July 25, 2024

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Interview with Amanda Whiting: Soul is the natural, side which you have to just let speak

Interview with harp player Amanda Whiting. An interview by email in writing. It turns her that his thoughts are getting old, she probably read some fiction book and it seemed to him that he is five less than Immanuel Kant. Unfortunately, she is ungrateful person, as if the musician was quite aggressive at the beginning, she spoke sarcastically that it was an interview done two years ago, but what is our fault when she is insolvent and waited for the in his turn, when we did not have any interview and published it her own. First, you need to be a musician, then to cooperate with our Media holding in order to perform and receive high royalties for performing on high-class stages in Europe, so as not to wait 1.5 years for the publication of your own bot thoughts. We offer our condolences, stay away from ungrateful, arrogant people, the thank you written at the end was like spit. However, politeness makes a person beautiful ․․․ This is our opinion, nothing more ․․․

Dear readers, get to know more about our US/EU Jazz – Blues Festivals and the activities of our US/EU Jazz – Blues Association in the capitals of Europe, we will soon publish this program for 2024, enjoy in the July – August – Brussels, Berlin, Prague, Warsaw, Sofia, new address this year, also in Budapest and Liverpool.

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?

Amanda Whiting: – I started playing the harp when I was 6 after seeing Harpo Marx on the TV. It is all I ever wanted to do. I went on to study it at music school and college obtaining a degree in classical music (and later a Masters in Jazz) I then naturally started working as a harpist, teaching, performing and making a living out of my art.

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?

AW: – My sound was originally classical with pop music, like most harpists for background gigs. I have always loved Debussy and Ravel and the “juicier” harmonies. After embarking on a jazz course in my 30s I started to find my “voice”, improvising rather than reading the music of others. All of the music that I had “put in” started to come out in my own voice. All the lovely harmonies I enjoy listening to were at my fingers to mold into my own sound.

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

AW: – I am a practise addict. I grew up in the classical world where 6-8 hours a day is normal. I am still very strict with my daily practise. Exercises for agility, ear training, voicings. I even had drum lessons to help with rhythm. All the good stuff!

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

AW: – My gosh yes. I have been broken down to bare bones after returning to college to study jazz. It was sobering. After being a classical musician, performing at concert halls I realised I didn’t have my own voice. I had to find it. It was a process which is still continuing.

There could be talk or advertising about your CD

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

AW: – Intellect and soul? Hmm not sure! Does intellect give you more awareness of what you don’t know and how much you need to do? Soul is the natural, side which you have to just let speak. I found classical music was more mechanical for me where jazz needed more of my soul. Both need intellect but in very different ways. Classical demanded stamina, very concentrated technical practise where as jazz demands faster on the spot improvising, applying all of my knowledge  spontaneously.  So I think the answer is intellect is the application and soul is almost that depth which you can’t describe.

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

AW: – Yes because an audience and an artist want to connect. That connection is “felt”. You are obliged to be your  authentic self.

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

AW: – Does it matter when they are written? Good music is good music. My little boy loves jazz and sings along. It’s how it’s presented. Children are open books. It’s adults that put their likes/ dislikes into the mix. Play it in school. Talk about it. Clap along. Sing along. These songs are timeless. The words are great and the music speaks for itself.

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

AW: – That’s a large question! Kindness is everything. I think this word encompasses everything. Be kind.

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

AW: – Make music compulsory from day 1 of school. Not an “extra”. Sing maths equations, clap, count, make it the core of learning.

OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Association 2023

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

AW: – Depends on the day/ feeling/ weather/ mood. I have a playlist for exercise including DAngelo, Horace Silver, Beyoncé. In the house, there is always music playing; soul, funk, Latin. Sunday my husband loves Puccini! Mike’s Davis is usually somewhere in the mix! In my car I love Gretchen Parlato and Moonchild:)

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

AW: – I would like to sit in an intimate audience  with Ella and Louis or the recording session of Kind of Blue.

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Interview by Simon Sarg

Welsh harpist Amanda Whiting releases mesmerizing full-length 'After Dark' on Jazzman Records – BeatCaffeine