May 18, 2024

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Interview with Tobias Wiklund: I would give an instrument to every child in the world for free: Video

Interview with jazz cornetist Tobias Wiklund. An interview by email in writing. – First, let’s start out with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music.  How exactly did your adventure take off? 

Tobias Wiklund: – I was born in Sweden in 1986 and grew up in Gävle – a city with a strong musical identity. I got interested in Jazz and other genres quite early on, but it was upon receiving a Louis Armstrong album from my father that I first fell in love with the trumpet. It’s wasn’t so much what Armstrong was playing that made me gravitate toward the brass instrument, but the energy in his playing. It is that energy that I’ve continued to work with throughout my career.

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

TW: – Early on in my career I started working on having both a big mainstream jazz sound, as well as a classical sound, working both with classical teachers and jazz teachers. When I moved to Copenhagen I was often hired by the Danish Radio Big Band. Working with those cats, who played their asses of every day, was a big eye opener for me.
They nailed everything they played, while still keeping a big sound and swinging like crazy – you didn’t want to mess up in there! At the same time I started to fool around with exploring my ”own sound”. I wanted it to reflect my inner energy – it was as if I needed to find a way to make the instrument sing. I found this space within the sound where I could play softly, intense and with a vibrato. That new place made me feel good so I just kept developing it, and it’s very much a big part of my musicality today.

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

TW: – I practice about 2-3 hours a day depending on how many concerts I have coming up. As a trumpet player the technique routine is constant, long notes, flex and tonguing. Working on rhythm in the practice room is all about relating to a metronome beat and making it swing. When it comes to harmony I try to take it slow. Really making my self hear every note in the harmony/Melody. Practicing is not a competition – its slow spiritual work.

JBN: – Have you changed through the years? Any charges or overall evolution? And if so why?

TW: – The biggest change for me over the years has been learning to let go of the music I play. I don’t know if it makes sense but if the music is less important it actually gets more important. If every note is a heavy rock of responsibility it won’t sound good. In a way it all comes down to letting your ego go and letting the music do the magic, easier said than done. Another important change has been the way I (and hopefully the rest of the world) looks at playing in a tradition that you don’t ”own”. I love playing Jazz, and its super important for me to understand my relation to tradition.

There could be talk or advertising about your CD

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

TW: – Is the soul a word for the indescribable? I’m released from my body when I’m playing, there is no fear, only light. The intellect is just like a car, a vehicle for getting to that place.

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

TW: – People reacts to herd mentality, and music is an extrem form of energy direction. So when the music is flying most people in that room vill spread their wings. I believe this to be a basic human reaction.

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

TW: – I meet a lot of younger people that are in to jazz. I believe that it is up to us ”older musicians” to be including and helpful to all people we encounter. It’s a small community and everybody is truly needed. I also believe that it’s good to bring the music out to younger people without making a big fuzz about it. Show them that they can play acoustically, and hopefully make them understand that they don’t need big expensive speakers and a mixing table to come out and play. They just need an instrument (or voice) to be able to contribute and have fun!

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

TW: – Haha! I can’t argue with John Coltrane. Music is truly spiritual. If you dare to open your heart it will always show you the way. The meaning of life? Does life truly exist? If the laws of physics are true then there’s only one energy, its all connected. No beginning and no end.

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

TW: – I would give an instrument to every child in the world for free.

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

TW: – Ron Carter. I have the honor of playing with him next week, so I’m checking out everything that I’ve missed from his catalogue.

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

TW: – I would love to just sit in Bach’s church and hear him improvise!

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Note: You can express your consent and join our association, which will give you the opportunity to perform at our Jazz and Blues festivals in Europe and Boston, naturally receiving an appropriate royalty. We cover all expenses. 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.

Jazz i Jemtland - Tobias Wiklund Quartet, Images, Music

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