It is 23rd of September 2020 and together with my soulmate we are on the magnificent-view terrase of our holiday house in Mallorca. While drinking a mango lemondate, we are contemplating the sunset from this Earth Paradise, from where you can see the deep-blue Mediteranean Sea and the green hills drowning into the sea. We are here together with our beloved friend, Ciprian Ranghel, head of the culture department of “BBC”, who will interview us about our succes story.
My heart is filled with gratitude and excitement for this blessed and awaited moment. In one hand because Ciprian stood from the begining behind my succes story, encouraging and supporting me in all the ways he could and in another hand, because meanwhile, he fulfilled his dream too and I had the opportunity to see him growing and begining a new and excitening life.
Now he is here to witness and share the whole story to the world and I cannot be more happy about that. His sharp and curious spirit as well as his plastic way of thinking makes from him a great writer.
Cip: Criss, you made it! How do you feel now?
Criss: And so did you! We both made it. Both kept our promise! I feel happy beyond imagination. And grateful for the people that surround me in these moments. I will never forget the day when you asked me “What I am affraid the most in life?” Men, that question went straight to my core and I struggled not to burst in tears when I answered you. It was the first time I truly faced that question. And the first time I new I am affraid to not fully explore my creativity, to bury my talents instead of multiplying them. That question was the trigger for everithing that happened next. I mean, the plan was there already, my dear colleagues were there too but I was not using my imagination in order to make it happen.
Cip: Yes, I remember that day. And I remember what followed… The first rehearsals in the studio, then the concerts organised in the “Thema Art Gallery”, then the ones in Kanal Centre Pampidou and the public becoming more and more excited about this new concept of music…
Criss: …And the concerts with ALTOrchestra in Romania. I remember how many headaches I was giving you at that time, when – as a manager in Paul bakery – you had to always adjust the schedule for my part time job there so I can have enough time for rehearsals and tours. I promised I will make you a statue for your kindness and open minded way of understanding what I was building at that time. And I will make it one day! Pinky promise!
Cip: What determined you to go outside of the stream and approach this style of music?
Criss: Haha, I love how you change the subject each time someone makes you a remark about your kind heart.
To reply your question, eventhough I love playing classical music and I am grateful for having that chance and following it since my childhood, by the time I grew up, I new that I want something different in life. I mean, I love being part of an orchestra and having the opportunity to play big programs like Shostakovich, Mahler or Brahms but this is not what fulfils me the most. And it is still hard for me to always adjust in order to fit with 50 other people. Specially in the moments when musically I would choose different. I still love to play in orchestras and I see it as a powerful experience but I knew since long ago that I have to follow my bliss. And my bliss is “slightly” different. 🙂
Also, what convinced me to really go for it, was the conviction that we need more young public in the concert halls of classical music. In order to attract that public, you need to create a bridge between what they like and what you like. As Carnegie said, if you go fishing with strawberries because you like strawberries, you will catch no fish at all and you will waste your strawberries. Because the fish doesn’t like strawberries. You need to go with what the fish may like if you want to catch it. So I was looking for a way to educe classical music for a larger public and to make my creative expression recognised somehow.
Cip: And you found it when you started to arrange scores for know bands and to make symphonic concerts with them.
Criss: Yes. It all started years ago, with a quartet with which we used to play for gigs. We were all students at that time and we were gaining well our life with that quartet. The nice part is that we loved what we were doing and we loved eachother. We created a strong bond that last since then. In that context, it was easy to develop our imagination and to explore whatever we would find interesting. And each one of us was gifted in different ways in that group. Then I moved to Belgium to finish my studies and I got busy in other projects, going on here. Meanwhile that quartet in Romania grew and become famous there, continuing our project. I still play sometimes with them and I always get the same vibe that reminds me why I am so passionate about what I am doing. Which made me eager to start a project inspired from that one, on the other side of Europe.
Cip: Your first album, “Resonances” released in April 2020 just made the world tour. Nice title, by the way but why did you choose it?
Criss: Because resonances means the quality in a sound of being deep, full and reverberating. Or, this was the first aim we had when we started to rehears with Haanel quartet. We were searching for the core of the sound, we worked since the begining to bring to the surface a powerful and unified sound that would define us as a quartet. The first album is an exploration of what you can possibly take out when you search for that deep and clear sound (the same as with the human brain – great ideas comes from deep and clear thought). And we hope that our researches will bring us much further. Cause we are excited about this research.
Cip: It seems like your persistance is paying of finally.
Criss: It is truly paying of. And it worth it. Every single hour of work, every little or big sacrifice I made since my early childhood is paying off now, giving me financial liberty, creative expression liberty and time liberty. Well, not so much time liberty as I have many concerts and projects going on now. But I enjoy it with all my being. Do what you love and you will never have to work a day of your life they said. So yes, it is time liberty as I use my time to create and keep alive something I love doing the most.
Cip: Congratulations Criss, you inspire others with your enthusiasm and determination!
Criss: Thank you Cip! I was also inspired by and blessed with amazing people who accompanied me through this whole experience. And you are one of them.
While I am thinking with gratitude about how lucky and blessed I am to be here with my soulmate and to have the chance to tell my story to the whole world through one of my best friends, the sun is going down little by little, melting into the sea and creating a symphony of colours on the sky. The weather is just perfect, warm but with a light breeze kissing our skins with freshness. Nobody else is here and the only sounds that we hear are coming from the waves and from the birds that are flying with grace on the purple sky. As the sun goes down into the sea, the sky gets darker and the hills become more massive and shaped. Whatching them gives me a steadfastly feeling and reminds me about how determinated I was to follow my bliss.