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Connecting soul to soul

Il Giornale Milano, issue from Dec. 9th, 2018
Written by Luca Pavanel
The three styles of the keyboard, Einaudi, Allevi and Pacek: the plan is to tell emotion
The news on the composers and virtuosos of the instrument, until the Dec. 18th Ludovico will be on stage at Dal Verme
A piano music for a friend, especially when it is pleasantly played. Able to express, tell about moods, emotions, sometimes as a journey into the unconscious. Three composers with different styles and depth: the master Einaudi, followed by Pacek and Allevi. At least two of them are returning to the spotlight, under the spotlight in the Lombard capital. A bit of history: it was 1996 when a gentleman named Ludovico Einaudi, with the album titled ‘The Waves’, broke through the wall of success, which became international. With a piano piece released three years after the music of ‘Piano Lessons’, signed by Michael Nyman.
For the master, he was a son of the Milan Conservatory, also trained in the class of the master Luciano Berio, earning a degree there. And today a beacon of the first magnitude of its kind, his production at first by some criticised, but it was profoundly hypnotic and described as Italian minimalism. Today it is very sought after and well listened; it is seen as a mix of genres between classical, pop, rock, world music and popular. without counting the author’s commitment to the soundtracks. Copiosa is his production, last recording was “Sandome no satsujin.” For the third consecutive year, the composer closes in his Milan – at the theatre Dal Verme on Dec. 18th – a concert season that led him to play at the Dubai Opera House, at Keshvar Big Hall in Tehran and at the Radio City Hall in NY, just to name a few. The master somehow over time has proselytized, who knows, possibly unconsciously. Among the most recent names, emerging and appreciated, is Antonija Pacek, who grew up in Croatia. The Croatian author already played in Milan. She has just published a new work. Speaking of her style, some call it great film music, others call it neoclassical, while others believe it needs just words to be interpreted. No matter of each label, the compositions written and performed by this musician, romantic with a soft spot for minimalism, directly affect the emotions of the listener. The last work of the pianist-composer, in fact, is her new album “IL MARE”; and she is preparing for a new world tour that will take place in 2019 in the four corners of the globe.
We close the list of capable musicians, with their compositions to make music “that engages” – compared to pop – even with an affordable language, someone who needs no introduction: Giovanni Allevi, by style detached from the other two. At the dal Verme on Dec. 19th, Allevi with his piano and 13 strings of the Italian Symphony Orchestra. He will assume the different roles of composer, pianist and director. The play list will alternate the seductive atmospheres of the new compositions and the most celebrated pieces of his twenty-year career.

DONNE E LAVORO: Antonija Pacek: A Sea of Emotions Through My Music
Written by/Scritto da: Olivia Chierighini , in DONNAD Amica Fidata on Dec. 6th, 2018
Antonija Pacek is an extraordinary and versatile woman. Born in Croatia and now living in Vienna, she obtained a master’s degree in psychology from Cambridge University (Department of Psychology of Intellectual Development), before becoming a lecturer at various universities and organizations, including the Webster Vienna Private University, where she joined forces with the legendary Dr. med. Phil. Zimbardo with whom she co-taught a course on exploring human nature. Parallel to her academic and professional career, Antonija is the mother of three daughters and is a very successful composer. On the day of the release of her album IL MARE – December 7, 2018 – she speaks about the emotions that guide her life and that inspired the thirteen extraordinary tracks that make up her latest masterpiece of neoclassical music.

You started playing piano as a child: what was an event that made you realize that that would be your passion?
In kindergarten, our teachers had a grand piano on which they played and sang. Even then I knew that this was the instrument I wanted to learn to play. I started with the music school at the age of 6 and I composed my first song when I was 11 years old.

Why did you choose to study psychology?
Because of the war in my country [in Croatia, in 1991, just 17 years old], I had to come and live in Vienna. I did not have a piano because it was not financially possible. So, my second choice was to study psychology. I received a scholarship and started my studies in 1992 at an American university in Vienna. I like helping people and teaching psychology, so it was a good choice for me.

What does it mean for you to compose? What is your personal interpretation of neoclassical music?
Composing transports me to another world, often calms emotions and is therapeutic (for example if something sad or unjust happens). Sometimes, after composing a song, I am still immersed for a long time in emotion: for example, if I meet other people, I can hear them talking around me but be distracted and not be sure of what they are saying. It takes me a few moments to get back to the “real world”. When I compose, I feel like I live in another space, a sort of parallel world.
The term “neoclassical” is just a categorization of my music, which I think is difficult to decipher even if some critics have defined it so. Instead, I believe it is a fusion of classical, pop and maybe soft jazz. I love listening to all kinds of music.

How was your last album born? How long did it take to get the form you wanted?
The compositions were born during the last year and a half, except for a few songs that I wrote 2-3 years ago but I had never published them before. “Worth Living For”, “Taste of Bitter” and “Back to Faith” are some of these “older” songs that were waiting for their time. Once I compose my songs, I rarely change their form. The song “Waiting” was the only one that evolved over the course of two months – as I continued to build new parts within it – but this is a rare situation for my songs.
I recorded them in my home studio, I mixed my music, and Davor Rocco mastered all the compositions. In my studio, I also recorded the beautiful voice of Barbara Kier for my song “The Sea”, and I made the first mix with my piano instrumental. Davor and I did the cello orchestration for the song “Aloft” and we recorded it in his studio in Zagreb with Neva Begovic – cello professor in that city – who interpreted [our arrangement]. All this required three months of dedicated work.

What were you inspired with?
With real life situations, the continuous challenges in life, but also with a realistic and dramatic film, happy moments, my daughters, with the sea.

What importance does emotion have for you and how do you balance it with rationality?
Emotions are intertwined in my music. All I hear when I create a song is in there. And I am aware of my emotions, which is why I also need my own rational side. Being aware of one’s emotions, occurs only with an analytical, rational mind. Emotional and rational should ideally be synchronized concepts. Sometimes we can be hijacked by strong emotions, which in a negative way interfere with our rational mind and, therefore, music helps to calm down and return to the full awareness of the rational self.

What do you think when they tell you that you are the female response to Ludovico Einaudi? Is there a “feminine” way of seeing music?
I am honoured that people compare me to Mr. Einaudi: he is a great and accomplished artist. The feminine within music would perhaps be a synonym of romantic, emotional, melodic; however, it is also possible to hear this in compositions of male composers, who are in touch with their feminine side. There are many romantics in the realm of music who are actually men. In terms of associations, I would say that a male way of seeing music would be more a concern for the technique, showing the mastery of the instrument, without necessarily worrying about the melody and emotions within the music.

What part does music have in your daily life? How does it intersect with the life of your family?
In recent years I rarely have extra time to be able to find the time to listen to the music of others [or to watch TV], in order to create, to practice piano, to teach and be able to spend enough time with my family. If it happens that my children are around the house and a melody comes to my head, it does not bother me to start writing my song even if they jump around, play near me or are lively.

What has been the professional and human event that you believe has touched you the most?
In terms of creating music, the loss of both my parents – which took place within six months – has created a profound emptiness, bringing immense pain and a sense of bitterness. I wrote a lot of music specifically dedicated to mom. The song “the Sea” is one of these.

What do you feel when you’re on stage and you perform in a concert? Was there a moment when you were afraid?
It is a mixture of excitement and fear. Of course, every time I’m on stage, I feel a bit ‘of anxiety, but I try to suppress it with my desire to tell my musical stories to the public, to communicate the expression of my soul to the souls of others.

Who are your points of reference, those that you consider your teachers or those who inspire you, when you compose?
The list here would be too long. I love classical music, opera, musicals, pop music (which I also listen to with my teenage daughter), rock, jazz. I do not appreciate traditional Austrian or Croatian music, but Irish folk music is so beautiful, poetic, and dancing. The list is huge and very mixed! The bottom line is that music touches me deeply.

What do you say to yourself to find the strength to do everything you do every day?
Love what you do, do what you love. You can easily find the strength this way, even when it’s hard, you do not give up easily.

If you had to go back in time, what would you do better or what would you change?
This is a good question. I imagine that I would like to have more patience, especially when there are stressful moments or I am sleep deprived.

What would you recommend to a young woman who wanted to be a professional musician?
To trust one’s own abilities and to have confidence in oneself, with the right intellectual honesty. To have something true to say through one’s own music or by interpreting the music of another composer.

What are your plans for the future?
I would like to play more concerts, to touch more people and make them confident in their challenges. I want to continue teaching psychology: sometimes I integrate my music in some seminars, for example on creativity and innovation. Creating music and educating people are really my favourite types of work.

Full Article: https://www.donnad.it/da-realizzare/racconti-di-donne/donne-e-lavoro/antonija-pacek-un-mare-di-emozioni-attraverso-la-mia

December Issue 2018 RYL Magazine, Serbia; interviewed by Mia Medakovic Topalovic
“IL MARE”
Antonija Pacek, a successful lady, composer, pianist, psychologist, was born in Osijek, and lives near Vienna. She studied psychology at the University of Cambridge, where she earned her M.Phil degree, and teaches at several Universities in Vienna. Next to composing, concerts, travel, Antonija manages to fulfil all of her professional and family duties. Some of her friends call her a “renaissance woman”. German media called her “a female response to Ludovico Einaudi”. Last Summer Antonija published her second album “Life Stories” and the most recent album was titled “IL MARE”.
Last year, around this time, we made our first interview. Then we presented your new album “Life stories”. What were the results coming after our interview?
“Life Stories” was streamed through Spotify, Deezer, Tidal and several other platforms, several thousand times in 36 countries on 5 continents, all thanks to spinnup, my global digital distributor of that album (part of the Universal Music Group). I had concerts in Italy, more specifically in Rome, Milan, Verona and Turin, and received beautiful impressions from the audience there, and great reviews after the concert. For example, L’Arena, a Newspaper in Verona, wrote that my music feels like the return of some old classics, and some songs were compared to Carol King (which is a huge compliment to me). Soon after my concert there, Milan’s Free Magazine has written that audiences can expect a “symphony of emotions”. Indeed, every city I played in Italy has delighted me, and the audience stayed deep in my heart.

What did you do by December 2018?
I lectured at two universities in Vienna, worked on a seminar on creativity and innovations for Duke Corporate Education in South Africa where I, between theory, played music for various group tasks to stimulate creative, divergent thinking and during self-reflective exercises (so-called arts-based learning). In March, I organized a charity concert in Osijek with our great actress Sandra Loncaric (this was called the evening of music and poetry, and from the concert tickets sales we financed the communicators for the primary school Ivan Stark, whose pupils are children with special needs). The concert took place at the Croatian National Theatre in Osijek and the intendant gave us the beautiful foyer at the theatre as his contribution. All tickets were sold out and we got a very nice and warm impression of the audience. Sandra and I also made a little concert in that school to touch hearts of the little students there. Subsequently, four cities in Italy followed in April. In addition, this fall I played a charity concert in a geriatric home in Vienna, which often organizes concerts for their residents as well as various creative workshops. People seemed to be deeply touched: some older women sat side by side holding each others’ hands, as they felt my music permeated through to them, some of the people came alone in their wheelchairs when they heard music in the hallways care. Their caretakers later told me, they never came to other concerts before. It was a pure magic!
Are you particularly proud of some of your music year?
I’m especially proud of this year because it was like no other so far. I am glad that I finally found the courage to organize two charity concerts, as it has always been my wish to do that. So many wonderful, sincere energies and emotions are given in return!

December Issue 2018 RYL Magazine, Serbia; interviewed by Mia Medakovic Topalovic
“IL MARE” continued, p. 120-121
At the age of 11 you composed your first composition. When you play it today, do you see little Antonija entering her music world?
When I play “Tamed Courage” I sometimes mention to the audience that this is my first composition ever written. Sometimes I’m surprised that I was so small, when I wrote something so serious. The child’s courage was tamed in the music school, where sometimes some of the teachers were somewhat abusive….

Has the first love been forgotten? Because you are a psychologist, pianist and composer, which of these three personalities do you prefer the most?
I like to teach psychology, but when I compose then I feel like I’m “transcended” and so I often feel at concerts. I think of these three personalities that I unite, I like the best my composing part. But I have to admit that I felt a kind of euphoria when I could teach and play my compositions to a group of business people to help them with divergent thinking and introspective exercises. That was quite a special experience.

Do you know how your music influences the listener? Who are your listeners?
People are holding hands in my concerts, their thoughts are floating to another worlds, to working through some of their events that stayed unprocessed. Some come to me in tears to thank me for the emotions they felt during my concert, or they hug me to thank me even if I have never seen them before. This is all unimaginable, these moments are precious and invaluable.

What do you like to listen to, which you could unconsciously interweave into your music?
I like to listen to Debussy, Chopin, Faure, Bocelli, Oscar Peterson, Matija Dedic, jazz and pop. Of course, my daughter let me listen to some new pop music, which I also like. But when I create and when I record an album, then I do not listen to anything because I need to hear my own, inner sounds. Probably unconsciously, I have some external influences when I hear different music, which somehow unconsciously goes into my compositions. Since I’m listening to different genres, so is my music very difficult to classify – possibly a fusion between classical, pop and some soft jazz music.

In one interview, you said the chords would come naturally out of you. How would you explain this?
The chords come from subconsciousness. I often hear fragments of my new songs and then sit down in front of my piano to finish the composition with improvisation. It’s very bizarre that when I finish composing, then it takes me a while to go back to “this world.” I feel a bit like I’m in some parallel world while I’m playing and composing music. If, soon afterwards, people say something to me, I’m not 100% aware of what they have said to me, I have to concentrate very strongly on them. Like they are a bit out of focus ….

What is your experience with concerts in Italy? You played in Rome, Verona, Milan, Turin? How did you find the Italian audience?
I wrote a lot of new music between the concerts. In Italy I even presented my two new songs – “Before the Storm” and “the Sea”. L’Arena wrote: “As a starter of her new work, Antonija offers” Before the Storm “and” The Sea “, with the second that focuses the lens: after a couple of hours the succession of chords remains in mind, similar to the cyclical movement of the waves.” And because of such a warm audience, I decided to call my new album IL MARE, which means the sea. There will be 13 new compositions, one will be orchestrated with cello, the song Sea will be presented as instrumental and then elaborated with vocals (a cross over style). I’m happy to say that my new album will be released in early December this year.

The theme of the Dec. issue of RYL Magazine is a quote from Kokan Mladenović, “If Sombor were Hollywood – only dreams cannot go bankrupt”. Do you find yourself in it?
Very much so, because as a composer I am full of dreams, which are never materialistic. We need to dream because I think when we stop doing it, it’s like we’re not alive anymore. Sometimes people around me inspire me, some of my strong experiences, or a movie. I always just want to sincerely express my emotions in all compositions. When I play, I want to express honestly my stories through music. And I dream how I will touch more souls, and succeed in “soul to soul communication”. Maybe with this, I might give some good therapy to the listeners just the way the process of composing my new songs gives me a certain therapy.

Free Magazine, Italy, 2.12.2018
“IL MARE” the new album of Antonija Pacek
Free Magazine has been endorsing Antonija’s music since the live concert at Teatro dal Verme in Milano. Free Magazine reviewed her concert to be, “symphony of emotions” in April, 2018. In this article,Ale Musella wrote about the inspiration behind the new album “IL MARE”, created by Antonija Pacek.
“There is a sea of emotions that are interwoven in the 13 original compositions that the pianist and composer of Croatian and Austrian origin has created and interpreted in her third, highly anticipated album. The instrumental pieces are seasoned with poetic imagination and unexplored sounds that will certainly appeal to the sensitivity of listeners of every story, geography and generation!”
Free Magazine also reports that the “IL MARE” will be published via spinnup (Universal Music Group) and will be available on the major digital streaming and download platforms (such as iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, Google Music, etc.) worldwide as of this Friday, December 7th, 2018.”

“Antonija Pacek has been able to transmit to a multigenerational, multicultural audience a true passion in the way of playing and interpenetrating life through music.
After the success of “Soul Colors” and “Life Stories”, new tours and concerts are scheduled in Italy, Austria, Croatia, and the Emirates.”

The article also writes about the stories behind the compositions, and here is the excerpt:
“Before the Storm” – the opening song of the new album describes the challenges that Antonija faced with one of her children. Retrospection is the watchword: Antonija has carefully listened to her daughter’s heart and feelings, so the controversies have been resolved over time.

“The SEA” is a goodbye song to her mother, accepting her physical disappearance. An excerpt of the song that Antonija wrote for this composition says “your face reflected in the deep, deep blue sea, oceans of memories, right back, back at me, searching for the moments for the days full of glare, then rolling with the wave coming up for air… “. In the album, the piece has an instrumental version for solo piano (track 2) and a vocal version (bonus track 14) interpreted by Barbara Kier.

“Forgive” is a sad song, focusing on forgiveness, and it combines two stories: one related to the misfortune and difficulties of one of her dear friends, and another one is linked to the personal moods of Antonija connected to the disappointments of certain friendships. The artist says: “It seemed therapeutic to write this song and to find a strength to forgive”.

“Aloft” is inspired by the film of the same name: a sad, atmospheric, profound, slowly and thoughtfully told life drama. The song is arranged with cello to create more depth, orchestrated by Davor Rocco and Antonija Pacek, featuring Neva Begovic on cello.

“Late Fall” was actually composed a few years ago at the end of the fall season. The composition portrays a frustration that is experienced with the passage of time, sometimes too fast, sometimes too slow, which arises from the disappointment of not seeing fast results despite the immense work built with the heart. Yet it does not represent a song “downer”, because it is still imbued with energy to have the strength to go on and stay focused and motivated.

“Expecting Nina” describes a happy mood when Antonija was pregnant with her first daughter and was waiting for her arrival.

“Magic Forest” is focused on the vision of a forest where you can discover mysterious things, see new places and meet new people and understand them better, as there are often opportunities in life. A portrait of an explorative and mystifying atmosphere.

Terronian Magazine, Italy, 2.12.2018
“IL MARE” the upcoming album of Antonija Pacek
The challenges to which life submits to us every day, the enduring influence of a great loss, the disappointments of friendship and the sense of forgiveness, a sense of faith and trust in one’s own actions and thoughts, a sad movie, but also happy moments, are some of the major themes that inspired the new album by Antonija Pacek: “IL MARE” (the Sea). There is a sea of emotions that are interwoven in the 13 original compositions that the pianist and composer of Croatian and Austrian origin has created and interpreted in her third, highly anticipated album. The instrumental pieces are seasoned with poetic imagination and unexplored sounds that will certainly appeal to the sensitivity of listeners of every story, geography and generation! During Antonija’s stay at her summer retreat house right next to the sea, the artist found there a meditative clarity and a creative energy that led her to compose songs such as “Forgive”, “Magic Forest”, “Viva Life” and “Back to Faith”.
The “IL MARE” will be published via spinnup (Universal Music Group) and will be available on the major digital streaming and download platforms (such as iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, Google Music, etc.) worldwide as of this Friday, December 7th, 2018.
In the coming weeks, the album will be broadcasted by the prominent Klassik Radio in Vienna, Austria; Twentysound Radio in Berlin, Germany; Radio Kristall in Milano, Italy; Shades of Classics in Canada; and on Whispering Radio in the USA.

Antonija Pacek has been able to transmit to a multigenerational, multicultural audience a true passion in the way of playing and interpenetrating life through music.
After the success of “Soul Colors” and “Life Stories”, new tours and concerts are scheduled in Italy, Austria, Croatia, and the Emirates.

Mosaik Magazine, December issue 2018
“Kulturmosaik” Antonija Pacek: “IL MARE“
At the beginning of December, the new album “IL MARE” of the pianist and composer Antonija Pacek will be released. A sea of different thoughts, feelings, but also sad moments, have inspired the artist to create the current CD with 13 new compositions.
The pianist and composer, with Croatian roots, took the past months to process every day’s challenges and with it connected feelings, as well as some friendship confrontations, the enduring influence of a great loss and the sense of expectations – interweaving these feelings into her emotional music.
In her third album “IL MARE”, she has designed, interpreted and interwoven musical visions and feeling worlds. A song “Aloft”, for example, was inspired by a film and arranged with cello. “The Sea” will be presented with the vocals of Barbara Kier, as a bonus track. These songs will be available worldwide since the beginning of December through the most important digital streaming and download platforms.

“When the soul plays piano”
Antonija Pacek will be playing concerts in Italy, Croatia, Austria and the Emirates – her previous concerts were successful. International press reviews confirm the musical passion with which the pianist reflects her soulful world. “Compositions that tell stories and awaken emotions – when the soul plays piano”, for examples, Klassik Radio (Vienna) reports. L’Arena (Verona): “’The Sea’ has got its goal: after a couple of hours, the succession of chords remains in mind, similar to the cyclical movement of the waves.”
Information about the artist under: www.antonijapacek.com

L’Arena newspaper, Verona, 18.4.2018
Pacek, revival of the great classics (of below tracks)
If the success of a concert can also be seen from the copies of the discs sold at the end, then the people at the Santissima Trinità theater, queuing to buy the CDs, speak in favor of Antonija Pacek. The pianist of Croatian origins, residing in Vienna, held last night in Verona the penultimate (second to last from four) recital of her first ever Italian tour. Grouped by themes and inspiration, the pieces composed and played only at the piano are fluid, with a strong melodic connotation, so much so that they can be singed at first listening. On all, “Ecstasy”, is the song with the most accentuated rhythm. Not surprisingly, a remix version was also published, “pumped” by a DJ like Roberto Bedross who had already put his hands on a piece by Ludovico Einaudi, turning it into a wonderful dance piece. The name of the Turin composer is the first that comes to mind listening to Pacek, but the Croatian artist – who is a psychologist by profession, graduated in Cambridge – has different influences that are not limited to the author of “Divenire”.
In “Restless”, “without rest, tireless”, an emblematic piece of her production, taken from the debut album, “Soul Colors”, you can even notice a traditional Neapolitan song Cantabile – it’s just a suggestion that is not visible in the title, but it makes explicit the vast field from which Antonija draws her inspiration. The great classical composers are influencing her, in below tracks, but it is also perhaps pop music there as well. “Loving you”, apart from sharing the title with an Elvis Presley classic – but there is no melodic relationship – this is another song dedicated to her husband (“The first and only love of my life”, she revealed) and expresses her love in a romantic phrase, as opposed to another song that seems to be more influenced by pop music. It is not uncommon during her performance to remember the title of the song: the sequences of notes inspire the listener, also influenced by the title. As in “Reaching Sky”, the words of the title naturally flow within music. The verse floats between echoes of Carole King, Neil Young and Elton John: it would be a remarkable pop ballad. Even more convincing are the unreleased tracks, which will be part of the next album, the third after “Life Stories” published in 2017. As a starter of her new work, Antonija offers “Before the Storm” and “The Sea”, with the second that focuses the lens: after a couple of hours the succession of chords remains in mind, similar to the cyclical movement of the waves. • © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Giulio Brusati

Fedelta 03/2018

Some call it great music for the cinema, others call it neoclassical, others still believe it needs words to be interpreted. Beyond labelling and classification of the compositions-they are written and performed by Antonija Pacek, romantic with a weak spot for minimalism. The compositions certainly connect to the deepest emotions of the listener. From April for the first time in Italy, she will share her melodies live as she will be on Italian tour with four dates. The pianist and composer is defined by the German press “a female response to Ludovico Einaudi” and “music beautiful as a radiant jewel” and will be playing concerts in Rome on April 13th (Teatro di Villa Torlonia), going to Milano on April 14th (Teatro Dal Verme), in Verona on April 15th (Teatro SS. Trinita) and in Torino on April 16th (Circolo dei lettori).

Il Nuovo Corriere March, 27th 2018

“a female response to Ludovico Einaudi”

Antonija Pacek inserted in Carnet Verona
of April 2018.

The 1st tour of Croatian artist, graduated from Cambridge, with piano neoclassical minimalist music similar to Satie and Keith Jarrett – on April 15th in Verona

DONNA MODERNA
Antonija Pacek
Who is it? The press has already renamed her “the female response to Ludovico Einaudi”. Croatian, 43, wrote the first track at age 11, but because of the war, she began composing full-time almost 20 years later, when her husband gave her her first piano.

Life Paths program from Radio Klassik Vienna, broadcasted on Jan. 5th and 7th as well as on March 4th.

Gerlinde Wallner interviewed Antonija.

Find an excerpt of the interview on my blog.

Ezrome blog, March 2018

Antonija Pacek: first tour in Italy from a neoclassical pianist

Full article can be read: here.

Radio Klassik, January 2018

When the Soul Plays Piano

Antonija’s piano music and interview was broadcasted on Radio Klassik in Vienna, Austria

About the Composer and Pianist Antonija Pacek

Antonija Pacek grew up in a Croatian city, Osijek. Already as a kindergarten child, she knew that “the piano is my instrument”. At home as a child, she fantasized that a kitchen table were her piano, and she would let her little fingers dance over the surface of the table –the money was missing for a real piano. Later her mother took three jobs to simultaneously work on in order to afford a piano for her child. Antonija Pacek’s way to become a musician was anything but a straightforward path: it followed a war, fleeing to Vienna, a psychology study at the University of Cambridge. Today Antonija Pacek plays piano again and composes. She published two CDs with her compositions: “Soul Colours” and “Life Stories” – compositions that tell stories and awaken emotions. It feels as if Antonija Pacek’s soul itself takes place in front of the piano and the very inner, deepest side of her is audible.

The Interview and the story by Gerlinde Wallner

RYL Dec. 2017, Issue no. 34

Written by Anima Mundi
Photography from Antonija Pacek’s archive

 

“Music – Infinite Love”

Antonija Pacek, a psychologist, pianist, composer. This talented young lady has been building her professional career in Vienna. Direct and immediate, Antonija courageously entered the world of music, aware of her talents. Already in her childhood, she was surrounded by music, beauty, notes, which she has interwoven into her soul, and this has been coming out of her soul.

Her newest album “Life Stories” was published on June 11th, 2017, and it is an honest collections of her original songs. In “Life Stories”, Antonija chose compositions that signify her struggle with the deep losses as well as her travel toward happiness, joy and love of life itself.

“Life Stories” and the pop/dance version of the song “Ecstasy” is available on our market

on streaming and downloading platforms such as iTunes, Tidal, Spotify, Google Music.

 

Full article on: http://antonijapacek.com/ryl-dec-2017-issue-no-3/

Webster University Website, from Sept 2017

This interview with Carna from Webster University offers an exclusive look into what went into the making of the album ‘Life Stories’.

You find the full interview on the following pages:

Webster University Interview

http://webster.ac.at/article/alumna-album-life-stories

Mosaik, from Sept 2017

 

The aim of my music is to move you.”

Antonija Pacek, mother of three, originally comes from Croatia. After living for several years in Vienna, she eventually settled down in Oberwaltersdorf. Although the young mother studied psychology in Vienna and Cambridge, her passion is music. Already as a small child, she did everything possible to learn to play the piano. This Summer her second neoclassical album, Life Stories, has been released – a delight for the ear and food for the soul!

Leipziger Volkszeitung, from 12.4.2014

So now there is a counterpart, a female response to Einaudi. Her name is Antonija Pacek, who comes from an Eastern European war-shaken country, studied Psychology, went to Vienna and published her debut CD now at the age of 39. As a pianist, she is a romanticist with a soft spot for minimalism. The way she dabs the piano keys is particularly beautiful, dreamy, nearer to fine pop than classical paragons. Everything carries an appealing easiness, everything flows into the big atmosphere of sense of well-being, which one should not scrutinize in an undermining way. Antonija Pacek composes her piano pieces herself, one composition goes there farther where the previous finished. It does not require the attitude of those who appreciate complex compositions, because the music gets directly to listeners’ hearts.

PlattenladennTipps, from 7. April 2014

Antonija Pacek//Soul Colours (New CD, Music Tips)

Vienna-based pianist and composer, Antonija Pacek, derives her music skills from the life elements. On her album ‘Soul Colours’ alternate buoyant melodies such as ‘Restless’, or melancholy-prone compositions such as ‘Mady in Agony’ or ‘Once in a Wintertime’. The compositions mirror our emotions, sensations and sentiments in a graceful manner.

‘Soul Colours’ features the distillation of a lifelong search of the musician for immediate artistic expression. Her notes, minimalistic, and yet spaciously enriching, penetrate the ear with a nonchalant lightness. Antonija Pacek excellently understands how to strike the chords with special intensity. Her unobtrusive music concept characterizes her piano playing, by which she prompts her compositions with sensuality and passionation. Pacek considers well a balance between notated and improvised parts, which ensure an additional suspense for her soulful miniatures.

‘Soul Colours’ is beautiful like a radiant jewel.

 Trierischer Volksfreund, from 26./27. July 2014

Sorrow and Loss Transcribed in Music

‘Soul Colours’ is the result of Antonija Pacek’s lifelong search for immediate and truthful expression of her soul. And it is reflected mostly in dreamy piano melodies. Lifelong—here Antonija has already some things to show.

An artist with a rather late-blooming career as a musician is standing behind the concept of the album: Born in 1974, mother of three children, came from Croatia, fleeing from the horrors of war to Vienna and studied finally in Cambridge (UK). There she received the academic degree in Psychology.

It is from her past where she derives her remarkable ability to musically express many states of soul such as sadness or loss all the way to love of life occurrences—from melancholic-sad to happy-lifting. The total of 15 self-composed pieces with about 51 minutes of playing time, the album consists of titles such as ‘Restless’, ‘Made in Agony’, ‘Silent Happiness’ or ‘Tamed Courage’. Pacek’s works of music can be placed near compositions of Erik Satie, near minimalism of Ludovico Einaudi and Keith Jarrett’s The Köln/Cologne Concert. Antonija Pacek ‘loves pop as much as classical melodies, digs the expressiveness of the great Jazz-soloists’. Her well-considered piano playing, which consist of comprehensive notated as well as many improvised parts, leaves the atmosphere quiet, but beautiful. However the listener might sometimes miss occasional impulsive eruption or forced playing. But maybe exactly this philosophy together with the abandonment of wild fierceness is the basis of her underlying concept.

Jörg Lehn 

ARD, EINSWEITERgefragt from 25th April 2014

 

Antonija Pacek being interviewed about her new Album “Soul Colours” from “EINSWEITERgefrat” at TV Station ARD “Einsfestival”.