Pereira on ‘Being Authentic’

Pereira on ‘Being Authentic’

David Pereira discusses authenticity – an issue at the very centre of professionalism and artistry.

INTERVIEWER: How do you live in the world being the artist that you want to be without sacrificing the things that are important to you?

DAVID PEREIRA: You raise an issue that seems to be at the very centre of professionalism and artistry. And you point to the way a player can identify what kind of playing is the truest and most authentic for themselves personally, as well as how a player might identify how they’re going to create a viable interface with the rest of the world.

The ideal would seem to be a balance, or a way of being one’s self and engaging with efficacy in society – especially in musical society I suppose. So then, you have a way of playing, or ways of playing, that you love and you will find that these often work when you mix with others, where these other are listeners. Let me see if I can be very practical about that: if I imagine artistry in its sound inception, then I would think of a way of playing one note — say, there is this way — and then to ask for whom would such a sound be acceptable.

And then with that, I’m straight away thinking that there would be some musicians who go, ‘Oh yeah, this kind of cellist, that sounds like a romantic classical cellist, the vibrato is a little bit wide’, and they would say, ‘I would prefer someone who plays with a narrower vibrato say… or someone who doesn’t lean so much on the string but strokes it more lightly’. And these would be just two or three cases of topics that would exist between a player and the rest of the world where a player could find themselves either creating a good resonance with the rest of the world or being a pain in the neck because of the type of sound they make, let alone the complete interpretation of a classic or something like that.

So, my own solution to this is I think rather commonsensical. On the one hand I find it important to listen to sounds in the cello and consider whether I like them, which would seem to be the gold standard approach: what I like. And then life offers – if we don’t die too young – plenty of opportunities to try what I like on everybody else and see how it affects them.

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