yours are offered on the Internet? Do you make good money?
-My first CD is published in 2014 over CD Baby Independent Store, an American company, as an album with a title: ”Dragon songs and best Classical Popular songs”. The album is in classical genre and you can buy it on Dilek Redzep-Piano | CD Baby Music Store, under my name Dilek Redzep, or you can buy it by entering the title and the compositions at Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon on all languages including the Asian, Jungle.Key.Shop, Shazam and many others. There are sixteen compositions on the album, six of them are best known because of their Asian musical origin and which are played by the best Asian musicians all over the world, true master pieces of the Asian art of piano music. They are: “Autumn Moon on the Calm lake”, “Silver clouds chasing the moon”, “Sunflowers”, “Spring dance –Sun Yi Qian”, “Ode to the Yellow River” 2nd movement of the most popular Chinese national concert “Yellow river”, “Eastern winds” by Steve Tan, a modern composition by a young Vietnamese author with both Chinese and Vietnamese motifs. The other compositions are the pearls of the Western Europe romantic period, i.e. works from Frederic Chopin – “Nocturne” Op. 9, No. 1 and 2, two “Grand Waltzes” Op.34 No.1 &2, “Polonaise” Op. 40 No.1, with a popular name Military (written after a winning battle), the popular “Impromptu Fantasy” OP.66 No.4, and one of the most popular transcribed works of all times from Franz Liszt – “Liebestraum” (Love dreams). The other works are popular piano transcriptions from popular violin works: “Meditation” from Julles Massenet, “Salute d’Amore” from Edward Elgar and the most known transcribed work from Jochann Pachelbel “Canon” in D with the version of the American author Lee Galloway who gave me commendable words for my performance of his work as one of the most emotional performances in general.
Because we’re talking about making money too, but also about promoting of different cultures, how hard it is to come out of anonymity and to make breakthrough in such way?
-Yes, it is very hard to come out of anonymity just because you can make money, everyone tries to keep monopoly on the market and it’s even harder to make money just because it’s about different cultures. Because the CD is a mixture of two different cultures and they fit together very well and on the Asian market they go hand in hand, but here at the European Market it’s different. The Asian culture is accepted very hard and is not evaluated very well.
How do preparations for realization of a project from the beginning to the final publication on the Internet go?
-First, there are ideas about what is going to be played, the affinities of the artist, the market, the acquiring of the material. I can proudly say here that I have obtained the materials for the Chinese music, from the Vietnamese composer and for the concert “Yellow river” in a shortest possible time and I hadn’t got any problem with the copyrights, it was all settled down regularly. Afterwards come preparations of the works and recordings in a professional studio several times, then there comes the technical finalization of the process and when they’re finished you promote them in the houses all over the world for publishing. If they’re interested they publish the CD with all their rights, you sign an agreement with lawful regulations depending on the company, you get a bar code and you go on. That procedure lasts about two months, and after that they distribute the CD over the other nets and announce you on their site. That’s the procedure. There are announcements both limited and lifetime, it depends on the conditions which you have accepted. My CD is in the lifetime announcements.
Have you realized any international cooperation via Internet for any performance up to now?
-Certainly I had, the most part of all of these activities are via Internet and professional profiles where you can make contacts with people from your area of activity, concert agencies, managerial agencies, because, as I have stated before, every activity of mine was limited. I’ve got mine own website where everyone can find me and see what I can offer. Though the Internet is controlled and there are limitations, still the approach to the world of music is much easier.
I wonder whether with this kind of commercialization of music comes the true value of the art or does it become so popular, and somehow part of everyday life and easy to approach?
-I’m convinced that the classical music should be the most commercialized one, because, looking from today’s aspect, it was present among very small circle of people. Actually, the true value always comes with the availability and the easy approach to it and not vice versa as it was understood before.
Where have you gained your education? To which professional achievement are you most proud of?
-I gained my education here in Skopje, Macedonia in the Secondary School of Music DMBUC Iliya NIkolovski – Luy and at the Faculty of Music in Skopje. It was a real time for studies because many foreign musicians were coming here to play, they were holding seminars and we were truly having good contacts, exchange of experiences, of technics, performances, styles, schools of playing, etc. Then, when changes came with the system of my country there was some vacuum of time, but we survived with dignity. In the meantime I cooperated with other artists, violinists, singers, playing chamber music. That cooperation gives a wonderful energy on the stage and a possibility for performance of very interesting pieces of work which you can see on my YouTube channel. I’m also proud of the invitation from the French Cultural Center to give concert. They have known my affinity towards French music very well and it was my first concert after a personal invitation from that world institution in 2007, where I was both artist and organizer of the concert in the Days of Francofonia. I’m also proud of the recording of the “Concert for piano and orchestra” No.3 from L. V. Beethoven which should have been recorded with an orchestra, but situation required for it to be recorded only with piano accompaniment. You can see it on the YouTube channel as video recording. Certainly, I’m most proud of my last realization, of my CD “Dragon songs and best popular classical songs” with which I have actually opened myself to the world as both artist and pianist.
How much have the Macedonian media recognized your creative aim and your role in the promotion of the music art out of the boundaries via virtual way?
-Unfortunately not much, neither in the recognition of my creative aim nor in my role of recognition of the art of music in general, especially not out of the boundaries of the country. For all of these years the Macedonian media were mainly engaged with some of their national aims and there wasn’t a space for all of that.
What message would you like to send to the young artists who would like to follow your way?
-To go to the world as early as they could, both on the virtual way and on the concrete concert way. Not to waste their time for things to improve here. We’re a small country for music like this, but the world is big and our world of classical music is vast, which is a big advantage. Europe, Africa, the Americas, Asia, and especially China which at the moment is a world leader in promotion, in viewing, in listening and in concert attendance. Probably that’s the way it is because of the previous closeness in the system and it’s normal that after the openness the expansion and interest has been felt over the last fifteen years.
How much are you following the musical accomplishments of different virtuoso on cibre space, and how much do you buy on that way?
-I constantly and every day follow the musical achievements on ciber way, like concerts, competitions, visitings, and the Live stream is a wonderful possibility to enjoy the moment of the creation of the music along with the musicians. Yes, I buy music, and it is the easiest way for doing it.
Which style of music do you prefer professionally and which one individually?
-I prefer classical music of different periods, with different styles from different national areas. That kind of classical music is very interesting to me, very moving and rhythmical, to which belongs the Chinese music, of course. I don’t separate it from others, I privately prefer the same music along with the music which is melodic, rhythmic. I like multimedia projects with a mixture of styles like crossover music for piano with different instruments and orchestras of all type, and of course, I like the Asian Zen music which is my favorite.
What are your next plans for performing, for concerts, and for eventually, visiting?
-Yes, I’ve got plans, but I wouldn’t like to talk about them now before realizing them.