June 24, 2024

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Interview with Andrea Brachfeld: We definitely need the intellect or our minds … Video

Jazz interview with jazz fluteist Andrea Brachfeld. 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. 

Andrea Brachfeld: – I grew up in Spring Valley, New York. When I was 10 years old the music teacher at school approached me and asked me if I wanted to play the flute. He said I could get out of class! That sealed the deal! I started to take lessons at school. It certainly became a passion for me around 15 or 16 years old. It became a way to escape from the reality I was living in and I was able to create a more harmonious and peaceful reality. I’m not sure the decision to make a living was very conscious. I was able to play, people liked it and I needed to make some money. It kind of happened by default or maybe divine intervention!

JBN: – How has your sound evolved over time? What have you been doing to find and develop your own sound?

AB: – I am continually working on my sound but I think at this point it’s about allowing the true sound one vibrates at, to come through effortlessly. I also always start my practice session with long quiet tones.

JBN: – What routine practices or exercises have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical proficiency, in terms of both rhythm and harmony?

AB: – As I said before my practice session begins with long tones, then I play all the articulations in short chromatic phrases. I could also do the warm up articulations on phrases I might extract from any transcriptions I’m working on. Sometimes I’ll take a bebop tune and take it through all the keys with the articulations. Then I’ll work on any music that I need to learn for upcoming performances.

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

AB: – Great question! I focus on what I need to learn in the music. I organize the most minute detail then the day of I totally relax and my intention is to have a great time. Another aspect of all of this is feeling confident about the process and myself. I have been meditating since I was 15 and doing yoga since I was 16. I’m also very aware of the food I eat and the thoughts I think. All of these strategies helps me to stay centered and allow the divine to come through. My job is to get out of the way!

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JBN: – In your opinion, what’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?

AB: – We definitely need the intellect or our minds to actually learn our instruments and theory , and we need to continually hone our skills using our intellect. But at a certain point, if we’re lucky, we also are able to release the ego to allow the blossoming of the soul to take place. That’s when the magic starts to happen. The balance happens between the two constantly and consciously as we live our lives.

JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; are you okay with delivering people the emotion they long for?

AB: – Of course I’m okay with that! After all we are performers and we have been given the talent to share those emotions with whom ever is able to listen to us. My hope is that the audience can feel the vibrations of my emotions as I feel them when I’m performing.

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

AB: – Music must be taught in elementary schools and instruments must be accessible to them. Governments and philanthropical organizations  must continue to support composers in the form of grants so that new music can be created. We must teach the history to the younger generations but continually inspire them to create their own music.

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

AB: – Yes, John Coltrane reached an extremely high level of synthesizing his spirit with the music. I am blessed to have heard his music in my lifetime. To me spirit is an energy akin to divine love. It is ever present, all consuming and available to all at every moment of one’s life. It is also benevolent and most compassionate. Above all spirit is most polite and patient and will never impose on our free will. When one finally realizes the infinite reach and accessibility of spirit, life becomes infinitely more easy and joyful. The best scenario is to be aware of all of this and accept, receive and integrate spirit into every second of our lives. As far as the meaning of life , I believe it is to serve humanity in any way I can. Once one becomes aligned with spirit everything and anything is possible.

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

AB: – I would love for music to be appreciated and understood by the masses to raise the consciousness of our planet.

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

AB: – Everyone. Always Coltrane.

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

AB: – Love.

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

AB: – I live in, and honor the quantum field. I time travel wherever and whenever I want. Living in the time of Atlantis and when Jesus walked the earth is amazing!!! LOL!!

JBN: – So far, it’s been me asking you questions, now may I have a question from yourself…

AB: – I love your questions! How did you come up with these questions?

JBN: – These questions were compiled from private conversations with jazz and blues legends such as Barry Harris, Chick Corea, Lucky Peterson and others. And no one gave you the right to edit them, change them or add questions.

JBN: – At the bottom line, what are your expectations from our interview? 

AB: – I would love to perform more all over the world and I hope this interview will reach as many people as possible to inspire them to discover, uncover their true purpose in their lives.

JBN: – If you are really interested in expanding your concert business, then please, you can join our association. Details below: The objectives of the interview are: How to introduce yourself, your activities, thoughts and intellect, and make new discoveries for our US/EU Jazz & Blues Association, which organizes festivals, concerts and meetings in Boston and various European countries, why not for you too!! You can read more about the association here. https://jazzbluesnews.com/2022/11/19/us-eu-jba/

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Andrea Brachfeld – Flutist · Composer · Educator

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