Well-known pianist, Charl du Plessis (currently busy with a show called Boogie Woogie Big Band, at the Atterbury Theatre, and has a show coming up called Decade, at the Oaks Estate, Greyton, on the 22nd of May), plays on piano’s all over this world, and performs periodically with well-known entertainer Nataniël. Admiring Charl is easy – he is pure talent. He gets to “emotionally connect with people”, and feels music, holds a very strong power.
WHERE DO YOU RESIDE CURRENTLY –Pretoria, South Africa
WHAT IS YOUR TITLE/JOB – Concert Pianist/Composer/Accompanist/Arranger
WEBSITE LINK – www.charlduplessis.com
FACEBOOK LINK – https://www.facebook.com/charlpianoman/
TWITTER LINK – https://twitter.com/CharlPianoman
INSTAGRAM LINK – https://www.instagram.com/charlpianoman/
So YOUR story is? My job enables me to connect with other people on an emotional level, but this means that I can either make people happy or sad or even remember, or forget whatever they choose to, when listening to me. I try to be truthful in my interpretation of music and this is a strong communication tool with my audience. I think that the power of music, and the ability to make people happy is the nicest part of my job. The only con I can think of might be those few purists who might not consider my music “high art”, but I try and satisfy them as well.
Do you have a specific style? I am a rather weird pianist because I am trapped in the divide between the worlds of classical and jazz music. I have studied both these genres but have been unable to choose only one. Later, it became natural to mix the two and so I developed my own unique style of crossover music. Without planning this, it has enabled me to set myself apart from other pianists and create more of an identity and recognisable sound.
How much of your life, is filled with this passion for music and playing? Every moment of every day is filled with music in one form or another. I spend as much time practising per day as I possibly can, and this may vary between two hours on some days, to eight hours on others. The rest of my day is filled with arranging music, the administration around making music or listening to music that inspires me.
Would you like to still be doing what you’re doing until the end of time? Yes, I would like to play piano until the day I die. Some of my biggest inspiration has come from pianists who still play after the age of 75.
Why MUSIC specifically… No music = no life.
In what you do, how much does creativity play a role? I always try to be as creative as possible although it is not the main objective. My work has a large technical side to it which has to do with the physical ability to be able to perform what my inner creative spirit tells me to. I’m at the place in my career where I try to be even more creative and spontaneous and not fear any rules of any specific degree or competition that I have to fulfil.
Do you think art, ….is still alive? Does is have a future still, in music, if at all? Today music is even more relevant in our world then it was, 50 years ago. Even if the dynamic of CD sales and performance has changed slightly, I still think that Art is alive and it will never be possible to extinguish the power of music.
Music is part of the greater Art world, and so is dance and these various disciplines make up the incredible human ability to communicate emotion and that is something that I think will never change. To answer your question: I do not have to incorporate art into my music as old music contains some form of art. I just think in Western art music (Classical Music) the level of sophistication is much higher then in some more elementary forms of music, like a children’s song or nursery rhyme.
Surprise us and share something interesting… Some people save whales. Some people save trees or chimpanzees. I am obsessed with saving pianos. When I arrive in a small town and see the dilapidated state of a Grand piano for an upright piano I am immediately drawn to that instrument and want to help- and save it. That is why I frequently tour with my own piano technician. This enables me to leave the venue and piano in a better state then when I found it. I wish there were more fellows amongst me doing this and ensuring that our instruments were in a better condition, but Rome was not built in a day and I will continue on my mission.
When I started Skep/Create, I knew I wanted to aks people about their different forms of creative expression, but also, to get their truthful selves a part of it. I see it in such amazing ways, and Charl, once again, has answered to truthfully. Follow his amazing work, with platforms found in his feature, and be sure to catch his next event!
Read more about Charl du Plessis here: