May 23, 2024

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Interview with Arne Torvik: Its important to use the intellect: Video

Jazz interview with jazz pianist Arne Torvik. An interview by email in writing. 

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

Arne Torvik: – I grew up in a small town on the northwestern coast of Norway called Molde. The town is home to the annual Molde International Jazz Festival I July, so that’s what initialy brought my attention to jazz music in particular. Music was part of my upbringing since my mother played the piano both at home and in the local community.

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

AT: – Initially when studying jazz, I loved the sonorous piano playing of Norwegian jazz musicians like Tord Gustavsen and Bugge Wesseltoft. I also formed my own piano trios to play music with few chords and lots of open space around the music. But for a very long time my attention moved towards a more American approach, and more complex harmonic and rhythmic concepts, due to my participation in other musicians bands and projects. These last years I kind of wanted to go back to some of the early inspirations and started this piano trio. The sound certainly developed over these years, and I believe that my sound playing this kind of music now is different than it would have been fifteen years ago.

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

AT: – I am currently teaching jazz and ear-training at the high school (jazz-department) in Molde. We try to work a lot on different musical concepts without instruments, only using voice and the body, before playing. This kind of changed the way I work on my own music and playing as well.

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

AT: – I think I would like all my musical influences to be coloring my music and playing.

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

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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?

AT: – Yes, my sound is definitely evolving because of a lot of different collaborators and gigs. And it is definitely not just about playing with others, its also about talking and sharing new music to listen to and being a part of a broader jazz community in Norway. The jazz scene in Norway is really small so even while studying in Trondheim I kind of knew the musicians that were studying in Bergen and Oslo. I played for some years in jazz trumpeter Kristoffer Eikrems band in Oslo with Bjørnar on the double bass. Øystein was part of that same community so we all new each other before forming the trio.

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

AT: – I think there needs to be a balance between the two. I like to think that its important to use the intellect to work on the compositions, developing it, and making sure that it is in the best possible way. For me there is no way of escaping the soul, it is mostly the reason why I make and play music.

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

AT: – Interesting question. I think it is important to like what I am doing myself. I like to think that If I am engaged in it, then I suppose, and hope, that other people will like it as well.

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

AT: – I think jazz is a more a method and a way of playing, than the actual music that is being played. But the best way to learn is to listen and copy, and the history of jazz is made up of a lot of brilliant performances on these songs. The young people I know love both standards and a lot of fantastic new and genre-breaking music like Snarky Puppy or Tigran. So I am not to worried.

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

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

AT: – I would love for the streaming services to pay a little more to musicians/creators.

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

AT: – Lennie Tristano, Mark Turner, Harald Lassen, Christian Scott and a lot of Brannbamsen Bjørnis together with my son.

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

AT: – Create something you love while you still can.

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

AT: – I really would like to go Oslo in 1970 hanging out with Jan, Bobo, Arild, Terje and Jon. It seems like the most exciting times in Norwegian jazz history.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Northwestern Songs | HIGHRESAUDIO

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