Richard Pachman and his oil painting Rose
Czech artist Richard Pachman talks to us about his musical odyssey.
After giving birth to historic names like Antonín Dvořák, Leoš Janáček and Adam Michna – the notable figures in the world of music, The Czech Republic is still a force in the world of modern music. But music in this country thrives beyond classical music. We have musicians that known in the field of Jazz, Rock, Celtic and Contemporary Instrumental, and they still continue to gain cult following all over the world.
Conversations over facebook introduced me to the music of Richard Pachman. My friend Paula, who lives in England recommended one of his tracks. The music won me over! He has a tight command of melody and atmosphere. Listening to his tracks can be a transporting experience. This interview happened in the course of a few days and he was quite an interesting fella!
I recognized you first as an instrumentalist. I just found out you also do other types of music. What genre do you prefer listeners identify you with?
I have released my 28th CD last month and I am trying to apply different atmospheres on each of them. I think all composers write in “one basic structure of their styles” all their lives and my music has still the same base : positive, easy and full of emotions. But each project is also different. From my instrumental CDs, I came to work on a project Mistr Jan Hus (musical project about Czech hero who was a priest from 15th century), the Cliff and Notre Dame. Here the music goes with stories based on my last 2 books : historical novels the Cliff and Notre Dame from 16 century. My musical side on these projects has also renaissance music. I put my music on Shakespeare’s lyrics and then I worked with melodies composed by the king Henry VIII. I also worked with Tudor and French composer Cladin de Serrmisy. As I combine my books, paintings and music in my projects, I cannot say what I prefer. I love all my projects and it is fun to have them different:-)
Do you plan working on movie soundtracks?
I have already done music for movies in the Czech Republic and right now, I am working on another one. I love to work on the music, where energy and mood of the music both inspire the story of the movie. I hope to do more films in future…
How did you become a musician?
In the age of 6, I started to study piano in my birthplace Olomouc and at 9 I already started to compose. My neighbor was a famous pianist working with stars of Czechoslovak music of 70 and 80’s. He was my “musical father” and he expressed his positive reactions to my compositions… Later I studied composition and singing at Prague Conservatory and I am recording and performing artist since 1992…
When you start composing, what is the process for you?
Well, at the very first moment there is a feeling, emotion that I am trying to put into my new melody. I compose only on my piano, mostly, I play chords on piano and sing melody, then I write down basic ideas that I later use for arrangements of the composition.
How much time do you spend in the studio when it comes to editing of the recordings?
With Jean Michel Jarre
Depends on live subjects. Most of my keyboard parts I create in my home studio, all “live” parts I do in Prague AWR studio (voice, chorus, live instruments) and then we spend many weeks on mixing. So all one new CD is being born in about 5 to 6 months.
What is the most inspiring time of the day for you that makes you want to sit down and start composing?
Oh, I am a night bird. All my songs, paintings and books were done at night. Sometimes I finish work about 6 in the morning…
Do you have rules when you start working on an album and what are they?
The only rule is the main idea, main atmosphere and that specific moment, which makes my new album different form the older one. The rule for my latest CD Notre Dame was to come as close as possible to the mood of my historical novel Noter Dame, that reflects the atmosphere of France and England at the end of 16th century… That’s why you can also find my version of Greensleeves. Great songs Pastyme with Good Company composed by the king Henry VIII. Or one with lyrics by Shakespeare set to my music… The new video Notre Dame can tell you something about my vision of a bridge between history and today’s world is now available on: www.youtub e.com/pachmanrichard