To be successful and self-made or not, depends on what we choose at one or another point in our lives. ‘Willingly or not but each of us has to live in the reality he had chosen’ — said one book’s character and it is hard to object it. But it is unlikely that there are many people able to choose a hard way and tell that they don’t re-gret any of their choices. Our new columnist, Soviet and Russian musician, singer, author of songs, frontman of Moral Codex, Sergey Mazayev is on choices that form a person and his destiny.

After completing military service, I  decided to study economics. In order to enter Moscow State University it was necessary to study English as my foreign language and this took two years. This decision was an important change as it meant turning my back on music, the core activity of my life until then. However, it didn’t last long and after two years I was back to music. My army friends who by that time had graduated from the Conservatoire tried to discourage me: ‘Come on! You are a mathematician! Why do you need all these dusty orchestra pits?”
It was the Soviet Union, the eighties, the Olympic Games and the thought of sitting in a dusty pit was less attractive than a dream career of a diplomat working in the international State trading area. It seemed to be ephemeral and at the same time attracting like a light at the end of the tunnel. I tried to follow this light, entered and don’t regret it because the knowledge I acquired at the University helped me to become what I am today. And yet love of music won the day. 
My partnership with the clarinet started in childhood after early experiments with the bugle and trumpet in a Young Pioneer’s band. Almost without exception, performing musicians must, at an early stage in their development, come under the guidance of a mu-sic teacher and mine was Daniel Matveevich Chertog. It was he who pointed me towards the clarinet and to my next teacher. He was kind, caring and lived his values as an example to a group of boys all from single parent homes. He was a father figure as well as musician and teacher. For clarinet I studied under Natan Anatolyevich Veseliy and to this day play Taneev’s Canzone, Weber’s Concertino and others. 
Musician’s possibilities and potential depend on study. If the fundamentals are there, the language of music, ability to read score, knowing solfeggio and possessing a complete education, it matters less where he works. The genre can be classic, rock or jazz, anything. The concrete field choice is the next step. While Russian jazz musicians are frequently classically trained professionals, rock musicians are almost all amateurs developing each in his own way and style. Many of them reach a high professional level in the end but some yet stay amateurs through all of their lives. And this is happening the same way in the Western world as in ours. The difference is just the level of social civilization and the only thing that matters is education. 

We live in the moment when many people present themselves as someone they aren’t and appoint them selves as producers, actors, journalists and musicians without a profiled education. And this irritates me in people most of all. This is a lie to themselves and others. This kind of things include phonogram and any fake stuff in general. Amateur wave is very big and aside of it stands a small percent of quality specialists. They are well known and easy to notice, no need for any explanations. They can let themselves be themselves without worries. I like the openness of these people when they are as real as what they do. From a diverse field, the one Russian who has my unlimited admiration is the mathematician Grigori Perelman whose refusal to accept high value prizes for his achievement on points of principle leaves me breathless.
When we were growing up it was the music of Queen, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin that inspired. Now it’s Bach and Debussy in my headphones because classic music is the base of any “musics” we have today. I  took clarinet in my hands in the beginning of nineties and zeroes after twenty years I started to work on it slowly. Then I had that idea to make a brass band to embody things we don’t play in “Moralniy Kodeks” (Moral Code) because its repertory is the original songs we wrote ourselves. This is not quite right, we could have had played other stuff differently. But that’s already a tradition to play what is born in our band’s ranks. 
As a clarinettist with a wide profile I developed playing in orchestras and served in a good army brass band. As a result, I decided to embody my dream of playing clarinet followed by stringed instruments because it’s the highest pleasure existing for me. I found outstanding young women-violinists. They are perfect, real musicians, all highly educated, higher than middle level for sure, working in best orchestras. They became best teachers for me, of a higher level and education, I can grow and become better with them. I  became a better musician than I used to be after four or five years of repetitions with them. They are all practicing teachers knowing how to educate. “Queentet” helps me to find my way to the base, to classics. Together with them, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Dvorzhak, Night and others we swim against the flow while other academic art representatives change for popular music. 
I want to tell the new generation of musicians to never lose their time while being young and study all subjects in their music schools because they won’t have time for it later and knowledge by all means makes anybody more rich, happier and living a better life — the most important thing we get from the Universe.