June 13, 2024

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Interview with Laurent Fickelson: Touching the soul of people: Video

Jazz interview with jazz pianist Laurent Fickelson. An interview by email in writing. 

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

Laurent Fickelson: – I grew up in Paris. My parents were music lovers, so I studied piano and violon. I discovered jazz music around 20 and dedicated myself to piano.

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?

LF: – I chose piano, firstly, because my mother played the piano, secondly because this instrument has great potential.

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

LF: – I think the sound mirrors the personality of the one producing it. Hence, my sound follows my personal development.

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

LF: – Some technical exercises, some chorus picking. As for rhythm, it is more complicated. I have listened to a lot of jazz music, to learn the structure, but it is complicated because rhythm is essentially a physical thing.

JBN.S: – Which harmonies and harmonic patterns do you prefer now? You’re playing is very sensitive, deft, it’s smooth, and I’d say you drift more toward harmony than dissonance. There is some dissonance there, but you use it judiciously. Is that a conscious decision or again, is it just an output of what goes in?

LF: – I prefer using some bright harmony, and especially, using some harmonic resonnance. 4th or 5th chords for example. 6. How to prevent disparate influences from coloring what you’re doing? It is not a préoccupation for me. I have been fed by many different influences, and I let them particpate in my sound.

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

LF: – The soul is more important for me. The intellect is there to bring order to the whole.

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

LF: – I hope to give the people what they want, but I am not precisely working to this particular end.

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

LF: – My first recording session. It was with Steve Grossman, I was very impressed! Simon Goubert the leader, informed me at last moment. I was just starting in jazz music. Steve Grossman is a very impressive man, but in the end, he was very cool, and I have learned a lot.

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

LF: – It is not easy. You can make them listen to some more or less modern interpretation. For example, autumn leaves by Coltrane in 1962 at Gratz festival, it is what I am doing with students, it is working!

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

LF: – I would like to answer, but it is to difficult to develop that in english. All I can say is, John Coltrane is an example for me.

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

LF: – A different music on the channels of radio and tv.

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

LF: – These days, I listen to a lot of popular music, african and indian music, and classical music.

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

LF: – Touching the soul of people.

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

LF: – I would like to go back to the sixty! I like this period very much.

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

LF: – And you, what got you interested in music?

JBN.S: – Thanks for answers. Not all music, only jazz blues, classic and rock …

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

LF: – Feeling and soul most of all.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

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