“I want to write and perform music which inspires and challenges me, the other musicians, and the audience. I think that has stayed the same and hope that we can achieve this on some level.”
“My favourite moment to date was the first time SHAYAN played as a seven-piece. It wasn’t about playing a festival, or the people in the crowd, but about hearing the compositions played live for the first time by these incredible players. There is something so special about hearing the dots on the page turn into actual music, especially when it is played by great musicians.”
” 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.”
“The music on this [‘Without Within’] should be very accessible to uninitiated jazz audiences, as well as hopefully having something there of deeper musical interest. I tried to use mood and emotion as a guide for the compositions, just like a pop song writer might,” says saxophonist Richard Pavlidis.
Elysian Fields is a seamless combination of old and new, composed and improvised, experimental and planned, intuitive and calculated. The result is like a thick winter blanket: warm and beautiful.
“In Bridge of Dreams, the collaboration between myself, Shubha and Aneesh was at the core of the creative process. I am not in any way expert in Hindustani music – they are! They generously share their knowledge, are willing to experiment, trust, take risks, and allow me to use my instincts to shape and recontextualise the musical materials they offer. “
“Sometimes I will sit down at the piano and just begin to sing, and the melody and lyrics will magically appear and the flow will keep going until the song is finished all in the one evening. Other times, I will hear a little riff that gets stuck in my head, and I will write something off the base of that, but won’t finish the song for months – or years ! “
We play big, honking sets and we wanted to recreate that as much as possible in the studio.
“For many many years I worked long hours and studied and did not participate in any of the creative activities I often heard the call to begin. Call of the Wild is about the call that never leaves you, a constant gentle reminder of better ways to spend your time.
Many of the songs from this album were written in the car on the way to my day job; one was written while I was folding the washing, another while I was cleaning the house. The melodies came to me when I was stuck in domestics or the inescapable necessities of daily life.”
Denson and James sign five of the album’s twelve songs, all works of exemplary craftmanship that deserve a place in the Australian Jazz canon (if there is such a thing). My personal favourites are the upbeat ‘Wild December Wind’ and the introspective ‘Maybe Tomorrow’ (I’m a sucker for 3/4 tunes); both perfect vehicles for Ingrid James to showcase her ability to convey real, almost tangible, emotions. You can feel her voice embracing and caressing you.