Eleanore Tan | cello
This past year, I think my authentic voice has become increasingly clear. Maybe this has to do with my age or some other part in my development. I think I can also attribute part of this increasing clarity to the fact that I depend less on the opinion of others, which makes me more bold and daring. Generally speaking, I want to learn so much about so many subjects and play all kinds of music. Because on stage, I feel alive. Villa-Lobos, Bach, Gershwin: their melodies seem to run through my veins when I play. Naturally, I find it amazing to play music with my colleagues as well. The ability to touch my audience is what mesmerizes me at times. Retelling wordless stories is what drives me.
I want to touch and move my audience. Maybe, possibly, on the same level (or set of levels) that I have identified for myself by now. This pleasant, gripping entanglement is what moves me – so it is hard for me to identify a preference for a composer, or a certain era, or other constrained sets of empirically defined sound patterns.
For example, the basic music of Arvo Pärt mesmerizes me like no other, as does the modesty I try to convey when I play Bach – but on a completely different level. Add to that my love for Latin American music, cross-over projects, and jazz, and you have a melting pot that has addictive rhythms, passion and all kinds of emotion as a returning undercurrent.
In my family, actively engaging in music and culture is very important. Moreover, the ability to play a musical instrument is seen as an essential ingredient in any successful upbringing. And so, at the tender age of 7, I chose a musical instrument, just like my brother and sister before me. I decided I liked the flute, but, unfortunately, I was still too young. A poster at school caught my attention: Cello lessons!'. Why not ' I probably thought – or something along those lines. And with my first rental pocket size cello, I jumpstarted a literal and proverbial trip, with my cello as a permanent travel companion.
A quest like mine can only be identified as a quest in retrospect. First, I just acquainted myself with this new, awkward combination of wood, metal and hair. This combination soon morphed into a gradual leap into the gradual discovery of the nature of my authentic voice. Luckily, I was accompanied by my tutors who, because of my father's career, were located from Germany (where I was born), to Jakarta where I lived from age 8-(??).
When I improvise, I feel free. Sure, I can feel stressed out, but not when I’m on stage. For a classically trained musician, such a statement must seem out of place, but I can’t help it. Improvising supplies me with an alternative language without having to look for words, and without having to deal with other verbal conventions. My goal is to let others feel this language as well.
So, if you listen to my music, I hope I can reach you, move you, maybe mesmerize you. Just between you and me. No need for words.