a-chat-with-petre-inspirescu

A talk with... PETRE INSPIRESCU

When I first heard Padurea de Aur back in 2011 - I immediately fell in love with its depth and magnetism and I’ve recognised this project was something worth investigating. The impression was so strong that I’m still listening to Botanica Suctila on a weekly basis after so many years. Pedro seemed to have shed the Pi Ensemble moniker for all his classical project under the Yojik Concon label, and in stepping into this alias he had moved into a new era of emotional, mature and contemplative compositions.
Years later, two acoustic-experimental performances involving piano followed, complemented in a distinctive way by immersive mapping. There's an undeniable thrill in seeing an artist make music right there in front of you, a thrill that largely electronic music lacks compared to other genres. After attending his two heady live-acts in 2017 and 2018, Petre Inspirescu left me wondering: what next?
In the same industrial context of the former textile factory as Guesthouse, Petre Inspirescu invested an array of resources to create a spectacular nest for his passion: Yojik Auditorium and Yojik Gallery. The massive concrete building that hosts the club at the ground floor made room for yet another cultural hub dedicated to music & arts - this time classical music. As soon as you enter the building, a narrow red-carpeted staircase guides you for two floors, with big windows soaked in the sunset's light. As you walk in, you’re intrigued: the first room is gloomy and mysterious, feeding your curiosity, while the second room opens up a large space, with high ceilings and big windows, candles on the ground, a piano and some brown leather armchairs. As he introduced me to the surroundings, I’ve started digging deeper to find out more.

What’s the story of this place?
 I’ve rented the place in February 2018. There was nothing here, only the building structure and some mold-flowered walls. But it certainly had the potential to fulfill my needs of opening a rehearsal space and make auditions. The place hosts two rooms with different purposes: the first is an art gallery where I intertwin musical projects with visual art, while the second is the auditorium - a concert hall for classical music. I’ve designed this space for myself - I needed a big playground to work and create freely.

What should we expect from Yojik Auditorium?
 Yojik Auditorium is a classical - acoustic music studio crafted for audition. I’d like to host a recital once a month with a trio, quartet or quintet maximum - and to plan something for kids and teenagers - those passionate about music - twice a month. The path will be drawn out to classical music, such as inviting a soprano or preparing a violoncello performance; I’d like to nurture diversity in the long term.
The Auditorium aims to promote compositions of not so well-known composers or not so well-known compositions from famous composers - to be more diverse and interesting, to alternate the classical pieces played here, in an intimate and comfortable ambient. The audience shouldn’t outrun 60 seats, no matter the requests. I’d prefer to organize a second event with the same artist rather than supplement the seats, so that the audience has a correct musical perception and experience. On the 21st of May 2020 a special musical event is planned with significant collaborations.


Tell us more regarding the opening vernissage of the Yojik Gallery
 The opening vernissage entitled “Lvcis et Umbre” took place on October 24th, and was an interdisciplinary art event blending 7 classic compositions I’ve written paired with 7 artworks created by Traian Chereches, an artist whose work stands at the frontier between painting and sculpture. We’ve showcased also smaller artworks - such as masks - throughout the gallery.
The compositions played at the gallery are just a glimpse of the final releases, a synthesis, so everyone gets to hear a brief extract from them. The gallery looked stunning - all black - the walls, the floors, with some dimmed light spots to highlight the artwork and music everywhere - through a high-end Sonus Faber soundsystem. The closing of the gallery vernissage is scheduled on the 9th of January 2020.



What shortages did you met during the preparation of this creative spaces?
  First of all, the time I’ll have here is limited, I only own the place until June 2020 - without being aware of this when I’ve started investing. Furthermore, I'm quite unhappy because no piano can be inserted in the location due to the tight hallway and unfortunately, there are no good pianos to rent in Romania. I’ve also considered buying one and insert it through one of the windows, but since I don’t own the place on the long term it would be a loss. Also, less people focus on quality and sound color. In most of the cases, poor instruments are purchased, while they’re not properly adjusted, contributing to a distortion in the children’s hearing, in a manner that they can’t have benchmarks anymore.
 
Moving forward to your creative output, when should we expect a new album from your side?
  A new album, my third one - and probably the last - is almost ready and will be released at Yojik Electronics. I’ve noticed that there is a confusion that the Mulemusiq releases or Fabric are albums, but they’re just a collection of tracks - only my dancefloor releases are albums. I think I’ll make my point with these three - this will be a bit more elevated than the previous two [Intr-o seară organică… & Grădina Onirică] - while the following releases can be EPs. I’ve missed a bit from the label market so I think it will take a while to be out, but there’s no hurry. Next year, a piano solo should be released at Yojik Classics.
 
You’ve opened the road of live acts with a distinct approach, in an audition manner. Live acts in general add an element of randomness and an extra energy that you just can’t get from pre-recorded music. Why do you think in our scene there are very few artists who approach experimental or live acts that are not dancefloor orientated?
  I don’t know why. A live is the interior moodboard crystalised on the exterior. Honestly, I’d love to see more peers comprehend these movements and acknowledge themselves.
 
As the scene gets infused with newcomer DJs and producers, I feel your presence gets stronger.
  Our concept started out of pure passion and it gets stronger nowadays, despite the rising number of DJs. It's more powerful and consolidated - we all have powerful personalities and each of us started from passion. Probably back then the contemporary context helped us - it was more concentrated; now it's more like a product, a status. Unfortunately people estranges you from the scene - even from the scene of life. In the creative process, you make abstraction of people: I don't think about them, I do it for myself, but I have to share it to feel complete. And you have to compare things to see the whole picture. Even if you have lots of confidence in your work, you love hearing feedback and even critics.
 
Your career was in a perpetual ascension and from what I’ve figured out, you’ve never wanted to do something else rather than music.
  I always knew I wanted to do this. It’s because of my personality, my self. I knew from 13 years old that I’ll create electronic music around this concept. It’s unconditional - you don’t have to strain away from it. I went towards it with full power, never had a doubt about it. Sometimes it gets difficult because of external factors - like people - but I do it because of passion. I’m doing it for myself and my passion for music.  Slowly I’d wish to balance electronic and classic and concert more, if I’m lucky enough.
 
What do you consider to be your biggest achievement?
 The biggest achievement... I don’t have one (pause)
Maybe that I’ve learned to play piano by myself after I took theory lessons with a private teacher and that I managed to compose on my own - yes, this should be my biggest achievement. It’s still not where I want it to be, I would want them to be more complex compositions -  but I will get there.
 
How would you describe the [a:rpia:r] relationship after all these years?
 Unbelievable.
We still have lots of fun, we’re still really good friends and we’re getting older together - just like a rock band.
 
Radu Dumitru Bodiu has embraced the challenges and time required to create something memorable and worthwhile, a musician who finds expression in shivering contrasts and piano notes. Yojik Concon feels more active than usual because the concept invites you to do half the work. It’s an accurate reflection of the quietly storming nature of interiority itself.

Written by Bianca Iulia
Video: Bogdan Maraloiu & Florin Gojnea
Photo credits: Cornel Lazia