Interview with Silke Eberhard: Jazz is on the move: Video

Jazz interview with jazz saxophonist Silke Eberhard. An interview by email in writing. 

JazzBluesNews.com: – First let’s start with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music?

Silke Eberhard: – I grew up in a small village in South-Germany, close to Bavaria. My father – also a saxophone and clarinetplayer – led the local brassband of traditional Bavarian music. He gave me a clarinet when I was eleven and later I took up the altosaxophone. My father had some Dixieland and Bigband Records and I also discovered the radio and found myself listening to late night jazz shows.

JBN: – How did your sound evolve over time? What did you do to find and develop your sound?

SE: – As I come from clarinet I played firstly with a similar embouchure on the saxophone, which is kind of old-fashioned. I played like that for many years, I never thought about it, it was also kind of cool, very autodidact, and even I used it throughout my jazz studies at the university. Later I corrected it to a modern Jazz-embouchure, with great help from teachers like Dave Liebman, it was a process. Technique is one thing, but most of all the sound is in your head and heart, for me it was important to listen to as many possible saxophonist as I can, that gave me the idea of what I like or what not, and then to imitate. I experimented also with equipment: instruments, mouthpieces, reeds, also playing in very dry acoustic rooms and and and.. a very nerdy journey. Today I really enjoy long notes, very simple, slow motion.

JBN: – What practice routine or exercise have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical ability especially pertaining to rhythm?

SE: – Swing rhythms I practice with metronome on 2 and 4, and sometimes I do latin-rhythms with a clave-beat, I have a great app on my phone. It´s fun. Or playing with records. But nothing is better than playing with other musicians.

JBN: – How to prevent disparate influences from coloring what you’re doing?

SE: – I don’t know if I want to prevent this. As a jazz musician, I absorb all kinds of influences, musical and non-musical, and process them – consciously and unconsciously – also in the music. Basically I try to stick to “my theme” and not to lose myself, it has to do with concentration. Things that I find too disturbing or not conducive I ignore.

JBN: – How do you prepare before your performances to help you maintain both spiritual and musical stamina?

SE: – I try to switch from practice mode to performance mode. For this I have different techniques, I also do Yoga, Qi Gong and things like that. Good food is also important. In the best case I am in flow through a good routine with of course regular practice, sufficient rehearsals and concerts.

JBN: – Ism is culled from a variety of lives dates with various performers over the course of a few years. Did your sound evolve during that time? And how did you select the musicians who play on the album?

SE: – Nikolaus Neuser had the idea for this quartet and brought it together. All four of us went the Music Omi Residency in Upstate New York, I was there in 2016, and Nikolaus in the summer of 2018, where he met the Talibam! duo, Matt Mottel and Kevin Shea, who held a workshop there. That was the start. I met Talibam! later the same year at a festival in Sardinia. We played one concert in Berlin the same year, and then knew that we should continue the work. In 2019 we played a large tour through Germany and Holland, it was fantastic.

JBN: – What’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?

SE: – That is exactly what it is all about. For example, when I play a note, or improvise, whatever, knowing what it is, what I’m doing and at the same time not thinking about it, then I make a connection between the two, and then it feels just right.

JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; you’re okay with giving the people what they want?

SE: – Yes, I am fine with that, at least most people who come to my concerts know the musical genre or direction, and I think they can take surprises, too 😉 I am happy to deliver that and hope to give some inspiring moments.

JBN: – Please any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?

SE: – I love Italy, they have wonderful festivals, places and they love to celebrate. I gave a workshop in Palermo – it was supposed to be several days of all-day workshops. But we always started at 5 pm to keep the siesta and at around 6.30 pm it was already time to go to the restaurant again. But I realized that this time – hanging out with the people – was also part of the rehearsal. The final performance of the ensemble was simply incredible.

JBN: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of the standard tunes are half a century old?

SE: – Jazz is on the move, new pieces are constantly being invented, including pop songs that young people listen to. In the past, jazz was the pop music. Jazz is the root. If you have the chance to talk to young people and explain this line of tradition, I’m sure they will be interested in jazz standards, which can also be the basis for new compositions. I have had this experience with my younger students, some of them have become passionate jazz listeners.

JBN: – If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

SE: – Nowadays, narratives often step over the content. Superficialities are cultivated and the story is more important than the music itself, otherwise you can’t seem to sell it. And social media does the rest, this new self-portrayal seems to has become part of the artistic creation?! Festivals often have a so-called event character and put a theme over the music. I wish for a music scene – or I could also say a society – in which these things take a back seat and only the music – the subject – counts, no matter who plays it, no matter what gender, skin color, nationality. So I wish above all for a more diverse, more mixed music scene.

JBN: – Who do you find yourself listening to these days?

SE: – Henry Threadgill. And traditional Music from Korea (Gayageum, Sanjo)

JBN: – What is the message you choose to bring through your music?

SE: – No message. My music is more abstract in nature and I don’t want to impose an opinion on people or tell them what to feel. Of course, when I wrote a piece of music I had a certain expression or something. But you don’t hear that really in the notes, if you don´t know it, maybe in the title that the piece gets. And it’s the same with an improvisation, I play and relate to a mood in the room, enter into a relationship with the audience, enter into communication. But when the music is let loose on the audience, it is free. The artwork detaches itself from the artist. And the listener may have other feelings, emotions, thoughts. Most of all – if to choose a message – I want to inspire people.

JBN: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really wanna go?

SE: – I would like to find myself in New York City in the early 1960s and would like to see all the concerts of Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy, John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk, Cecil Taylor. There are many others, so: let’s say, give me two years: 1960 to 1961 and I’ll go to every possible gig in NYC.

JBN: – I have been asking you so far, now may I have a question from yourself…

SE: – Surely you´ve been asked the same question before, but I am curios: what is your favorite Jazz-record of all times?

JBN: – I will not say anything new or unexpected։ Miles Davis – Kind Of Blue, Ornette Coleman – Lonely Woman and Cick Corea – Forever …

JBN: – So putting that all together, how are you able to harness that now?

SE: – It was good to think about your questions, so many thoughts, thank you very much. I will continue to practice my instrument, and my skills as a composer, it´s a life journey.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Картинки по запросу "Silke Eberhard"

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