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Hi everyone,

 

recently I had the fortune to talk to Edvin Marton, the composer of 'Art on Ice' and 'Magic Stradivarius', the two songs of Origin. He kindly answered my questions about the creation of these songs (well, mainly about 'Art on Ice'), his friendship with Plushenko, Kings on Ice & ice shows, and then I asked some questions about Yuzu, too. He was there at last year's Rostelecom Cup to cheer for Yuzu and that was also the first time they met. He talked about Yuzu very nicely and there was a warmth in his voice, I don't even know how many times he mentioned that Yuzu was fantasic and that he is a genius.

 

I hope you'll all enjoy this short interview :) 

 

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Q: Evgeni Plushenko skated to your pieces of music, Art on Ice, Magic Stradivarius and King of the Forest for his Tribute to Nijinsky program in the 2003/2004 season. These songs were released on your second album, Strings ’N Beats. How did you compose them and why were these songs chosen for the Nijinsky program?

 

Edvin Marton: One of the organizers, Reto Caviezel, and the producer of the Art on Ice Show, Oliver Höner invited me to the show in 2003. Höner himself was a skater and he is the artistic director of the show. At that time, Art on Ice was the most spectacular show in Europe and Höner invited to me to write the opening for it. And then I wrote Art on Ice, which later was released on my second album as well.

When I performed at the show, Plushenko also skated there, and we became friends after that. He told me that he liked my songs so he asked me to give him one of my albums. Art on Ice was in February, which was before the end of the figure skating season. Shortly after the season ended he contacted me that he’d like to skate to my songs the next season, and then this became the Tribute to Nijinsky program.

 

Q: Did you help Plushenko with music editing?

 

EM: Yes, first him and his team cut a version and they asked me to refine it. So, yes, in the end I helped him.

 

Q: You’ve been friends with Evgeni for many years. Please, tell me a bit more about your friendship with him.

 

EM: As I mentioned before we’ve been friends since his Tribute to Nijinsky program. I had been studying in Russia for 8 years so I can speak Russian very well too but at the end music brought us together and we started working together then.

I’ve been working as a producer as well, and after a while, I started thinking about doing a new show. Art on Ice has a bigger budget and it is a more expensive show, so I talked to Ari Zakarian and Evgeni about the possibility of a new show which would be less expensive. Ari is a former skater himself, he has lots of experience, and he works as an agent in the world of figure skating, which means that without him it isn’t really possible to organize a show. So that's how we made Kings on Ice.

 

Q: Plushenko ended his competitive career at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi. Are you following the sport, and do you talk about figure skating with Evgeni?

 

EM: Of course, I’m following it and we talk about it, too. We talk about it particularly when we organize a Kings on Ice show, because then we invite many skaters, and then I read about them, whether they’re still active or they’re already retired etc.

 

Q: Yuzuru Hanyu won the Olympic gold medal in Sochi, and four years later, he became the first skater after 66 years who defended his Olympic gold medal. It is a huge achievement. After the Olympic Games, he decided to skate to Art on Ice and Magic Stradivarius in his free skate as a tribute to his favourite skater, Plushenko, and he named his program ’Origin’. How did you react about his music choices?

 

EM: I was very happy about his decision. I think it is fantastic that such a genius like him chose my music and that he skates to these pieces. It made me feel really happy.

 

Q: Did you help him editing the original tracks?

 

EM: No, him and his team edited the music. They asked me to do it on their own and I said of course, they can do however they prefer to do it. There are musicians who don’t really like if any notes are changed in their songs, but I’m flexible when it comes to it. Let them soar and spread their wings! I give them freedom and to me, the most important is if they feel fine. In this sense, I don’t like restrictions.

 

Q: Last year you were there at the Rostelecom Cup in the middle of November, when Yuzuru won the competition.

 

EM: Yes, I was there in Moscow at the competition. I had a concert two weeks later, which I promoted in the television – I asked the TV to arrange it the same weekend as the competition so that I could go to the Grand Prix as well.

 

Q: On the morning of the free skate, Yuzuru injured his ankle when he fell from a quadruple jump, and he only had a couple of hours to completely change the layout of the skate. Did you see him skate for the first time, and how did you like the program?

 

EM: Yes, it was the first time seeing him skate live. Because of the injury, the situation at the competition was unusal, and it’s difficult to judge how he’d have skated without this, he’d have skated more effortlessly. He’s very professional and a genius but even for him this situation was really difficult.

 

Q: After the competition you met him and did you talk to him, too?

 

EM: Yes, we met after the competition and he invited me to Japan, to an ice show. Now everyone is focusing on the World Championships, but let’s see what happens after that – I’d like to go there if we can manage it. Ice shows in Japan are a bit different than for example, Russia or other shows in Europe. In Russia, there are the skaters of course but the focus is also on the musicians and sometimes there are other forms of arts, too, like ballet. In Japan the focus is more on skating. So it’d be nice to go there and play for Japanese audience.

 

Q: Since the Rostelecom Cup Yuzuru couldn’t skate at any competition, but he’ll return at the World Championships soon.

 

EM: I think he’ll be absolutely ready for the World Championships. [smiles]

 

Q: Would you ever like to write a piece of music for one of Yuzuru’s programs if there was a request for it?

 

EM: Yes, of course. Music is my life, and it is very important to me if I can write new music for skaters.

 

Q: What are your plans for 2019?

 

EM: My latest album was released not so long ago, it’s my first album that includes only my own songs. The arrangements and harmonies are different on this album which I like. I’ve just had a concert in St. Petersburg, and later this year I will have concerts in Bucharest, in Baku and then in Vienna with the Strauss orchestra in October. In December, we’re also going to have a Kings on Ice show in Cluj Napoca (Romania) with Evgeni and we’ll try to invite big skaters to the show.

 

Q: Thank you very much for the interview!

 

EM: Thank you.

 

* * *

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Great interview! Thank you! And very much looking forward to ice shows now!

 

As a side note, Kings on Ice in Romania sounds awfully tempting! If on a weekend I might use it as an opportunity to visit Cluj for the first time lol (I had even contemplated going to his concert, but not sure that will happen...)

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1 hour ago, Veveco said:

If a collaboration for an ice show were to happen, it'd be so interesting! Yuzu always seems so into his performances with live music :tumblr_inline_nhkezmeBaq1qid2nw:

 

Thank you for the interview !!


It would be really interesting to see Marton composing a soundtrack extra for Yuzu. It doesn't have to be a competitive program. A live music EX would probably be the most exciting to watch :tumblr_inline_n18qrbDQJn1qid2nw:

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Thank you everyone :11135030: I am glad you enjoyed reading it!

 

1 hour ago, KatjaThera said:

As a side note, Kings on Ice in Romania sounds awfully tempting! If on a weekend I might use it as an opportunity to visit Cluj for the first time lol (I had even contemplated going to his concert, but not sure that will happen...)

 

I think the show will be on 7 December, which is the weekend of the Grand Prix Final :tumblr_inline_n2pjcykAXc1qdlkyg:

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Thank you @sallycinnamon for the interview! Marton sounds like a very friendly guy and whoa I'd love if one day Yuzu could skate on his live music. Was it at rostelecom cup gala that Marton played during the finale? I kept thinking how great it would have been if Yuzu was there too...

Crossing fingers for future collabs:fingerscrossed:

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3 hours ago, LadyLou said:

Thank you @sallycinnamon for the interview! Marton sounds like a very friendly guy and whoa I'd love if one day Yuzu could skate on his live music. Was it at rostelecom cup gala that Marton played during the finale? I kept thinking how great it would have been if Yuzu was there too...

Crossing fingers for future collabs:fingerscrossed:

 

He is really friendly!

Yes, it was CoR when he played in the finale. It's such a shame that Yuzu couldn't be there but it'd be really nice if Yuzu could skate to his live music some day in the (near) future. :) 

 

15 hours ago, TallyT said:

Thank you for this! I think his music suits the dramatic (Plushy-loving) side of Yuzu so well... and if Origin comes together at Worlds like we are all hoping, it will be mind-blowing.

 

I also think that Art on Ice and Magic Stradivarius suits Yuzu, fingers crossed for a good performance at Worlds :snonegai:

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  • 1 year later...
On 2/18/2021 at 10:20 PM, hananistellata said:

This interview got me thinking, do all skaters ask for permission to use someone's music for their programs? It may be silly of me to ask this but I'm not familiar with how figure skating programs are made. :tumblr_inline_mzx95p7TPv1r8msi5:

 

I'm not sure, but I don't think so. There are two big problems with the music licensing:

  1. When you skate a program in competition, the music is aired a) live in the arena, b) on TV by various broadcasting channels and c) archived/ uploaded on different platforms (official ISU YouTube channel, archive of national federations, broadcasters etc.)
    Technically, every party has to ask for permission individually. Otherwise the audio track gets muted or deleted, as it happened with some videos on the ISU channel recently.
     
  2. Skaters usually have to re-edit the music piece for a 2:50 minute short program or 4:00 minute free skate. Re-editing or mixing different audio tracks requires extra permission and many artists have issues with that. I can imagine that an experienced music editor or choreographer with good connections has the possibility to consult the artist or management, but especially lower ranked skaters with little budget don't have access to such sources.
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3 minutes ago, Henni147 said:

 

I'm not sure, but I don't think so. There are two big problems with the music licensing:

  1. When you skate a program in competition, the music is aired a) live in the arena, b) on TV by various broadcasting channels and c) archived/ uploaded on different platforms (official ISU YouTube channel, archive of national federations, broadcasters etc.)
    Technically, every party has to ask for permission individually. Otherwise the audio track gets muted or deleted, as it happened with some videos on the ISU channel recently.
     
  2. Skaters usually have to re-edit the music piece for a 2:50 minute short program or 4:00 minute free skate. Re-editing or mixing different audio tracks requires extra permission and many artists have issues with that. I can imagine that an experienced music editor or choreographer with good connections has the possibility to consult the artist or management, but especially lower ranked skaters with little budget don't have access to such sources.

Hhhhmmmm, I see, that does make sense.

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