June 17, 2024


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Interview with Martin Küchen: Depends on the wants of the music: Video

Jazz interview with jazz saxophonist, flutist Martin Küchen. 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 Küchen: – I grew up in Eskilstuna, Sweden. Since my father was a travelling business man i got sometimes presents form his journies. One time i got a wooden flute from Tunisia and a clay darbouka with goat skin, also from Tunisia. These gifts and the music my brother brought home i think was the start of this, as it seems, life long interest of music on my part.

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

MK: – My flute teacher at the time i knew also played saxophone, therefore i asked him if i also could have some lessons from him on that instrument. I was 14 at the time. It was possible to lend a saxophone for free from the music school, which i did. But my main instrument up to the age of 20 was flute. That first teacher was very helpful and then there was another teacher, teaching jazz improvisation(standards) who was also very encouraging regarding my choice to pick up the tenor saxophone as a second instrument. During all this time though, as long as i can remember, my true wish was to play the drums, but for various of reasons it was not possible to fulfill that dream of mine. So to begin with, picking the flute as my main instrument, was not really what i wanted – i more or less got stucked with it – until i started to play saxophone which was very difficult but really thrilling at the same time. And most important – to pick the sax was my own choice completly.

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

MK: – Massive amount of hours of practising – after work, when unemployed during the days etc.

I also spend many days busking on the streets and in the tube stations in Stockholm. I first heard Albert Ayler when i was 17 and Eric Dolphy when i was 19, then John Coltrane. In Stockholm i heard Jörgen Adolfsson and Mats Gustafson live and specifically the sound and technique of mr Gustafsson impressed me an awful lot. And through Mats and the piano player Arne Forsén i got in contact with the music of Evan Parker and Peter Brötzmann for the first time. And that was in 1992. Later on i got influenced by many more old school sax players, like Young, Hodges and trumpet players like Roy Eldridge etc But also all kind of other music – not only jazz or EAM – interested me a great lot.

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

MK: – By housing repetitive ideas of non-musical matters, transformed into musical practice routines and habits – and gradually these non – musical ideas change, also my practice routine change…..

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

MK: – Always C-minor. And baroqueisch modulations.

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

MK: – Jamie Branch “Fly or Die”, Chamber 4 “city of lights”, Jürg Frey “Collection Gustave Roud”.

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

MK: – Depends on the wants of the music. Usually music demands both, but in a seemingly arbitrary fashion….

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

MK: – Zaporizhya, Ukraine, 2013. Trespass trio. Old theatre full of people from all generations. After the concert many wanted to shake our hands and take photographs. Many were very serious. You could obviously feel our short stay meant an awful lot to the audience, and also not only through our music (which they hitherto havent heard of of course), but that we – and the fantastic local organisers – had made the effort for this to happen in their city in the Ukraine. It was in November 2013. The day after the president were supposed to come for a visit. Afterwards I thought I realized i could already there and then feel the tension that was in the air. And why some of the people already seemed a bit worried. To say the least. But did i really?

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?

MK: – Just try to keep yourself afloat musically – take other jobs if necessary –   and be patient. Push, but not too hard. Music doesnt like to be pushed around. Stay clear, abide, insist – and learn about the world. That knowledge or that desire for knowledge will also lead into the music and hopefully give it depth and meaning.

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

MK: – Jazz has been a true business many years ago – whatever that meant –  but now its position is more and more depending on kind of an artificial support to be able to survive. Its a delicate situation. And it differs from country to country. Basically we have to revive the will to experience the magic of the acoustic moment – the thrill to go to a small club not knowing the band who is going to play, but still have a hunger for that kind of experience…..and be willing to pay some money for it to happen.

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

MK: – Sirone in 2002. And for so many different reasons …

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

MK: – New songs are added to the “book” all the time. I think there is no question of which tunes/songs etc, but rather with every performance showing the need for this or that song to exist – and why tradition is bliss. If you cut away tradition you are lost.

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

MK: – By chasing it, by avoiding it, by learning about its adversary, by using information about the misconduct of spiritual matters and spiritually relearn from that.

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

MK: – No expectations, but anxious yes …

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

MK: – That the notion of career would alter meaning and make people really think they are building some kind of real carriage, and maybe not only for themselves, which they then later in life can have a trust in and rely upon and truly be carried by …

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

MK: – To be able to write notes properly.

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

MK: – Sure. Many.

But you just have to know where you are and why – then you can play whatever mixed music and in whatever circumstances.

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

MK: – Stan Getz, Jürg Frey, Steve Lacy, Lester Young, Nat King Cole, Lars Gullin, Monsieur de Sainte Colombe le fils,

JBN.S: – What’s your current setup?

MK: – All saxophones (except the bass sax).

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

MK: – 1950s Sweden. Sneaking in to a rehearsal w the Lars Gullin 5tett or 6tett and just be there quietly in a corner listening …

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

MK: – How high in the moon?

JBN.S: – Thank you for answers. Within easy reach 🙂

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Картинки по запросу Martin Küchen

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