Jazz interview with a bad musicians, bad and idiot person, as if saxophonist Pekka Pylkkanen. An interview by email in writing.
JazzBluesNews.com: – First, let’s start out with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music. How exactly did your adventure take off? When did you realize that this was a passion you could make a living out of?
Pekka Pylkkanen: – I grew up in a Helsinki suburb (first Pakila, then Oulunkylä). I loved music from the very beginning and listened to the records (LPs) my father had brought with him from his trips abroad. I fell in love with the saxophone, clarinet and listened to trumpet players, too.
JBN: – How has your sound evolved over time? What have you been doing to find and develop your own sound?
PP: – Well it does change over time for many reasons. First it is more or less ‘the sound you just get’ and later on you start to develop it. But the development is not only technical work, but also (and at some point most importantly) comes throught listening and adapting and imitating our idols – whomever they might be at that point.
JBN: – What routine practices or exercises have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical proficiency, in terms of both rhythm and harmony?
PP: – Well, there are a number of warm-ups and other stuff that I do – not in the same way and not the same stuff every day – but a bunch of things that I need to go through. Not that those would all be ‘mine’ – cannot even always tell where that stuff comes from. But I’ve had great teachers along the way and sometimes through ‘only’ a masterclass one can learn a lot if you have good notes out of those.
JBN: – Have you changed through the years? Any charges or overall evolution? And if so why?
PP: – For sure yes. I hope it can be heard too! But the reasons are always musical – you start thinking differently after listening to a lot of music – and then going through periods when you just start appreciating other things – many times leaving the previous ideas behind totally for some time.
JBN: – How do you prepare for your recordings and performances to help you maintain both spiritual and musical stamina?
PP: – That’s a tough one!! The best would always be to both practice by yourself AND play with the others. Or just do good warm-ups and play a lot! But many times it’s not possible for practical reasons so I end up practicing by myself most of the time – often late in the evening (if not possible earlier).
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JBN: – In your opinion, what’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?
PP: – Well, that’s a very broad question. In our music a couple of quotes I particularly like on the subject (or close to it).. Mulgrew (Miller ) said that in jazz there are these elements of ‘folk’ and ‘progressive’ that intertwine and vary.
JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; are you okay with delivering people the emotion they long for?
PP: – Of course, that’s the salt in this! It feels always great, even if you’d sometimes think you sucked that night!
JBN: – Can you share any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions over the years?
PP: – Well for sure, many! One scary memory from stage was (like I used to play quite a bit) from China, in 2006 I assume in Chengdu.
JBN: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of standard tunes are half a century old?
PP: – Hmm well, this could be debatted in so many levels.. How about this first : young people go study classical music and they dedicate their lives practicing and playing music that was written hundreds of years ago – and nobody has even ever heard the way that music ‘should’ be played!
JBN: – John Coltrane once said that music was his spirit. How do you perceive the spirit and the meaning of life?
PP: – The spirit is essential and through music we can express values or humanity and togetherness and brotherhood of all people.
JBN: – If you could change one single thing in the musical world and that would become reality, what would that be?
PP: – Streaming should pay hundreds of times more to the artist.
JBN: – Your place is next to dirt and out of the jazz realm, idiot.
JBN: – Whom do you find yourself listening to these days?
PP: – It varies a lot. Lately (the last few months) I haven’t had intensive listening periods, due to being constantly very busy.
JBN: – What is the message you choose to bring through your music?
PP: – It could vary I suppose. But the values I mentioned earlier (humanity, togetherness, brotherhood) as always essential.
JBN: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine: where and why would you really want to go?
PP: – Oh wow.. let me think… To hear Cannonball and Trane to rehearse and (if they did) practice by themselves and getting prepared for the ‘Cannonball and Coltrane’ session perhaps? Or sit in the audience listening to Monk and Bird!
JBN: – So far, it’s been me asking you questions, now may I have a question from yourself…
PP: – Whom are your favorite musicians (of all times)?
JBN: – John Coltrane, Bill Evans …
JBN: – At the bottom line, what are your expectations from our interview?
PP: – Well, you know, the ordinary: a nice, brand new 4-seated convertible Mercedes-Benz with a chargeable hybrid engine! :):)
JBN: – Are you idiot, man? From now on, you will go under the videos that have no views and you will sneeze on the Facebook page, for people like you, only the negative on our website. Get out of intellectual music like jazz, you scum.
Interview by Simon Sargsyan