Immigrants In America: Jimena

Interview of Jimena by Andy Reyes 

Born and raised in Mexico City, Jimena Pliego has been playing music for most of her life. Trained at the National Institute of Fine Arts, the 23-year-old pianist has marked her place in music, being one of the few selected to study at the University of Victoria in Vancouver Canada.

You can find Jimena taking pictures, listening to music, giving piano lessons and visiting museums.

Hello Jimena! Thank you very much for this interview.

Thanks to you!

At what age did you start playing the piano?

I started at 10 years old. My parents enrolled me in keyboard lessons in elementary school and that’s where the adventure began.

What do you enjoy most about playing the piano?

The sound that it emanates and the way in which what I want to express sounds. I have always thought that the sound of a piano is like small bubbles that are generated with each blow of the hammer on the strings. I would not know how to explain it very well but it is a very sweet and round sound that envelops anyone.

In addition to that I can express any feeling, from the soft sound of a night of Chopin to a military prelude of Rachmaninoff. The piano has so many facets.

Why did you decide to be a pianist?

I do not have a concrete answer to that, because when I was 10 years old I never thought about what the piano was or what the music was, I just wanted to find out how to play the keys because for me that instrument was full pf magic. It invaded me, and I wanted to be in front of the piano always.

Little by little my love for the piano grew more and more and to this day I can say that I am in love.

How do you stay inspired?

It has been a daily and necessary task. One has to be in constant search to continue throwing the imagination to fly. I feel very happy because since childhood I was inspired by nature. The colors, smells and textures that it emanates. I am a fan of the beach and the snow. A bit of opposite poles but going from end to end teaches you so many things.

There are too many musical pieces that its purpose is to emulate the sound of nature. The sound of a storm, a fountain, the song of the birds, the wind blowing …

I also love immersing myself in books. There you can imagine things as you want and you realize that your brain is creating a completely new world.

What does music mean to you?

Nature makes sound. Nature casts sound waves that go directly to your brain to transform it. And the world itself is nature. I could say that music is the world turned into sound colors.

Tell us about the other activities/sides hustles which help fulfill your deeper passions. 

I love photography and ballet. I think in another life I was a dancer.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to devote herself to music?

My advice is that you always study, never leave it aside. One is constantly searching and experimenting with her instrument.

If you give all your love to music this will give you really beautiful things.

Never give up. Visualize your goal and see for it. I assure you it will be difficult, you will have many things against but if your heart says that it is music, you go for it!

What is your favorite music ?

I have my serious side and my rebellious side.

I love 100% the music of Rachmaninoff and at the same time I really like rock, salsa, reggae. I try to listen to everything because each genre is a different vocabulary and each one tells you many unique things.

Who do you admire in music?

I admire several teachers that I have had throughout this race. My three teachers that I will always have in mind and heart will be Ana Maria Tradatti, Carlos Salmeron and Mauricio Lazorckyck. The 3 are pianists.

At the same time I also admire Russian pianist Nikolai Lugansky a lot. I love his energy, and Rachmaninoff. There are no other interpretations that can be matched.

Tell us a bit more about your personal and professional plans? 

I’m dying to go to Vancouver to study. Besides that the university is beautiful, I love the snow and, the funny thing is that the university is a few steps from the sea. It is my ideal place. Beach and snow.

My dreams are to play piano in concerts with orchestra but at the same time have my own songs. Maybe with a band of reggae or rock.

If you could leave a legacy in the world what would it be?

To make people believe that one is truly powerful enough to achieve whatever it is that is proposed. I always say “never accept NO as an answer” . A NO does not mean you can’t, but simply that it is not the right way,  and that you have to keep looking. And always keep in mind the law of karma. The more you give to life the more you will receive from it.

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Andy Reyes

Andy Reyes lives in Mexico City, she is 24 years old. Andy is a makeup artist who loves writing as it helps express her emotions. Her dream is to study journalism. Her best friend is… her dad.

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