The Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds was in St. Louis this weekend for the premiere of a new choral work with the St. Louis Chamber Chorus. On Friday afternoon, he gave an interview to the public radio station here.
And at that time, Whitney Houston was very popular singer. You know, she still is one of my top, top singers because there is such a freedom in her voice. … We couldn't buy her sheet music in Soviet Union, but we did saw her on TV, we heard her on radio and audio cassette. So, so main subject in during music school was piano playing. And I was very good in the piano. So I just learned to play her songs by listening. And I was surprised to figure out that her songs consisted of playing chords – six, seven different chords. … Those beautiful songs were created just with simple chords. And that was like the next step.… But that was the beginning at age 10, 11, thanks to Whitney Houston.
Listen: the Whitney Houston portion comes at about 13 minutes in.
Labels: Ešenvalds, music, St. Louis, Whitney Houston
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