” We don’t confine ourselves to particular genres, or traditional interpretations of genres, and we don’t pre-determine too much about the music. All of us love pop, and have listened to loads in our time on the planet. And Brazilian tunes creep in because I find it hard to omit these from any setlist I’m involved in! Aside from that, Stoneflower creates a very gentle, magical sonic palette that doesn’t attempt to prove anything to listeners.”
Hearing something you have written be brought to life by a group of exceptional performers is about the best experience you can have. It’s that joy that leads you to forget all the difficulties, which then enables you to start the process over again!
“My favourite music (especially swing) exists where the band is on the edge of falling apart or going for things that then they have to navigate a way out of. When you play with people you trust musically, this isn’t scary, it’s exciting and brings out the best in you as a musician and improviser.”
“Our approach to music making is very open. Whatever the members bring to the group is welcome. We each lead diverse music lives outside of the band and when we come together the things we’ve been doing individually find voice in the overall sound. This is intuitive and encouraged and it means that the sound of the group is changing in ways that keep things interesting. We always sound like the Necks, but we also sound different from tour to tour – in ways that we can’t predict.”
“The greatest challenge is doing something different with standards that still feels natural. I think we achieved it on this album. We were very open and just tried to play like ourselves with no judgment.”
How would you describe the dynamics of Torrio!?
Niko Schauble: Every input is welcome. Every output is celebrated. There is no leader. The direction becomes clear through the performance.
Sandy Evans was inspired by these images of reality and reflection, so she started composing what turned out to be musical responses to them. “I like to think of harmony in relation to colours”, she says, describing her approach. “Other times it was the structure of the photos that I reacted to. There are certain mirror images, so what I did was take some melodic ideas and reverse them”.
“I want singers to dig deep into their potential, to strive to be the greatest musicians they can be, to sing with integrity, unapologetically into the world”
“As far as music goes, I reckon I sound like me, and no one else, that’s really what I feel good about. I have a long way to go still, plenty more to explore and learn, but having your own sound and being recognised by it is surely what I feel is most important, other than not sounding like shit. “
AJN: Some think that a tribute to Vince Jones is long overdue and that the jazz community should gather and honour your contribution. What are your thoughts on that?
VJ: Give me a few more years to write some more songs before any tributes.