Connect with us

Entertainment

Phuket Lifestyle: Music is my playground [video]

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

Phuket Lifestyle: Music is my playground [video] | Thaiger

PHUKET: Polish born pianist Katarzyna Wieczorek has turned music into her way of life. Her skills and reputation have taken her to countless festivals, won her numerous awards and let her visit the farthest corners of the globe – turning her life into a never-ending adventure filled with melody.

Katarzyna Wieczorek recently performed at the British International School Phuket where she also conducted a series of private master classes. The accomplished pianist talks to the Phuket Gazette about the importance of music in life, its role in children’s education and its power to make life better.

How important is music for you?

Katarzyna Wieczorek: It’s as important as food or sleep. It’s part of my life, and my body is always hungry for it. It doesn’t necessarily have to be making music, but also listening, dancing, something to do with sounds. I’m crazy about sounds, even here in Thailand I pay a lot of attention to the sound,

Chopin in paradise. Video: PGTV

the insects I hear when I visit the beach. I never even thought I could live with or without music, I don’t have such choice, I need it to survive.

But it’s also your job, doesn’t it sometimes kill the joy of music for you?

The most dangerous thing that can happen to a musician is to get stuck in one place, stop enjoying it, and get the feeling that it’s their obligation to do it. As for myself, even now, more than 20 years since I started playing, when I hear good music, when I see great musicians perform, I get inspired. I still want to develop. We all go to work everyday, but there are many ways to get there. You either choose to use the same way everyday or you take a different way everyday. It’s the same thing with music. You can take it as it is, take it for granted, or you can become curious, start asking why is it changing us as it does, why is it moving us so much, making us happy or sad. It is a great mystery.

And how does playing music make you feel?

Alive! Last year I ran a marathon in Germany and I discovered that my breathing during the run was similar to my breathing when I play a demanding, complicated piece. Those are the moments when you feel your brain vibrating. It’s refreshing, you can feel new neural connections being created in your brain.

When did you decide to become a musician?

I started playing the piano when I was seven years old. Both my parents are musicians. I remember my father used to bring a lot of music from the local flea market, not only classical, but also jazz and swing and other types. And I used just to sit down and play for hours and I wouldn’t get tired or bored. That’s because music is never the same, you always have a choice to play a different melody in a different way. It’s like a never-ending story.

You make playing music sound like a wonderful career, a way of life. Yet many parents would rather see their children study math or biology than spending hours playing music. Why do you think that is so?

I think the world is very left-brain oriented, focused on using logical thinking and reason. Music, on the other hand, requires you to use the right-brain, which is responsible for imagination, instinctive feeling and empathy. I think it’s beautiful to use the part of your brain that is not focused on doing the dishes or following the beaten path. Yet many parents who are left-brain oriented want their children to become doctors or lawyers rather than musicians.

But you have to admit that you’re one in a million who can make a living by playing music. You can’t blame parents for wanting their children to succeed in different areas.

But there is no lack of jobs for musicians, you just have to go out and look for them! The only thing that is missing in musical education these days is the self-marketing skills that teach musicians how to go out there and find opportunities. Many of the jobs I got came about when I was the one who contacted other people, I was the active side. You can’t just sit, practice and get depressed, you have to go out in the world and the energy you will send out will come back in one form or another.

Of course, the only people you hear about on the TV are the lawyers, the doctors and other big things. But music is a big thing too, and it’s no less important and there are countless opportunities for musicians out there.

What are the greatest benefits of playing music?

Music gives you a life without boredom as you always have your invisible friend who you don’t need to call or go out with as he’s always there with you. Music is not only happening when you’re sitting with an instrument, it’s happening in your head all the time. And you never get to the point when you can say ‘I’m done with it’ because it’s always challenging, and you can always play with sound. Music is like a playground.

But one thing you surely need to succeed as a musician is talent. What about the kids who simply don’t have it?

It’s not exactly like that. I know many musicians who are not that talented but they get better jobs and make more money than the talented ones. A great example are teaching jobs, which are often performed better by people who don’t show that much actual musical talent and will not become international stars, but can take much better care of the students. On the other hand, many people do not really know what to do with their talent because a talent is not a guarantee of success, it’s just a beginning, a potential.

Is there a way for parents to help their children discover their talent, to help them follow their passion but not get lost in it?

I think parents should trust their children, believe in them and let them be who they are. And on the more practical side, music gives us a chance to grow as people. For example, here in Thailand there aren’t any schools to study music on an international level, so it’s a great opportunity for children to study abroad. And it’s really not that risky – after all, you can always change your job after three or four years, though I don’t think many musicians would. The thing is, for many musicians, money is not the most important thing. If it is for the parents, that’s their problem.

— Maciek Klimowicz

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Entertainment

Sex toys popular in Thailand despite conservative laws

Avatar

Published

on

Sex toys popular in Thailand despite conservative laws | Thaiger
PHOTO: In Thailand, sex toys are very popular and very illegal.

While Thailand is a conservative country with conservative laws, the underground sex trade and sex toy economy is a thriving not-so-well-kept secret. Thailand is famous for its LGBTQ acceptance and red-light districts, but many don’t realise that most drugs, gambling, soliciting for prostitution, sex toys, and even vaping are against Thai law.

The customs department confiscated more than 4000 sex toys just last year, and owning or selling these toys carries a 60,000 baht fine or up to 3 years in jail. The strict laws are in place to align with the traditional Buddhist Thai society but seem very contrary to the underground sex industry Thailand is known for.

The need for sexual privacy rights and relaxed laws governing sex has been gaining popularity for years with the juxtaposition of strict laws and hedonism creating a very profitable black market. Bangkok’s red-light district is estimated to be worth US $6.4 billion, and in districts like Soi Cowboy, Nana, Patpong and Silom, sex trade and sex toys are sold openly even though it violates the law. The sex industry is thought to comprise up to 10% of Thailand’s gross domestic product. Then there’s Walking Street in Pattaya, Bangla Road in Phuket, etc, etc.

Still, Thailand is a Buddhist country with traditionally conservative values so laws are unlikely to change anytime soon. Even sex education in Thailand is geared towards the negative consequences of sex and not open to sexual rights or embracing sexuality, according to a UNICEF report in 2016. Those who oppose decriminalising sex toys and the sex industry believe that embracing it legally would lead to a rash of sex-related crimes.

Others argue that decriminalisation would be liberating and empower women by reducing the stigma of being sexually free. It would allow a modernized view on sexual well-being. It would also likely reduce teen pregnancy rates, by removing the negativity towards those who need or use contraceptive.

Nisarat Jongwisan has been fighting for the destigmatisation and legalisation of sex toys since 2018 when she appeared on a TV program speaking out against the Ministry of Culture. She now intends to use the Thai parliamentary mechanism for creating a petition and gathering 50,000 signatures, which would allow her to submit a bill to the parliament for a vote.

With strict laws, the black market will continue to grow. While sex toys and the sex trade can be criminalized, sexual desires are not easily quashed, and people will find ways to satisfy them. Without any regulation, black markets can profit freely, selling sex toys with no concern over fair pricing or quality control. The global sex toy industry sold nearly US $34 billion dollars last year, and with continued lockdown and the closures of entertainment venues, these sales are set to only increase, even in the face of Thailand’s conservative laws.

SOURCE: Vice

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading

World

Is this the next big change in pop music? The winners of the IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year Award, BTS

Thaiger

Published

on

By

Is this the next big change in pop music? The winners of the IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year Award, BTS | Thaiger

2020 IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year Award. In the past 8 years the IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year Award has been given to Ed Sheeran, Adele, One Direction, and Taylor Swift and Drake. BTS are backed up by ARMY, their huge fanbase.

The power of ARMY. The IFPI represents the recorded music industry worldwide. It’s not a Grammy or a popularity vote. The award is calculated according to an artist’s or group’s worldwide performance across digital and physical music formats during the past year. Everything from streams to vinyl, CDs and downloads…. and covers their entire body of work. The award was announced last week at the culmination of the IFPI Global Artist Chart, which counted down the top 10 best-selling artists of the past year.

And it’s certainly been a great year for music… not so much for going to live concerts but we’ve certainly had a lot more time to listen to our favourite artists and stream their clips on YouTube.

The group that won this year, based on their pure sales, actually came second in 2018 and 7th in 2019, so it isn’t some statistical blip on the music radar.

The win also represents somewhat of a quantum shift in world music… the sort of thing that only happens once in a generation. Rather than the popular cross-over style shift represented by the George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue in 1924, the brith of rock with Bill Haley in 1955 or the rise of British pop in the 1960s, personified by The Beatles, this year’s IFPI signals another generational milestone in tastes, method, world reach and engagement with fans.

In all the right-hand turns of the popular music genre, there has usually been a technological breakthrough that has accompanied them, or at least been a key aspect of their success.

In the case of the the Great American Songbook, the foundations of the pop music genre, it was the recorded record and the start of radio-as-entertainment in the 1920s that provided a method to reach a huge audience with the new sounds and tunes for the first time.

Then it was the 7” single that made music cheaper and easier to play, that revolutionised the radio music formats of the 1960s and provided the perfect vehicle of the British pop revolution to spread around the world.

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading

Tourism

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Thaiger

Published

on

By

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO | Thaiger

There was the original Covid-19 outbreak and lockdowns back in April and May in 2020, then again just before Christmas and New Year when the new clusters emerged in Samut Sakhon and the eastern coastal provinces, Patong’s nightlife was quiet enough, almost non-existent.

Now when the restrictions are lifted, Nimz will take you through Phuket’s famous nightlife spot Bangla Road, Patong Beach and Phuket Town. It’s quiet, but there are still clubs open and operating and ready to welcome you.

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading
Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4 | Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO | Thaiger
Tourism2 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2 | Thaiger
Phuket2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO | Thaiger
Tourism2 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23 | Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO | Thaiger
Tourism2 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8 | Thaiger
Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Follow Thaiger by email:

Trending