Image Credits: Vivienne ChuLiao ©. Paolo Terlizzi.
January 12, 2018
Vivienne ChuLiao is a young and talented Taiwanese pianist I met in Taiwan. Graduated from the Hague Royal Conservatory, she has just released her new album, It's Time.
Why did you record this first work?
Because I graduated from the Conservatory and, during the school years, I have developed my piano trio with Korean bassist Kyu Jin Jang and Portuguese drummer João Sousa. We all graduated and, as each of us went back home and no one knew what we would have done in the future, I thought that it was time to fix the songs.
What will you do now?
I will try to stay in Europe, in the Netherlands or maybe in Italy, it depends.
There are two tracks that are religious hymns arranged by you. Why did you make this choice and how did you work on the arrangements?
I am a Buddhist, and this helped me a lot when I came to Europe, for the mental discipline and for facing the negative emotions. I really do not want to convert people to my religion, but I like them to understand the positivity of this thought, by trying to touch people's hearts and their lives with this music.
Jazz is an American form of art. You are Taiwanese and you studied in Europe. Do you think that all this influences can be recognized in your way of playing music or do you feel yourself more cosmopolitan?
I always try, of course, to find a good balance, but the basic line is that we are playing jazz and, therefore, that's the language that must always be present. To me, moreover, playing original tracks is more personal than standards. I melt my background with classical music and jazz, altogether. There's always something to improve, but jazz is the starting point and you never arrive. Our school taught us the American tradition, therefore I don't think that I represent European music a lot, maybe the influence comes from the fact that I lived and studied in Europe
How do you work on compositions?
When I see something, or some thoughts come to me that I want to express, I start by improvising, then sometimes I stop, some other times I go on but, by the way, I record everything with a small recorder. Then, maybe, there's another idea and so on, I go on with many unfinished ideas. I listen to everything again after some days, or even weeks, to pass over the starting emotions. Then, at that point, I work on the material I like.
What are your favorite composers?
What would you like to achieve, in the next years?
I would like to try to stay in Europe and play my music, possibly in trio, even if I have a duo and, from time to time, I also play piano solo.
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