INTERVIEW WITH COMPOSER THERESE LEFÈBVRE

Some describe her compositions as music for the soul. Therese Lefèbvre (born Zammit) creates music on a small-scale, in different places, to mark various steps of her life. Her genre is instrumental with a world music flair, and can work out well as part of a movie score or a show choreography.

Born in Malta and trained in classical piano, she has been residing abroad over a decade, first in Germany and currently in Glarus in the Swiss Alps. Five years ago Therese Lefèbvre launched her first album called ‘Journey’ with a live performance in Germany accompanied by Colombian Cellist Alvaro German Camelo Ortiz, and another live performance in Malta with Hungarian Cellist Ákos Kertész. A year after she played some of her compositions as the opening act for German Sound Engineer Andreas Radzuweit’s new Studio Opening Ceremony. A few months ago the Swiss Snow Sculpture Artist Beat Brunner included some of her music in a feature about his works. Therese is currently developing some further compositions which will probably feature multiple instruments, one of which seems to be the longest composition she has ever composed so far.

Therese is an enthusiastic admirer of great classical composers, namely Mozart, Bach, Beethoven and Rachmaninoff and has performed in various classic music concerts in Malta. Nevertheless at an early age she also mentions New Age, World and Movie Soundtrack Music as her influences.

Eve: What has been the single greatest challenge in your career so far?

Therese Lefèbvre: I guess that would indeed be my whole journey with my ‘Journey-Project’. I once sat at a recording studio to record some of my best compositions and have them on CD for family and friends. The recording led to working with prominent German composer and sound engineer Andreas Radzuweit, whose works already reached the German cinema, and the truly talented Colombian cellist Alvaro German Camelo Ortiz. When I thought the project was finalised, the real challenge was just starting. The idea to launch the album to the public with a live performance in Germany came up. The performance was so well received that I decided to give another live one in Malta, and the same event had to be set up from scratch in my home country too, this time with exquisite Hungarian cellist Ákos Kertész. By then the whole album production I intended to have for life to distribute amongst family and friends was sold out. A few months later the company I used to work for in Germany decided to include my album in the Christmas gift package for its partners and customers in some 43 countries. This led to a second almost sold out album production. When I sat at that recording studio, little did I know all this was awaiting me!

With Akos Kertesz

Eve: What’s the most expensive musical instrument you’ve ever bought?

TL: I don’t yet own a Steinway or a vintage Bechstein. Nevertheless, I do love my fantastic four, which are two pianos, an electric piano and a keyboard, split between Switzerland and Malta. I might have a little more feeling for the Uebel & Lechleiter piano I have in Switzerland, which is a German make and which nowadays is not manufactured anymore. It just has a very beautiful tone and it is placed in a cosy room with good acoustics and a nice view over the mountains. This package is more valuable to me than just one singular expensive instrument.

Eve: What are your views about commercial music?

TL: I listen to a lot of different music genres including commercial. In life we need styles that are catchy, easy to listen to, and which we can sing along straight away. I do however believe there should be more opportunity on media for other, less popular genres. After all, broadcasting is one of the major means that makes music and styles popular.

Eve: If any of our readers were interested in trying to break into music, what would you recommend them to start with?

TL: My motto is first nurture your talent and be naturally inspired, then let the rest follow. In my opinion, first one should concentrate on developing his art and abilities and possibly finding his own flavour which makes him stand out. It then takes a lot of determination, time, money but also luck to pursue a career in music.

Eve: If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

T:: That would surely be some incorporated device that writes melodies as soon as they play in my mind. It happens sometimes that an interesting idea comes at an awkward moment, such as whilst driving or in the middle of the night. You cannot take note of it on the spot and that is a tad frustrating. However, somehow, some ideas that instantly leave a mark I do tend to remember without notifications.

Eve: Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?

TL: In 10 years’ time I see myself composing on a small scale when any particular moment of my life inspires me, just as I do nowadays. I do, however, wish to be sitting on a sofa watching a nicely choreographed show full of acrobats, dancers, fire and water or else a beautiful movie with my family, and as soon as the end titles roll up there’s my name listed right under ‘composer’.