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Toni Makhoul

Toni Makhoul

Toni Makhoul

How did this new album and overall concept for it come about, and what are your ultimate goals with it?

My published albums Eternal Love and Letter to My Love – both come from my fundamental belief that music is the strongest language that can be understood without being taught, that has no limits, and that could be universal when the melody is born from a connection to the heart. I use this same language in Eternal Love where I speak through Music about sensations and love - and all the different emotions (being sad, happy, in love, broken, etc.) that are felt at different times, and that are inspired by a real love story.

My goal is to have my music reach people all around the world and spread the sensation of love through music, as things done with love will prevail.

Who are some of your current favorite artists, Smooth Jazz or otherwise?

Every artist who creates beautiful melodies inspires me. I listen to a lot of music from many countries in order to feed myself from their musical culture, although I have my own music style where my emotions and senses are reflected. Some of my favorite artists cross many different genres – from Celine Dion to Andrea Bocelli, and from Jazz to Classical.

What in your life outside of your music drives you in a creative sense?

I find inspiration all around me – from the happy moments to the saddest, from the patter of rain to the rhythm of a train in motion.

In addition, being an engineer by trait has also driven creativity and a process to my work - how to think, plan and act. A civil engineer takes the creative work of an architect and makes all the needed steps to achieve the creative art work of an architect. In music I am acting as an architect when I create the melody. And later when I create the instrumentation and the structure of the melody, I am functioning as an engineer who has to know how to select the materials to use to achieve the desired end product.

But on a lighter note, I have to admit that I find inspiration in women – in their mystery, their beauty, their sensuality. Throughout history, women and their love have been an abundance of inspiration that has driven art in its every form…and I guess I am no different.

What’s your absolute favorite part of the World, and why?

I love to travel and enjoy experiencing different cultures and traditions. While Lebanon, Spain, Italy, and Greece all have a timeless Mediterranean charm to them, I remain fascinated with Japan and its mystical harmony.

But my absolute favorite part of the World is a new part of the world…because I love exploring its vastness and diversity. No matter how much I travel, even to the same place, there is always a new corner to discover something uniquely remarkable while at the same time realizing that no matter how diverse we are, humanity is one.

How would you describe what inspires you to do what you do?

Broadly speaking, there is a person who is my inspirer always, and specifically each melody is inspired from particular circumstances I have encountered. I have to add however, that I do not really know what triggers a melody to come to my head. It happens very quick and could happen at any place (car, parking lot, beach, supermarket, walking, showering, …) . At that moment, I just record myself humming it so it will not be forgotten, and later when I have the time, I begin to work on its arrangements.

What elements do you look for in a song that makes it especially satisfying for you to perform?

The basic elements that I look for in my music can be summarized as follows:

-A melody that touches the heart, as I believe this to be the most fundamental

-Has a short time span (generally 2~3 minutes).

-Has appropriate arrangements and orchestration. This is very important, as it will uplift the core melody itself so it can reach the ears dearly and touch the heart warmly.

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