Meeting with Yerkesh Shakeyev, a Composer from Kazakhstan


(By Dr Shahid Qureshi):-

We asked famous Kazakh composer Yerkesh Shakeyev, for an interview which he kindly agreed. Below are the questions we asked for our readers.

Who or what inspired you to take up composing, and pursue a career in music?

  1. From the very beginning, I heard in my heart different melodies or musical fragments. This is why life step by step led me to the musical path. I consider this to be my destiny. My main goal is to transfer to the people this musical information, which nature herself naturally passes through me.

Who or what were the most significant influences on your musical life and career as a composer?

  1. I think that people are influenced by their genes and the environment in which a person grows. My father was a folk song-improviser, that is, he could publicly instantly compose and sing poetry. This is a rare gift and is called among the Kazakhs “Akyn”. As an infant I fell asleep only to his singing and to the sounds of the national string instrument – “dombra”. Also the whole atmosphere around me was saturated with music: my brothers and sister owned various musical instruments, such as guitar, saxophone, clarinet, trumpet. Naturally, such an environment gave me the desire to hear and develop my musical abilities.

What have been the greatest challenges/frustrations of your career so far?

  1. I do not perceive difficulties and disappointments in life as a problem, as I have long understood that people are not able to objectively assess the events that are happening to them. I think that if we do not interfere in the natural course of events, in general, the main events in our life are created in our favour. I think that everything in life is a chain of patterns in which we do not always see the prime cause. The biggest obstacle I faced recently was trying to organise the promotion of my music. However, I have found a philosophical and practical solution to this and now on I intend to engage in only creativity.

What are the special challenges/pleasures of working with particular musicians, singers, ensembles and orchestras?

  1. I enjoyed working with pianist John Lenehan and cellist Alexander Bailey. I was happy with the professional cooperation that I had with both producers Chris Cracker and Jonathan Allen. In general, during the moments of recording I was happy to communicate with all the musicians and orchestras, especially with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. This experience has enabled me to build a really strong friendship with the famous British composer Guy Fletcher. We have continued to build our friendship since we met in 1998 when he was chairman of the British Academy of composers.

Of which works are you most proud?

  1. I love all my works; they are not just my lyrics but information from the universe which is value to everyone. Of course there are more popular pieces, but I think every melody will find its grateful heart.

How would you characterise your compositional language?

  1. This music is not classified as classical or pop music but a hybrid of both. It has accessibility, logic and shortness from pop music and philosophy, emotions and depth from the classical genre.

Who are your favourite musicians/composers?

  1. I love everyone who has created beautifully works in all genres, since these are the same waves from Heaven. But to be honest, I almost do not listen to other people’s music, because I have too many unrealized musical thoughts.

As a musician, what is your definition of success?

  1. I am sure that for a musician the most important thing is not fame and not money, but an opportunity to be heard by those who are waiting and seeking such information for the development of their souls.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

  1. In the philosophical sense, my idea of happiness is absolute Freedom. In the earthly sense, it is harmony. Happiness in society as a whole, and of course the well-being of loved and close people. And of course, it would be good to bring heat and light to this complex planet to fulfil our soul purpose.

What is your most treasured possession?

  1. The greatest value I received at birth – is the meaning of life, and I was provided with the ability to hear and transmit the thoughts of the universe.

Thank you very much sir.

Disclaimer: Views expressed are not of The Central Asia Post

(Dr Shahid Qureshi is Chief Editor The Central Asia Post)