An interview with Matthew Shipp: People have always been saying jazz is dead, but somehow it never really dies … Videos

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Jazz Interview with jazz pianist Matthew Shipp. interview by email in writing.

JazzBluesNews.Space: – First let’s start with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music?

Matthew Shipp: – I grew up in wilmington delaware — at the age of 5 I really liked the themes that the organist in my parents church played — they where gregorian chant type of pieces-my parents where espiscopalian — I decided I wanted to platy the organ so asked the organist for lessons—she said you should study piano first so I started piano lessons with her.

JBN.S: – What interested you in picking up the piano?

MSH: – What I said above in first question—once I started piano I stayed with it and never really went to organ.

JBN.S: – What teacher or teachers helped you progress to the piano you are today? What made you choose the piano?

MSH: – Once I started piano I fell for the tactile touch and sensibility of the piano – my first teacher was our church organist – I next went to a local teacher who was a classical pianist but also had some basic knowledge of jazz and a deep knowledge of all kinds of church music – I then studied with a classical pianist who  himself had been a student of rudolf serkin — I then studied briefly with concert pianst leon bates – I had spent time with  a jazz teacher in wilmington delaware—his name was robert boysie lowery – he had been the teacher of clifford brown who was from wilmington[ my mom was friends of clifford brown – then I studied a couple yearswith a jazz teacher in phila—dennis sandole-dennis had been John Coltranes teacher.

JBN.S: – What about the your sound did that influence at all? What did you do to find and develop your sound?

MSH: – Developing your own sound is a very personal thing that can take years and takes a deep commitment – first of all you have to have a desire to have your own sound and it is something that is deep inside you-but you have to bring it out — you almost have to dream up your own self — and construct it based on the dream – it is adifficult thing to talk about because no one really knows how it happens- to find yourself on your instrument.

JBN.S: – What practice routine or exercise have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical ability especially pertaining to rhythm?

MSH: – I have alla kinds of practice routines I have used over the years – I have tried many things to get to the methodology I have today that seems to work for me – I find that it is not useful to talk about how I practice — I could tell you the books I use- how I divided my practice routine up etc etc — but the important thing is basically to keep your vision in mind and to work on as much music as you can and try too find a way to marry the vision in your mind with your instrument.

JBN.S: – Many aspiring musicians are always looking for advice when navigating thru the music business. Is there any piece of advice you can offer to aspiring students or even your peers that you believe will help them succeed and stay positive in this business?

MSH: – Yes – don’t get involved with it unless you feel so strong about wanting to do this that you have no other choice — this is a very rough and hard business – you will have many grey days-if you are meant to do this you will find a way.

JBN.S: – Аnd finally jazz can be a business today and someday?

MSH: – Yes  —the music is always alive-there is always someone interested— it has always been hard – people have always been saying jazz is dead, but somehow it never really dies –  again it is very difficult but the music will always survive—whether any particular individual makes any money is another question

JBN.S: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of the standard tunes are from half-a-century ago?

MSH: – The music has to be reimagined-and reinvented – praising the past in the way that wynton does it does not help—people have to feel that the music is connected to their lives now – and if it is not young people will never be  interested – we have to find a way to connect it to modern life and modern ideas—no one wants a history lecture –people want life itself.

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

MSH: – We cant understand spirit—spirit by definition is not understandable— so you must give yourself over to something that is bigger then yourself and not understandable to the western mind – that is difficult for a lot of people to do because they are scared about what there mind cant control—but you cannot get into the flow of the universe by controlling the elements—sure you need craft but you must also be able to let go and let something bigger take you with it—don’t know the meaning to life but to live.

JBN.S: – What are your hopes and fears for the future of?

MSH: – Hopes – to play music, fear – none.

JBN.S: – What’s the next musical frontier for you?

MSH: – I have no idea—I just get up and play the piano every day-that is what I do and will continue to do.

JBN.S: – Are there any similarities between the blues/jazz and the genres of local folk music and traditional forms?

MSH: – All music at the bottom is vibration – Louis Armstrong once said ‘’all music is folk music because its all made by folks’’ – that is good enough for me.

JBN.S: – Who do you find yourself listening to these days?

MSH: – These days I have been listening to silence – and not music — thou silence has its own music to it.

Conversation led: Simon Sargsyan

Картинки по запросу Matthew Shipp

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