Breaking Boundaries both musical and geographical, cellist, composer and multilingual vocalist Ian Maksin has created his own unique style by blending elements of different genres and traditional music from around the globe in a new way using his cello as the main unifying force.
Ian Maksin was born in Leningrad, former USSR, into a multinational family and grew up absorbing many cultures and traditions from an early age. He began playing guitar and piano at age 3 and cello at age 6 at the School for Gifted Children in Leningrad and then came to the USA at 16 to continue studies at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City and Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. After working for many years in the classical genre including a three-year tenure with the New World Symphony in Miami Ian has decided to look for his own musical path.
His diverse musical experience, including playing rock and blues guitar and passion for jazz and world music has allowed him to take the cello to a new dimension and develop his own distinct style as a musician and composer. In Ian’s own words: “At some point I realized that music is much more than mere entertainment. Music is one of most powerful and unifying forces in the world, capable of healing, inspiring, bringing people together and bringing peace among them. I believe that cello will save the world”
What first got you into music?
Music surrounded me literally from birth on. Both of my parents played musical instruments, sang, and listened to a very wide array of music of all sorts of genres: international pop, jazz, classical and beyond.
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
My music is a fusion of all of my experiences both musical and personal. I combine elements of classical music, rock, and ethnic music from different parts of the world and mix them together with the cello being the key element. My music also reflects my journey, both as a personal path in life, as well as my physical travels to different lands, collaborations with musicians from different countries, and absorbing the music I learn from them.
What is your creative process like? What does your music say about you?
I have to tune into a certain wavelength to become connected to the Universe. This is the source from which the music is generated. It helps me align myself with the World and achieve physical and mental coherence. This sort of coherence also is transmitted into the music I compose and play and subsequently is shared with the listener.
If you could open a show for any artist who would it be?
I have opened for Sting in the past. I have also performed on the same stage with P.Diddy, Snoop Dog, Andrea Bocelli, Beach Boys, Barry Gibb and many other inspiring artists. I am open to collaborations with artists in any genre from Hip Hop to World Music.
What is one message you would give your fans?
Follow your heart and believe in yourself.
If we were to peek over your shoulder, what does your studio look like? What gear do you typically use?
My home studio is very basic. I am on tour most of the time and don’t spend much time at home these days. And when I do, I usually relax with my loved ones and meditate a lot. I do most of my recordings in professional studios.
What fictional character do you wish was real?
What makes you nostalgic?
When I listen to certain music it brings me back in time to places and circumstances where I heard or was listening to that music for the first time. It brings back certain memories that include feelings, smells, and tastes. The bittersweet realization that you can only relive those moments through music and your imagination is probably what nostalgia is. I experience it when I hear the music of Sting, Serge Gainsbourg, Mobi, and some other artists…
What would be a good theme song for your life?
Brand New Day by Sting. The first song that comes to mind. You can have a fresh start any day. There is hope. You can make a difference. But it takes commitment and willpower.
If you were captain of a ship, what would you call it?
If you were talking to a younger version of yourself, what advice would you give?
To believe in myself.