June 16th, 2023.
When two brilliant artists meet on stage, internationally renowned pianist Marta Milošević Branković from Belgrade and rock star guitarist from Michigan, Denver Cooper, it becomes a musical fusion of their tempestuous energies and an incredible artistic harmony—rhythmically, harmonically, stylistically, and virtuosically—a true spectacle for the audience. Wherever they perform, they push the boundaries with their music and evoke excitement from audiences of all generations! In a short period of time, their duet has captivated audiences in America, where they live and work, receiving invitations to perform from all sides. To the delight of their fans and music lovers, they have recently released an exceptional video featuring their duet composition „RUSH – E“, once again enchanting their devoted followers. We caught Marta in New York on business, but she kindly found time for an interview where we will discuss her collaboration with Denver, the new video, plans, and more.
When did you meet Denver Cooper and come up with the idea to perform together, create, and record music?
Denver and I accidentally met back in 2019, and as soon as we heard each other play, we wanted to collaborate, even though it seemed almost impossible at that moment. A classical pianist with a repertoire of Chopin and Rachmaninoff, and a rock star from Michigan building his career in Florida and across America, moving in different circles and bands – it seemed unlikely. However, what mattered most was that we recognized each other artistically, and that was enough to start.
Our first conversation about collaboration happened when I attended his performance in May 2019. He asked me about the composition „The Phantom of the Opera“ because he always liked how I performed it! As I listened to him play, I thought he was an artist of my musical caliber, and it felt like we were destined to perform as a duet…
What was the decisive factor in starting a collaboration with him? What were the first musical steps you took together?
I decided to play with him from the moment I recognized myself in his playing and thought that he was the best and most interesting artist I had encountered in the United States. Our first rehearsal was phenomenal, and we immediately started arranging „The Phantom of the Opera“ in our own style. By December of that year, we released a video of „The Phantom of the Opera,“ which brought us numerous concert engagements and invitations. Since 2019, Denver and I have recorded four music videos, and we have had a series of concerts from Miami to Las Vegas.
These days, you have released a highly impressive video for the composition „Rush – E“ in which you demonstrate your and Denver’s immense instrumental skills. What motivated you to record it?
The new music video for the most popular piano composition on YouTube, „Rush E,“ or in Serbian, „Raš E,“ was born from the idea of Russian music and harmony. However, the original concept to record it came from my husband, Nebojša, who happened to hear us playing it in Las Vegas and thought it was a piece tailor-made for us. As it turned out, he was right. This is our special arrangement, which we recorded for our upcoming album that will be released soon.
You have done another musical project, what is it called and when is it being released?
The new project is called „Vivaldi Only,“ which will be released as a video and audio on December 24th. It is a brilliant music visual concept in collaboration with „Parma Recordings,“ the production company that released „The Black Swan of the Piano“ and „Marta’s Storm“ albums, where Denver is a guest artist. We have received phenomenal reviews for those albums so far.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which has halted many, fortunately, it hasn’t stopped us. Many people think that we have already achieved a lot.
Have you performed with Denver in front of a rock audience?
Our motto is „We’re just getting started.“ Wherever we appear, and it has happened several times where I surprised a rock band and played in front of a rock audience, we have managed to steal the show and astonish the audience who claim they came just for us. In March of this year, we overshadowed the audience in Vegas at one of the most prestigious venues in the world, the Waldorf Astoria, and were declared the „event of the season.“ We have also been invited back to Vegas. Just recently, our esteemed painter Gordana Nenadović, known to the public by the artistic name „Art Gora,“ announced that she will create a painting of Denver and me dedicated to our duet. The photos were taken by Michael Key and Debra Martin.
Your story is unique and very specific, almost cinematic. What do you think about that?
Our story is unique, and our duet is extraordinary. A young man born in America and a pianist from Eastern Europe pursuing a classical piano career – it’s been described by many as a Hollywood tale, the „Big city Boy and Small town Girl“ from the song „Don’t Stop Believing.“
The energy we bring, the fusion of our arrangements, and the ability to introduce classical music to younger generations have motivated us to embark on this unknown journey. Both of us have the gift of arranging while remaining true to our respective genres. I am adapting classical music because of him, but I’m presenting it in a modern framework ready for new generations. He and I understand each other without many words, and that’s what connects us as musicians and artists!
How does the audience react to your music and the energy you emit?
The audience is on fire while listening to us, and that has given us a tremendous amount of strength to keep moving forward. We are always greeted with applause, people taking photos and videos, as our loyal fans faithfully follow us. Wherever we go, we manage to steal the show with our arrangements and the presence of our energies. The audience loves something different and the fusion of two genres that works seamlessly, igniting the audience in ways we never anticipated, not even in our wildest dreams.
What message are you sending to the world with your duet and your new captivating music, which is increasingly taking over the world?
Our arrangements are ‘for a better tomorrow,’ ‘for a better face of music,’ and for the possibility of creating a new musical genre between classical rock, which requires courage and daring to survive, and the rock genre, which needs the freshness of new instrumental arrangements that the piano brings. Everything we do is with the desire for the world audience to hear us; we believe our time is coming!
When asked about the impressions of collaborating with Marta, Denver said:
“It’s great to play with a classical pianist! It especially goes hand in hand with metal music. It’s an amazing learning experience because the classics are sometimes very complicated, so I really like the challenge it brings. Our duet is great because there’s really no limit to what we can or can’t do. Everything is on the table and our compositions are completely natural to us”.
Do you plan to perform with Denver in your hometown of Belgrade in the future?
Yes, you guessed it right. I am planning a concert in Belgrade on December 26th, and I’m working on it. I would love for Denver to perform with me as well. I believe that the concert in front of the Belgrade audience will be magnificent.
The author Slavica Momakovic Miljanovic;Downloaded from World Australia portal