Prior to publishing his review of Theseus and The Minotaur (Captain Kirkwood), John Hardaker asked Ellen Kirkwood some questions about the album and Here are her responses. 1. The most obvious first – why did you pick the legend of Theseus and the Minotaur for your debut release? This decision was mostly about practicality and …
‘Another thing I came to realise when I had to spend a few years really lost in my film and unable to practise music, is that when singing, because the breath is really focussed and controlled over a period, it has a meditative, almost yogic quality that is incredibly good for health and mind.’
Think big, dream large etc. This is an opportunity for you to stretch yourself creatively. Looking back at previous winners of the commission, we have all tried something very new to us and used the commission to test uncharted waters. The MJFF Commission is no place to play it safe.
‘We’re all friends who enjoy making music together’, says Jess, ‘which makes for a really exciting and engaging live show. Audiences really seem to dig it and keep coming back for more, which is something we don’t take for granted.’
Pacheco first became aware of jazz at the age of eighteen when she was given a copy of Keith Jarrett’s The Köln Concert. ‘It was the turning point of my life,’ she says. ‘I could not believe what I was listening to. I didn’t know what it was and I didn’t even know who Keith Jarrett was, but I knew that I wanted to play like that.’
On the eve of an Australian tour and a UK tour, pianist-composer Alister Spence spoke to Phil Sandford about his influences and approach to music.
Barker sees the New Sheiks as sitting in ‘a bit of a niche’, somewhere in the middle of a spectrum of jazz and blues that extends from nostalgic old style jazz tributes to the most modern styles.
He remains only interested in musicians who ‘slam their heart down on the table, and go, “There I am!”‘
Ultimately, the questions, the searching and the transformation that results is connected to the Art Orchestra’s aim not just to reconstruct something… it’s to find a new way of making music with the Young Wägilak Group.
‘…we might fall on our arses once or twice, but it’s often when you’re searching that the best things happen…’