This interview was conducted after
a casual dinner at Zhainia's house in Almaty, Kazakhstan, at the end
of my visit there. This transcription was taken from the words of
the interpreter, a friend of Zhania's.
SB: I would like to hear some of your
thoughts about why music and mathematics should be involved together
on an educational level, such as in the work that I have been doing.
ZA: I share with you the same idea that
the whole world is very complex, but linked, and as for me, as a pianist,
it is absolutely evident that all the things in this universe are
linked. When I am working on some musical text, for me it is absolutely
evident that you should make a construction, you should make an architecture
of this musical building, and in this construction, you should use
some mathematical rules or laws. I donıt share this opinion that music
is, sort of, entertainment, that you can play everything absolutely
easily. As for me, music is hard work, work of your mind and work
of your soul. Of course, I am talking about so called "classic" music.
Classic music is very complex music, but at the same time there is
evidently light music where you should entertain and you can do it
easily. We are talking about classic, basic music. I think that the
current situation for everyone now is that the whole human kind begins
to understand that everything is linked and you should research, you
should try to find out these maybe secret links of the many elements
of this universe, and in music itıs absolutely clear . . . Iım talking
about the emotional side of, say for example, science. As we know,
great scientists, when theyıre making some research, they have the
same feelings as musicians, the same inspirations, the same pleasure
of some mathematical or scientific research. And for us, for musicians,
itıs the same thing. We are not feeling only pleasure of some feelings,
but we have some pleasure of construction, of the architectural.
SB: Given that, and obviously I agree
with you on all these points, then going to the issue of education
for young children, how would you articulate, or what would you say
to maybe a skeptic, about the benefits of immersing children at a
young age in training that moves in this direction?
ZA: Concerning the education of young
children, I say to everybody that before entering the school, the
child is living in a complex and very linked universe and when he
comes to the school, all of a sudden the universe is divided and separated
into non linked elements. Its not good, you should reconstruct the
same thing, the elements of the universe of the child should be linked.
In several contemporary educational systems, they are trying to make
contacts of different stratas, unfortunaley its not the mainstream
of education, thatıs why everybody now is seeking something that should
be linked, for example mathematics and painting, biology and physics,
and so like the first universe of the child, everything should be
SB: Thatıs obviously a big motivation
of mine in the interdisciplinary work Iıve been involved in education,
but thereıs another level Iım curious to ask you about. Besides generating
a deeper sense of meaning and a whole sense of the world and the universe
for children, do you think that the actual technical aspects of studying
rudiments, mechanics and language of music and mathematics can help
the students understand the basics of each discipline more deeply
if they are combined?
ZA: I think that the complexity of
the whole universe, of the whole life, is more interesting for the
child than the easiness of the divided world, and he might be more
motivated to find out what is the complexity of the world. Because
I think that for every child its not natural-- a world that is divided
into several stratas, not connected and they are seeking more natural
senses. . . I am no specialist at all, I have no formal experience
in education, its only my perceptions, and all that I have said is
based on my own music experience.
SB: Yes, I shared the exact same perceptions
six or seven years ago, and thatıs when I began putting this together.
So the last piece then. I have been working in your school for the
past two weeks, and I have been working in schools in the United States
for the past ten years. In moving toward this vision, we recently
discussed how people thought I was crazy and rebel of sorts in the
United States for working on these ideas. What I am getting at is
that this is a very huge and long term project to make this real in
any significant way in an eduational system.
ZA: Quite frankly, the educational system,
maybe here and maybe in the United States, is very conservative and
ZA: And we find many conflicts and almost
enemies of our research. Thatıs why I wish you good luck in moving
in this direction. I am absolutely happy to keep contact with you,
and to find the persons who make the same things that we are making
here, because for us, I repeat, it is absolutely obvious that the
world and the universe is linked . . .
SB: Yes, I have experienced many of
the same struggles in my country as I have perceived with some your
teachers here. But I think that in any transformation of thinking
and paradigm of thought, that as soon as visionaries connect the work
can move very fast, and I am very optimistic about the future.
ZA: I believe the same thing. In the
last several years I have made a lot of miracles . . .
SB: Youıve made? Met? Say more, what
do you mean exactly?
ZA: Everything is possible now . ..
SB: Yes, Yes, fabulous. I think that's
great. Thank you very much . . .Bayshuez spayciba