Some people see recording improvised music as a problem. Do you?
No. But if the dynamics are jagged, the louder places could end up recorded too hot.
In the 20th century, the relationship between music and other forms of art – painting, video art and cinema most importantly – has become increasingly important. How do you see this relationship yourself and in how far, do you feel, does music relate to other senses than hearing alone.
Suzanne says one of the reasons that live music and vinyl records are so important is that your body can feel the vibrations of the music when you listen to them. She says music is a whole body experience. It’s not just your ears that hear it. I think she’s right. I think that’s the real reason CDs went out of style – not enough input into people’s bodies. I once read that in early cultures, people did loud drumming because they liked to feel the ground vibrate under their feet.
In how much, do you feel, are creative decisions shaped by cultural differences – and in how much, vice versa, is the perception of sound influenced by cultural differences?
I don’t know. Creative decisions are like roping down into a cave and following trickles of water. Water always follows the easiest way down, making shimmering pools when it comes time for it to rest.
Do you feel it important that an audience is able to deduct the processes and ideas behind a work purely on the basis of the music? If so, how do you make them transparent?
You don’t have to make the processes and ideas behind a work transparent. They don’t really matter. Jackson Pollock, said it doesn’t matter how you put the paint on. Much of what Jackson Pollock said came from Robert Motherwell, so maybe this did, too.
Usually, it is considered that it is the job of the artist to win over an audience. But listening is also an active, rather than just a passive process. How do you see the role of the listener in the musical communication process?
All I know is, I appreciate how quiet it gets when I sit down to play. People treat me beautifully.
Music-sharing sites and blogs as well as a flood of releases in general are presenting both listeners and artists with challenging questions. What’s your view on the value of music today? In what way does the abundance of music change our perception of it?
The danger is that some stuff could get overlooked and then lost.
Please recommend two artists to our readers which you feel deserve their attention?
Miles Davis with bassist Michael Henderson, 1971-75.