thu 23/05/2019

New Music Interviews

10 Questions for Jazz Quartet Empirical

Thomas Rees

Described by Courtney Pine as "the most exciting jazz band to come out of the UK" and hailed in the press as the new young lions, Empirical broke cover in 2007, topping album of the year charts with their self-titled debut and picking up wins at the prestigious EBU/European Jazz Competition and the Peter Whittingham Jazz Award all within a few months.

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Jim Dolan, the Singing Tycoon

Adam Sweeting

We're packed into the basement of Madrid's Costello Nite Club, a kind of narrow brick-lined tunnel off the Calle Gran Via. It's the kind of place where you could imagine finding groups of earnest jazzniks nodding along to atonal pandemonium in 11/7 time.

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10 Questions for Composer Ludovico Einaudi

Adam Sweeting

Last month, Ludovico Einaudi's album Elements debuted at No 12 on the UK album charts, which made it the highest-charting modern classical album since Henryk Górecki's Symphony of Sorrowful Songs reached No 6 in 1992. It was proof of the quietly burgeoning allure of Einaudi, which has been stealthily expanding around the world since his first solo release, 1988's Time Out.

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10 Questions For Singer-Songwriter ESKA

Matthew Wright

Eska Mtungwazi (b 1971) was born in Zimbabwe and grew up in Lewisham, south London, her early musical tastes inspired and shaped by her father’s vinyl collection, and her experiences singing both church music and in classical ensembles. She studied Maths originally, and has built a career incrementally, spending ten years as a session musician, and accumulating generic and stylistic influences which have shaped her hugely varied act.   

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10 Questions for Musician Maria Schneider

peter Quinn

Maria Schneider is one of the luminaries of contemporary jazz.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Musician Ray Davies

Jasper Rees

The Kinks have turned 50 last and nagging talk of a reunion is still in the ether. In the absence of the real thing, there is a double-disc greatest hits album surfing the wave of latter-day Kinksmania. Meanwhile a kind of Kinks reunion stormed the West End in the shape of Sunny Afternoon, written by playwright Joe Penhall from an original story by Ray Davies.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Mercury Rev

Kieron Tyler

The Light in You, Mercury Rev’s eighth studio album, is issued at the end of this week. It is their first for seven years, following 2008’s Snowflake Midnight. In the run up to its release, main-men and constants Jonathan Donahue and Grasshopper (born Sean Mackowiak) took time to reflect on the new album, their attitudes to Mercury Rev's longevity – their debut album, Yerself Is Steam came out in 1991 – and their feelings about how music is heard and recorded.

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10 Questions for Composer Max Richter

Barney Harsent

Composer, pianist, producer… Max Richter (b. 1966) is nothing if not prolific, not to mention unique. His traditional training, which included Edinburgh University, the Royal Academy as well as Florence, under composer Luciano Berio sits alongside a fascination with the otherwordly sounds of German electronica and American minimalism.

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An Open Book: Laurent Garnier

Thomas H Green

Laurent Garnier, 49, is a key figure in the development of French electronic dance music. A DJ at the Haçienda in Manchester just as house music began to explode in 1987, he went on to helm nights at the Rex Club in Paris in the Nineties. These became a vital hub around which French dance music coalesced. Garnier went on to be a successful producer and live performer, releasing multiple albums, many for his own F Communications label.

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10 Questions for Musician John Lydon

Thomas H Green

John Lydon (b. 1956) is the singer and creative engine of Public Image Ltd. He was previously the frontman of the Sex Pistols. The latter group broke up in January 1978 when he was 21 but their brief career continues to cast a giant shadow over popular music, defining punk rock. Lydon, however, went on to form the musically more intriguing Public Image Ltd, releasing era-defining albums such their eponymous debut and, perhaps the ultimate album of the post-punk era, Metal Box.

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