July 13, 2024

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Interview with Mareike Wiening: It’s the passion, the feeling, and the raw energy

Interview with drummer Mareike Wiening. An interview by email in writing. 

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 program for 2024, enjoy in the July – August – Brussels, Berlin, Prague, Warsaw, Sofia, new addreses this year, also in Amsterdam, Budapest.

JB: – 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?

Mareike Wiening: – Growing up, I was surrounded by a vibrant mix of cultural influences that naturally drew me towards music. I started playing piano with the age of five, flute with the age of 10 and finally drums with the age of 15.

OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Festivals 2024

My adventure in music truly took off when I started to immerse myself in different genres and styles, which led me to discover jazz and, more specifically, the drums. The realization that this could be more than just a passion came gradually. As I delved deeper into my practice and started performing, I understood that music was not only my passion but also a viable career path. The joy and fulfillment I found in creating and sharing music were unparalleled, and this deep connection made me confident in pursuing music as a profession.

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

MW: – Over the years, my sound has undergone a significant evolution, shaped by a myriad of experiences and influences. Initially, my focus was on mastering the technical aspects of drumming, absorbing the fundamentals of jazz and its rich history. As I gained proficiency, I began to explore more contemporary and eclectic styles, which allowed me to start developing a unique sound. Furthermore I transcribed a lot and realized what kind of sound I like and what I don’t like as much.

OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Festivals 2023

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

MW: – As mentioned before I love to transcribe solos, rhythms, comping and melodies. For me this is essential and I do it as much as possible.

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

MW: – I hope I developed as a musician. There’s always something to learn, opinions and viewpoints changes. This is important as musician. I always try to push boundaries and get out of my comfort zone.

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

MW: – In my opinion, the balance between intellect and soul in music is essential and delicate. Intellect in music involves the technical mastery, theoretical knowledge, and structured approach to composition and performance. It’s about understanding the nuances of rhythm, harmony, and melody, and how they interact to create a piece of music.

On the other hand, soul in music is about emotion, expression, and the personal touch an artist brings to their work. It’s the passion, the feeling, and the raw energy that breathes life into a composition, making it resonate with the listener on a deeper level.

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

MW: – Absolutely, I embrace the two-way relationship between the audience and myself as an artist. Understanding and delivering the emotions that audiences seek is a crucial part of my performance. Music is not just about self-expression; it’s also about connecting with the listeners.

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

MW: – Introducing jazz standards through contemporary arrangements can make them more relatable. Collaborations with artists from genres popular among youth, like hip-hop or electronic music, can create a fusion that feels fresh and appealing.

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

MW: – To me, music embodies the essence of the human spirit. It’s a reflection of our deepest emotions, experiences, and aspirations. Music has the unique ability to transcend language and cultural barriers, connecting people on a profound level.

OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Association 2023

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

MW: – If I could bring about another significant change in the musical world, it would indeed be to ensure fairer and more substantial royalty payments for artists from streaming platforms. The digital age has revolutionized how we access and consume music, but it has also created challenges in how artists are compensated for their work.

JB: – Judging by our correspondence, you didn’t even accept our offer to pay unlimited royalties, but you talk about justice, abstraction and lies.

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

MW: – I listen to a lot of classical music. But also the new records of friends and colleagues, f.e. Kaisa Mäensivu, other Greenleaf Artists, Yuhan Su, Glenn Zaleski etc.

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

MW: – If I had the opportunity to travel in a time machine, I would choose to visit New York City in the 1970s and 80s. This era was a pivotal moment in jazz history, marked by incredible innovation and the emergence of many legendary musicians. The 1970s+80s in New York were a melting pot of musical experimentation, where jazz was evolving rapidly, blending with other genres and pushing the boundaries of creativity.

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

MW: – My question to you: In your view, how has the role of media and journalism in the music industry evolved with the advent of digital technology and social media?

JB: – EB: – We are developing very effectively, to which you, unfortunately, remained out of touch, because you do not have such a mature mind and idea. It’s a pity, but such are the ill-wishers, join you, only you, nothing else, stay on the sidelines, that’s your place!

 

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Interview by Elléa Beauchêne

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