Two interviews with Marc Hannaford who is currently touring Australia with his New York Trio. In the first one, the brilliant pianist talks about his life in New York, and his current musical pursuit. In the second, he remembers his trio with Allan Browne and Sam Pankhust, documented in the album Monday Dates.
“It is very hard for me to put a label to my music as I think its sort of a hybrid of genres. Coming from a classical background, I know that there is the classical influence in there, there’s the folk element coming from my cultural background – both as an Armenian and Lebanese – and of course there’s also the jazz influence, the harmonies, the improvisations and the approach in the composition process.”
“My journey in jazz and improvised music has been all working out so well ever since I moved toAustralia.As a foreigner in the country and an international student, I felt very fortunate and thankful to be welcomed by the safe, family-like environment of the Australian jazz scene. So many generous musicians and friends shared their knowledge without hesitation and encouraged me to explore my own sound and ideas. Even when my work doesn’t turn out so well, there has been no judgment, but continuous trust and support.”
“It’s an endless competition; you’re always competing for gigs, and competing to play in different bands or going for the same awards; and there are always people out there trying to judge you; it’s a fact of life and a fact of the music scene. People are going to be judging you and the best way to go is to be yourself. I can’t do more than that.”
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”.
“There is undeniably an underrepresentation of women across all aspects of the music industry. You can’t be what you can’t see.”
“Adding a guitar to the Vampires distinct chord-less sound world is of course new, however we feel that Lionel’s contribution will help inspire and spur us onto new musical territory. Nick and I have also composed music with Lionel in mind, and so the music will accommodate and make way for his unique style of playing.”
“We are thrilled that the Sydney Improvised Music Association for staging this terrific jazz festival here for a second year. We hope that folks enjoy a weekend of simple pleasures at Berry Jazz”.
“I am very grateful for the opportunity each day to create music and I would love to keep on writing because the more I do it, the more I can discover my own musical voice and it will help me evolve and develop as an artist. Change doesn’t happen instantly. It happens gradually and I want to strive to honing my craft each day”.
U.nlock is interesting instrumentally because of the absence of chordal instruments. ‘We also realised at some point that neither of the melodic instruments are of a fixed pitch…’