June 13, 2024


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Interview with Andreas Schaerer: I mostly enjoy music that comes from a strong emotional source: Video

Jazz interview with jazz singer Andreas Schaerer. An interview by email in writing. 

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

Andreas Schaerer: – We moved quiet a lot when I was a child. I grew up in different places around Switzerland. Some very rural and secluded spots in the countryside.

During my childhood I was mostly listening to the record collection of my parents. Lots of music from the 60ties and 70ties. Beatles, Dylan, Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Neil Young, etc… During my late teenage years I started to listen to electronic music, drum &bass and then got in contact with my first jazz records: Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters, Miles Davis Decoy… mostly groove oriented jazz…

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

AS: – Already during my early childhood my favorite toy was my voice. I spend thousands of hours singing but mostly experimenting and exploring new vocal sounds. I originally never thought of following a professional musical career. It wasn’t before my early twenties, when I discovered, that there were singers in jazz using their voice in a more instrumental way, interweaving singing with all kinds of other vocal sounds. This was a key discovery for me and woke up my interest for jazz. I wanted to improvise with my voice, so jazz became my new musical home.

I then studied jazz vocals and composition at the university of arts in Berne. First I studied with the jazzsinger Sandy Patton from Washington D.C. She really thought me how to work with lyrics and emotions. We were mostly working on standarts. Later I studied with the hornplayer Andy Scherrer, with whom I mostly worked on improvising and on approaching my voice in a more instrumental way. Besides this, I was studying classical voice for quiet some time, which I enjoyed a lot.

During my studies I realized that I will have to compose my own music. If I would like to use all my different extended vocal techniques. I would need to create the space in which all these sounds would fit and make sense. The standartrepertoire became to narrow for this, therefore I decided to study composition.

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

AS: – When I started to perform on stage, my “different roles” as a singer were more isolated. Singing, Mouthpercussion, rhythmical talking, whistling, scatting, storytelling etc… more and more all these things became just different colors onone and the same instrument. Everything became more and more interweaved and I learned how to move fromone corner of my instrument to to another fluently or how to combine them. I think today I really feel like playing an instrument that is inside of my body.

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

AS: – During my studies I really practiced like crazy, hours and hours… classical vocal technique, repertoire, scales, eartraining, transcribing solos, rhythmical exercises… Today I’m touring a lot, so It became much more difficult do find time to practice. Therefore I try to practice during the time I spend waiting in airports, waiting for the bus, moving from one concert to the next… I enjoy it to work my voice while I’m on the move. Sometimes I go for example to the place between 2 train wagons to sing, so I don’t bother anybody. Harmonical and melodic stuff I often practice whistling so I can easily do it in public.

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

AS: – This really depends on the people I play with. I try to connect my singing with their playing. I hardly ever think in patterns.

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

AS: – Hmmm, difficult to say. There are many of them. I really love Colin Vallon and his Album “Danse” that came out on ECM. Nai Palm – the singer of Hiatus Kaiyote – and hersoloalbum “Needle Paw” is quiet amazing.

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

AS: – I mostly enjoy music that comes from a strong emotional source. That is connected to the body, the soul, your hips, your belly.

In general I believe music and love are the same. I want to be moved during the performance and I hope to move the audience of course. When I perform, I try to keep my brain off-stage. Nevertheless I believe, that it is very interesting, especially in the process of developing and composing music,to approach music also from a more analytical perspective,to consciously decide things, to reflect and analyze your musical process.

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

AS: – I had to chance to work with Bobby McFerrin several times. The last concert we played the two of us, together with a body-percussionist, a full 90-minute show of completely improvised music. This of course is a beautiful memory.

Right now I’m siting in a train, returning from a trio concert with the two amazing french musicians Vincent Peirani an Emile Parisien, I’m sure this will also linger for some time in my memory.
I could go on for ever… I experienced so many beautiful and intense moments on stage so far and hopefully there are many more yet to come….

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?

AS: – Of course there is no recipe but few things I believe, that might help: Believe in what you hear inside of you, break rules, be irrational every now and then. Work a lot and practice like crazy. Prepare your stuff before you play a gig and then forget everything once you’re on stage.

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

AS: – Yes. It can work. Well you won’t be the next millionaire but it is possible to make a living with it. It helps if you have different “playgrounds”: Perform and compose and arrange music for example.

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

AS: – All the projects I worked with so far influenced my playing and my way of looking at music a lot. My first fully improvised concerts with the bass player BänzOester surely were very important for me and encouraged me to step across musical borders.
The orchestral work I did lately with my symphonic project “The Big Wig” was extremely inspiring and confronted me with new ways to approach music.

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

AS: – The music and the live performance need to communicate. Sometimes I listen to jazz concerts where the musicians on stage don’t connect at all with the audience. It’s our job as a musician to integrate the listener into our musical energy. If we don’t do this, we loose audiences in general.

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

AS: – Wow, well this might easy take a few pages, still I try to keep it short: I agree with Coltrane. As mentioned before, for me music and love are one and the same thing. Music for me is an almost archaic ancient cosmic language. It helps me to loose the feeling for time and to be very much in the present. Music helps you to enter a complete fearless state of mind.

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

AS: – When I read the newspaper of course I’m moved, shocked and upset quiet often. I’m especially worried to see that people more and more want simple political answers for complex problems. Even tough these answers are mostly completely empty promises.
It worries me to see that economy became our new and biggest religion. The market dictates the rules and we all obey.

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

AS: – Music should be the main subject in our schools.

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

I just started to compose an entire new program for my sextet “Hildegard LerntFliegen” (Hildegard learns to fly). We’ll record next year and release a new album in early 2020 on ACT Music. Besides this I’m composing a new symphonic program for the Sinfonietta of Basel. This will be quiet challenging. It’ll be premiered in august 2020.

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

AS: – I really don’t differentiate between these genres. Music is music.

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

AS: – Lots of classical music form the 20thiest century, Stravinsky, Ligeti, Bartok, Debussy,  Ellington, Miles, Gil Evans, Mingus, lots of younger European jazz musicians. Besides I really enjoy Ambrose Akinmusire, Gretchen Parlato, Kendrick Lamar, Caetano Veloso and many more.

JBN.S: – What’s your current setup?

AS: – I use mostly a “Shure Beta 87 A” Microphone. Sometimes when I sing more sensitive and lyrical stuff, I use a Neumann KMS 105.

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

AS: – Probably to the late sixties or early seventies. But I must say that I enjoy 2018 a lot!

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

AS: – What’s the weirdest answer you ever received for any of your questions?

JBN.S: – Thank you for answers.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Картинки по запросу Andreas Schaerer jazz

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