May 21, 2024

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Interview with Jukka Linkola։ Music and life both need balance

Interview with an ungrateful, impolite, dull, unhuman, drawn creature, as if pianist and composer Jukka Linkola. An interview by email in writing. It’s a pity that a wonderful country like Finland suffers from such a disease. – 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?

Jukka Linkola։ – I grew up in Helsinki area, city Espoo. My parents putted me to piano lessons at the age of six. I was a typical young boy, not so much interests in music. But at the age of 12 I found myself improvising and composing. Finally I found jazz and music like Stravinski, Ravel, Zappa, Charlie Parker, Oscar Peterson. I think I realized my passion for living with music at the age of 14, when I srtarted studies in Sibelius Academy.

OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Festivals 2023

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

JL: – My sound has changed a lot in past 50 years, my interests in theatre, film, ballet a opera have changed me and giving new colours to my works and piano playing. I think I have just been going through these decades with mostly open and candid mind.

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

JL: – I always have bad feeling when thinking the lack of the time for piano practising. I think I am not the only composer/ conductor who has the same feeling. Work of composer is mainly thinking of basic structures like melody, harmony, rhythm, counterpoint etc.

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

JL: – Basically, I think I have not changed so much. I have been all my life interested in many kinds of musical solutions, styles and characters.

There could be talk or advertising about your CD

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

JL: – I would say, the balance is like: Intellect 30 %, Soul 70 %

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

JL: – Its always better to give people the best possibilities for strong emotions. Specially If you feel while playing how it could happen. In concert there supposed to be always a deep contact between musicians and audience. Its better to give something, which goes straight to peoples heart and soul.

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

JL: – Interesting new arrangenents, new instrumentations, new way of comping, mixing ethno reflections to jazz, a bit more ”rock-attitude” of course without desroying the original moods complitely. And the main thing: ”playing better” .

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

JL: – Nature is my spirit, but music has a very special role in that what I call nature religion. Music and life both need balance. I want to find intuitive balance in my life and creativeness.

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

JL: – I would not talk so much about genres of different musical categories. Each genre and style has right to give joy to listeners. In my childhood, classical musicians often talked about ”better music” and the it was kike ”bad light music”. I hope nobody will ever more say those words.

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

JL: – Really many kinds of music, its a big list of great musicmakers: Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Frank Zappa, Jimmy Hendrix, Ella Fitzgerald, Leonard Bernstein, Dimitri Shostakovich, Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Prokoffjev, Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy…

OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Association 2023

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

JL: – Absolutely to Renaissance-time and Italy Dance and Joy!

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

JL: – All your questions are good! Were you surprised, or did you expect me to be only involved in jazz?

JBN: – Before reading your responses, I had a better opinion of you, to be honest. Maybe it’s because you are Finnish, from Finland, my beloved country, but when the soul and intellect are percentages for a composer, in my opinion, it’s terrible, sorry. And Espoo is Intelligent city!

Interview by Simon Sarg

Note: You can express your consent and join our association, which will give you the opportunity to perform at our Jazz and Blues festivals, 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.

Jukka Linkola Tentet – Oulu 24.5.2023 – Valon kuvia

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