May 22, 2024

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Interview with Martin Lutz: The meaning of live is togetherness and love: Video

Jazz interview with a bad musician, as if pianist Martin Lutz. An interview by email in writing. 

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

Martin Lutz: – I grew up both in Denmark and Africa, as my father was a veterinarian who spent most of his working life in Southern and Eastern Africa..

JBN.S: – What got you interested in picking up the piano? What teacher or teachers helped you progress to the level of playing you have today? What made you choose the piano?

ML: – Besides being a vet he was a hobby pianist – and it was him who introduced me both to the piano and jazz music. My first listening experiences where Art Tatum, Eroll Garner, Oscar Peterson and Count Basie. Later I picked up on Herbie Hancock, Horace Silver, Ramsey Lewis and of course my great idol Abdullah Ibrahim. My most important teacher was probably Tom Pedersen at the local music school – he introduced me to jazz harmonies and improvisation.

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

ML: – My sound mostly evolved by chance. I’ve always been fond of mixing genres and I believe that this is the most essential part of my sound – both as a pianist and as a composer/arranger.

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

ML: – So – first and foremost my sound was formed by listening to all sorts of music. Anything from Latin choir music, Opera, Rock, Pop, Folk, Country to Fusion and Free Jazz.

JBN.S: – Which harmonies and harmonic patterns do you prefer now?

ML: – I prefer simple harmonies. But as with my sound I think the blending of harmonic elements is essential. I love a simple major or minor chord, but if you want to create variation, tension, relieve etc. you have to have some dissonance or alterations at times.

JBN.S: – Which are the best jazz albums for you of 2017 year?

ML: – I’ve heard too little jazz the past year – but our own Sinne Eeg and her album “Dreams” could be candidate for the best album.

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

ML: – Quite some years ago I made a few productions for the Danish Gymnastics Union. That was fun! The music we recorded was composed for use while running, dancing, warming up etc. So – we had a bunch of gymnasts in the studio to guide and support us while recording the music. Also I’ve created an app with the Danish Hospitalclowns (Danske Hopsitalsklovne) – It was hilarious to work together with them – such inspiring and sweet people with an incredibly important job!

JBN.S: – Many aspiring musicians are always looking for advice when navigating thru the music business. Is there any piece of advice you can offer to aspiring students or even your peers that you believe will help them succeed and stay positive in this business?

ML: – Stay true to what you believe in – it’s a cliché, I know – but I really believe that nothing good comes from trying to please a specific crowd, radio station or things like that. Music needs to come from the heart – that being said, I know, that not everyone has the privilege to just play music “for fun”.

JBN.S: – Аnd furthermore, can jazz be a business today or someday?

ML: – Probably not! Unless you’re incredibly talented, work extremely hard and are a lucky “son of a bitch” at the same time J.

JBN.S: – Which collaboration have been the most important experiences for you?

ML: – The one I mentioned earlier with the Danish Hospitalclowns! It was inspiring and was pure charity.

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

ML: – Why’s that a problem? A lot of the best music written is really old. If you want to get young people to enjoy jazz, you just have to invite them in, communicate with them and insist on jazz being equally interesting as any other genre.

JBN.S: – John Coltrane said that music was his spirit. How do you understand the spirit and the meaning of life?

ML: – Oh my god! That’s a big question! The meaning of live is togetherness and love. And a balance between nature and all living creatures. Music is a universal language and it can bring together all sorts of people regardless of race, age or gender.

JBN.S: – What are your expectations of the future? What brings you fear or anxiety?

ML: – Well – it’s hard to answer – but I expect and hope, that the world will come together in unity at some point. I mean – it’s so obvious that we share gigantic challenges for generations to come and it’s hard to imagine that we’ll be able to deal with creating sustainability, safety and peace without joining forces.

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

ML: – I’d try to make people listen to whole albums again – from top to the end. Like 20 years ago – When there was a new record out with your favorite band you would buy it and listen to the whole thing together with your friends.

JBN.S: – What’s the next musical frontier for you?

ML: – I’m starting a project, where I’ll be playing folk music. And then there are some classical works that are waiting to be written. And of course, I’ll be playing gigs presenting our new album.

JBN.S: – Are there any similarities between jazz and world music, including folk music?

ML: – Well! Of course – the whole aspect of improvisation and playing “by ear” is essential to all the mentioned styles!

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

ML: – I listen a lot to the Danish String Quartet! Oh my God – They’re so amazing!

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

ML: – I’d travel to “right here – right now”. It’s a symptom of our time that we either live in the past or in the future. But the only life we have is here and now. So, if I’d want a time machine, I’d want it to be a machine that could stop time once in a while!

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

ML: – When was the last time you listened to an opera?

JBN.S: – Every day on Mezzo TV channel or when traveling to Paris or Italy.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

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