In the mind of a child pianist


More than a year ago I interviewed Vincent Triviño for the first time (11 years old, pianist, FundacEK beneficiary). The idea was to get closer to his biography, his beginnings on the piano, his relationship with maestro Roberto Bravo, his projects, his influences… But I immediately understood that there was something that went beyond the data and facts and which could not be counted unless it came from the music.

After that first interview, I kept thinking about a series of images and words. Thus, when she was three years old, she perfectly imitated the tone of the kettle, or that when dialing telephone numbers she distinguished three notes: fa, sol and la. “You speak in the”, she told me on that occasion. And after a short silence, without a hint of arrogance, she added another phrase to remember: “I hear notes in everything.”

From time to time, this phrase would come to my mind and wonder what Vincent would think when he heard a particular note. For example, when listening to a country song that moves between E, A and B, or when hearing F di look baby of the Jaivas, and then the do, and the sun, that beautiful sequence of chords that imitates a mantra. What will these notes mean to him? What do you feel? What do you imagine? what do you see

I had to talk to him again. I called Héctor Triviño, his father, and he proudly told me that his son had qualified for the final of the prestigious “Valentine Trujillo Competition for Instrumentalists: See How I Play” (an initiative promoted by the Chilean Society of Musical Authors and Performers) . A total of 204 musicians applied in the youth (under 25) and adult categories, with five remaining in each category. “Vincent was the youngest selected,” Hector told me. Each of the selected ones receives a prize of 300,000 pesos, and the winner gets one and a half million. “This is the first time Vincent has received a financial award. In all the other competitions, obviously prestigious, he won pencils and pencil sharpeners,” he says.

Days later I meet Vincent. After we start the day, I take my guitar out of its case and, trying not to be embarrassed, ask him if he mind if I ask him questions while playing the chords. He says no and laughs. I start with a do.

—What comes to your mind about this agreement?

Vincent closes his eyes and says:

—A C major like this, a landscape comes to mind, nature.

I switch to a D major and repeat the question.

—Emm, now I see the same landscape but in spring.

I move towards a sun.

—Emm, that same landscape but in autumn. Sometimes there are two seasons of the year that are with two notes.

I move to a ago.

—Now I see the trees in green, i.e. there are no red or yellow leaves.

I move to A minor. Vincent asks me to play louder.

—Now there is the terrible landscape, but I see a cell phone. Why don’t you look at the landscape?

Now a mine. Vince is slow to respond.

-One Way. An asphalt road.

A la.

—Without a road, but with benches, with seats.

I stop playing and ask him:

—Of all the chords I’ve played, which one do you identify with the most?

—D major.

I start playing it.

—That chord, sometimes I make up melodies with that key and end them with that key. That tonality gives a special finish to the pieces I play.

I answer:

—Speaking of D, I don’t know if you like Neil Young, but a lot of his songs are in that scale. He starts with a D and ends with a D.

—In other words, that structure is required of the music. If I invent a piece, first it’s C minor, then A minor, then G major and I end up in D major, not C minor, as is usually done, ending with the same chord it started with.

Vincent says he hears notes and melodies in everything he sees on a daily basis. In the birds, in the footsteps of people on the street, in the screams, in the car horns, in the wind. He recently changed piano teachers and the change, led by Mario Cervantes Gómez at the Sergei Prokofiev Conservatory of Music, has been gigantic: from playing pieces on one page to pieces on nine or more, like Beethoven’s sonata number one, long 16 pages, something extremely unusual for someone of his age.

—Can a pianist like you afford not to play for a long time?

-For a long time? Not even for a short while. A week is a lifetime in a pianist’s life. I have never stopped playing the piano.

—Sorry if I change the subject, but I would like to know if there is any Chilean band that catches your attention.

The Congress Band.

Before learning to walk, Vincent listened to the album Live in Pompeii of Pink Floyd, he would paint pictures and put an empty bucket on his head, and wait… then he would take it out, put it back on and hit it with a spoon. She repeated it several times. “He realized that he sounded different,” recalls Héctor.

When they told him he had perfect intonation, he thought it was the most normal thing in the world, for everyone to listen like that. His father explained that this was not true: “Most people don’t listen like that. It’s like we all see in black and white and you see in color.” Vincent fell silent and murmured: “Aaah, I understand.”

I think Vincent is different, but his father insists that other than musical talent, he’s just an ordinary boy. Who doesn’t say anything grand or thoughtful unless he’s asked. That he is reserved, like any child who is entering adolescence.

I ask Héctor Trivino:

—Before the piano, was there another instrument?

—His gifts were always music. First a metallophone, he was intrigued when we gave it to him. Then a harmonica, which he played like crazy, before learning to walk. And an Ensoniq keyboard that we inherited from our maternal grandfather. We tried to make art fun for Vincent, to bring out the Vincent inside him. Have fun.

Vincent’s family hopes that their son will receive a scholarship to go abroad, where the musical standard is much higher. It should be noted that the main support your child receives comes from FundacEK, a Chilean foundation that supports the development of youth talent.

***

On December 19, curiously on his birthday, Vincent Triviño was in the SCD Bellavista room, in via Santa Filomena 110, in Recoleta, in front of a jury of renowned musicians. Sitting in front of the piano, dressed in an impeccable suit, he casts a serious and attentive gaze on her long fingers as they dance on the keys. What happened in his head? What emotions dominated you during your performance?

I guess only he will know.

—How do you feel when you play the piano?

—It totally depends on the piece, if the composer has written a sad piece, I feel sad, I have to think of something sad to express it on the piano. I am interested in making realistic pieces.

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