“To me, Theseus and Minotaur is a story about masculinity and a story about a cycle of fear and anger and rejection that fathers pass on to their sons that perpetuates bad things in society, like sexual abuse and violence. I see the Minotaur as a classic example of a child who wasn’t given the tools to be a good person in life regardless of the fact that he had the head of a bull.”
“Sometimes I do this version of Joy Division’s ‘Love will tear us apart’ and I’ve had people cry throughout the song,” Mary Coughlan says. “They always come and talk to me about it afterwards. That’s what music is for, to bring out all these experiences and emotions.”
“I sent Christopher some sketches and he sent me some poems reacting to my music and we both worked from that. I don’t know how much experience he has in matching words to music, but I was really impressed when I got his words back. Everything kind of fit together so quickly and naturally, and they allowed me to make some strong musical statements.”
“Most of my training has been classical; I majored in Composition and Twentieth Century Music Analysis. I’ve also dabbled in jazz and applied myself to various forms of gamelan. I’ve come to believe that it’s ok not to relentlessly pursue one musical avenue, it can be a good thing to be a jack of all trades, especially when creating your own music and own opportunities, and that for me the right thing is to pursue a multi-faceted career. “
“I chose to tell you that story because it helps shine a light on how NPCO came to be. Because I started to inhabit two worlds, the jazz setting and the formal chamber music setting, and I was looking for a way to bring them together naturally.That’s how NPCO started.”
Jenny Eriksson: “Elysian Fields have several Scandinavian connections. Matt Keegan studied in Sweden, vocalist Susie Bishop sings fluently in Swedish and bass player Siebe Pogson is 1/8th Swedish. We’ve been doing covers of Scandinavian jazz artists almost from the start. Since Susie Bishop joined us we’ve added some Swedish folk songs. We’ve given Matt McMahon honorary Swedish citizenship, so he does not feel left out!”
“I’m interested in all sorts of music and looking for brothers and sisters outside the jazz area to work with, using the suite as a connecting force,” says Steve Sedergreen. “We are not going to reproduce the Far East Suite but we’re certainly going to play in the spirit of the Far East Suite.”
Each of the nine pieces are more settings than compositions, or even improvisation – settings for Dilworth to express this idea of viata/life, and his reaction to it. Many of the tunes on ‘Viata’ have a European dissonance, a Bartokian slipping in and out of key and tone – not exactly dissonance, more the stretching of the envelope, a very human thing, tying it to the universality of the blues.
“For this project I felt like it wouldn’t be fulfilling for the audience or musicians if we just attempted to play Bjork’s music the way she has produced it, especially for a jazz festival! There has to be something fresh, intriguing, experimental or risky involved for it to make sense to me. I guess this is what we will strive towards presenting some amazing music that we all know and love with a new perspective and sound and room for everyone involved to get their individual voices across.”
Derricott has always been one of our most surprising drummers, technically exciting while at ease in any improvisational situation, creating effortlessly and colourfully.