Who or what inspired you to take up piano and pursue a career in music?
My parents encouraged me to become a musician. I was born in a communist country run by a psychopathic government. My parents believed that being a musician was a chance to travel the world and become free.
Who or what have been the most important influences on your musical life and career?
I think my father was the most inspiring person for me. He always provided records, books, charts and all the necessary materials for my work.
What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?
For a talented person the hardest thing is to stay polite, patient, gentle and kind to the people around you. It takes a lot of everyday work to approach with inner love people who are less talented and more talented than me.
Which performance/recordings are you most proud of?
I think that my last album Earth Particles is not bad. I recommend it.
Which particular works do you think you play best?
I was always hired by film music composers to play ballads. Maybe that’s what I am good at…
How do you make your repertoire choices from season to season?
I play improvised music. I just listen to what I play and try to fix it. Sometimes promoters or producers ask for something specific and that is how I make my living.
You are performing a solo jazz recital in the London Piano Festival this October – tell us more about this?
I will sit at the front of the piano, press the keys and throw the hammers in the air.
Every hammer then hits the metal string which produces a vibration reaching the ear of the listener.
Through this procedure I achieve the attention of the people in the hall so that some energetic processes can take place. We then start to exchange information on the subconscious level.
Intellectual, energetic and spiritual.
Do you have a favourite concert venue to perform in and why?
I like the venues which smell nice.
Who are your favourite musicians?
My favourite musicians are the musicians who listen while playing and react immediately.
What is your most memorable concert experience?
I forget what I’ve played, when and where. Music is the reality of abstract vibrations, I become confused when it comes to exact descriptions.
I definitely have some unforgettable memories, but I do not remember the scrupulous specifications.
As a musician, what is your definition of success?
I don’t believe that “success” exists. The only success is to become a better person than I was yesterday. By “better” I mean more trained. Please remember, that the relaxation is a part of a training.
What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring musicians?
I think the most important thing is to listen while playing. Listen to others and listen to yourself.
That’s why I play bare feet: everything is more “hearable” because the sound is also resonating through the bone conduction.
An outstanding artist consists of two elements: the well-trained body and high-quality soul. Both aspects need everyday training.
Where would you like to be in 10 years’ time?
I hope I will stay in this physical body, but it is not me to decide. I like this planet, although the system is ugly.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Achieving the understanding of a perfection of all that exists. It is in fact the perfect creation.
What is your most treasured possession?
Leszek Możdżer performs a solo jazz recital on 5 October as part of the London Piano Festival at Kings Place. Further information and tickets here.
Pianist and composer Leszek Możdżer is one of the great revelations of the last decade in Polish jazz. His classical training allows him to play the piano with great improvisational freedom, creating new musical landscapes to which he lends a timbre, eloquence and harmony all of his own. The result is a subtle, often mystical atmosphere that enchants his audience.
(photo: Lucasz Gawronski)