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…’
For a creative soul, there is no point in a recording of ‘covers’ or ‘standards’ unless it is treated personally, there needs to be that unique approach which will make it yours to present.
‘Rehearsing as we did in Belgium prior to the recording was a lot more interesting and unusual than doing so in Melbourne, but the opposite may be true for Janos. Maybe we were fresher approaching our instruments, because there was no opportunity to practise immediately before the recording.’
‘I guess maybe I can’t decide what I like, I just like it all, and although that is hard to ‘market’ to the world, it’s true to me, so I’m a mongrel.’
I am so lucky, as a musician, to have to extend my listening in the way that doing the research for presenting a radio show does. And I also deeply enjoy the two hours week when I’m actually doing Mixed Marriage, and the Planet at this point, when I can immerse myself in incredible music going out over the airwaves.
by Phil Sandford | Mike Gibbs has integrated jazz, classical and popular influences in his composing and arranging into a distinctive sound that is fresh and interesting. Now living in Spain he continues to compose and explore new ways of expressing his musical ideas.
“I guess I consider myself an ‘intuitive’ composer in that everything I’ve written so far seems to have been written in a slightly different way. I don’t have one method – one approach of sitting down and writing in a particular way.”