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Interview with pianist Andrei Petrache

Wednesday, 13 December 2023 , ora 11.19

Pianist Andrei Petrache and the trio Amphitrio launch two albums, Points and Seasons, with a concert that will take place on Sunday, December 10th, at 8pm, at Expirat Club - Halele Carol. Andrei Petrache studied classical composition with Dan Dediu and conducting with Cristian

Mandeal, but he also successfully practiced jazz. More details about Andrei Petrache and his music in the interview he gave to Viorel Grecu.

On Sunday evening you will release two albums - Points and Seasons. It seems, atfirst glance at least, an extravagantgesture. Andrei Petrache, can you explain the two albums that will be officially released this Sunday?

They are the result of the last few years of work. Basically, the first ideas started in pandemy, in 2020, but until now we didn't have the time, the mood and the resources to be able to all focus on centralizing all the ideas and actually release the two materials to stay as records and as publicly available items on streaming platforms.

Therewill be a concert where you'll be playing the songs from the albums, I understand, on Sunday at the Expirat Club.

Yes, we'llbe playing the two albumsin full, which aren't very long - they're about 30 minutes each - plus two more new, as yet unreleased tracks.We'll also have two special guests Răzvan Florescu on vibraphone and Cătălin Milea on saxophone. With Cătălin Milea we will perform one of these extra tracks, outside the two albums.

Since you mentioned guests, tell us a bit about the two core members of your trio with whom you collaborate in Amphitrio.

We are talking aboutAlexandru Marin, whom all musicians, especially in the jazz sphere, know as Mike Alex, on bass and bass guitar, with whom we have been playing for more than 6 years (since the end of high school), and Philip Goron on drums, with whom we have been collaborating more recently, he being a bit younger than us, but we are very happy that we finally found ourselves in this formula and that we were able to build a stable trio version.

Let'ssay, for those who don't know you, thatyou are all very young.In fact, only in your third decade of life.

Yes. I'm 25 and we all hover aroundthe same numbers, but we hope that the material we release to the public is quality material and we try to prove that age is not necessarily an obstacle.

You have an impressive CV in classical music, you have a solid background in classical music. What attracted you to jazz?

The bachelor's and master's degrees that I did are in classical composition and I think that the improvisational element, the real-time compositional element in jazz music is very closely related to the compositional process itself and I think that's how it was... and this bifurcation between the academic type composition that I still practice and this jazz performance area.I think the twoare converging.

To what extent is your music influenced by the jazz trio traditionand more recentinnovations in the last decades, like Brad Mehldau or Esbjörn Svensson?

The newer Nordic influences have been quite intense especially in the Points album (one of the two we are releasing). We try somehow to go from this enormous legacy, the tradition of the classic jazz trio that overwhelms us to be honest, and translate our ideas, my ideas as a composer, new ideas, into a contemporary jazz sphere with elements indeed from the Nordic space, a more minimalist space.

Finally, tell us about your two albums. Those who want to listen to them, who want to have them, how can they get to them?

We're in the pre-release period right now. The concert,as you said, is on Sunday,

December 10th. For now, the publiccan listen and buy the digital version of both albums on the Bandcamp platform - amphitrio.bandcamp.com. After that, we will also release them on all streaming platforms. They will be available on Spotify, YouTube, Apple Musicand so on. And we are also preparing the physical version for those who want a physical graphic on a disc. We're making every effort to have the two CDs available at the launch concert itself. And for the coming period we hope to have them available in vinyl versions as well.

Interview by Viorel Grecu
Translated by Miruna Flipache,
University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year I
Corrected by Silvia Petrescu