May 24, 2024

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Interview with Ketan Bhatti: Is there a difference between emotion and soul? Video

Jazz interview with a bad musician, as if drummer Ketan Bhatti. An interview by email in writing. 

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

Ketan Bhatti: – I came from India to Germany as a baby and grew up in Bielefeld. My mother plays the piano and my brother, 6 years older, already played the drums and guitar. So I was surrounded by music from the very beginning.While my mother loved Mahler and Wagner, my brother heavy metal and hip hop, I was interested in improvised music from the very beginning.

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

KB: – My focus has always been on the sound of things.My teachers Owen Howard and Jerry Granelli were very supportive in helping me focus on my sound.  For me, the path of imitation and recording myself was an important tool. Since I was composing from the beginning and also working as a music producer, I always had this outside perspective. That helped a lot.

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

KB: – I work mainly as a composer. For me, the drums are the place on stage where I serve the compositional idea. There are a few rudimentary exercises that I learned from John Hollenbeck that help to ground myself. The development of rhythmic skills also takes place on the compositional level. Most of the time I make up stuff that I can’t play. Then I have to practise it. So development usually comes from a musical context.

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

KB: – I don’t understand the question at all. But maybe that also answers the question?

JBN: – Are you fool man?

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

KB: – I try to eat healthy and focus on my strengths

There could be talk or advertising about your CD

JBN: – And how did you select the musicians who play on the album?

KB: – We have met many musicians over the years. Musicians who are incredible virtuosos and masters in their field. Those who also have the curiosity and desire to step out of their comfort zone, to put themselves in unfamiliar situations, to completely question their playing, their role, they play with us. So we have people from the Berlin Philharmonics, from the Berlin Jazz Szene, from arabic classical Music to chines classical Music to so called contemporary music.

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

KB: – Well, I’m not sure, if there is really a difference between intellect and soul. Is there a difference between emotion and soul? I don’t know. Soul is intellect and emotion. Music with no emotion has no soul. Music without intellect has no Soul too. But I can’t give you the percentage breakdown 😉

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

KB: – Since I don’t know what people want, I can’t give it to them. I can only make Art and try to communicate it, to invite people to listen and to be openminded. I can help a little in not beeing ignorant,  to but the rest is up to audience I guess.

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

KB: – We regularly have the experience after concerts that people who were at the concert by chance come up to us and say: “Normally I don’t listen to that kind of thing, but this really touched me.

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

KB: – We have to overcome this puristic thinking and we have to open the repertoire. Most of the classical Concerts halls play Music by 40 composers, who lived between 1750 and 1920. Also in Jazz there is a tendency of puristic thinking, what is right and wrong. But of course in both worlds there is the contemporary avantgarde scene. They need to get more attention. More playing time in radio, more presence in the big halls and so on. Music used to be contemporary ALL the time. We live in times, where music is often an art form like an old treasure in a museum, that you should not change or touch.

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

KB: – I don’t. I whish I could. Maybe music is a way of finding a way without understanding it.

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

KB: – Musicians should be able to make their art without living in precarious living conditions. But, of Course, this also applies to all other professions.

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

KB: – I listen to contemporary music theatre this days, because I’m writng an opera myself in the moment.

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

KB: – We humans should be equal, but we are not. There are people who have more opportunities than others. That has to change. When we meet, there are more things that connect us than separate us. Let us focus on this

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

KB: – I want to go to 2222. I want to know, if we made it.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Ketan Bhatti - Nodding Terms, erhältlich via col legno - New colors of music

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