My roots are in my record player.
We all listened to a lot of recorded music, especially American jazz, modern jazz, and that's where our studies were and our inspiration came from.
Those early steps are very important in understanding the evolution. But in themselves, maybe now you need the later records to understand the significance of the earlier records!
When you add a period of 25 years between the playing and the listening, then the whole question of meaning gets very complicated.
The argument we always used to use was that keeping records in the catalog was good for people that were coming new to the music, but I think that was talking over a ten year or fifteen year time span.
There are many of these apparent philosophical paradoxes or contradictions which don't concern me anymore.
There's an institution here called the National Sound Archive, and there's a character who works there, Paul Wilson. He takes a very special interest in the history of the music and advised Martin Davidson of the existence of these tapes.
To speak about notation as the only way that you can guarantee structure of course is already very suspect.
I think the whole question of meaning in music is difficult enough even if you hear me playing live right now in the same room! What I mean and what you take from it may be two quite different things anyway.
Improvisation is a compositional method.
In my mind these two instruments speak to me in different ways, and the solo stuff seems to be easier to do on the soprano.
Of course I knew the work of Roland Kirk and Harry Carney and the specific uses they would make of circular breathing, so I knew it was physically possible.
So what starts is ad hoc and you never know where it's going to lead, so it's important to keep an open mind about those things.
So in the sense that we were all dealing with that freer approach, yes, it was certainly one of the first contacts, perhaps the first contact, when Peter came that summer. So it's a very pivotal moment that is documented there.
So I'm looking to the saxophone as a resource which has its own unique set of possibilities. I'm looking to exploit them and develop them and have the fullest range of possibilities of the saxophone be known.
A kind of synthesis, but with some elements that perhaps you wouldn't have expected in advance. I always like that when that happens, when something comes that is more than the sum of the parts.
Certain kinds of speed, flow, intensity, density of attacks, density of interaction... Music that concentrates on those qualities is, I think, easier achieved by free improvisation between people sharing a common attitude, a common language.
I think the solo playing, the decision to start playing solo, came out of having discovered what lay behind the doors that that technique opened for me.
I think the voice does that perfectly adequately without being imitated by other instruments.
I'd met Roscoe in Europe quite a few times over the years, and we'd say hi and so on, but this was the first time we'd actually played together.
I've been to the studio several times, and it's not that I'm not happy with what I've got, but each time I come away, I feel that I've learned something that I want to work on.
If I think about the way I was drawn into the music, it was much more by recordings than by live performances.
I've never been one that thinks that the function of an instrument is to approach the purity of voice or the structure of a beautifully sung line.
In a certain sense, aspects of my solo playing were developed in order to test the theory about how long particular elements could be, as parts of so-called free improvisations.
Of course when people are as talented as Jim O'Rourke or Gene Coleman, pretty soon you know that they're going to be part of the bigger scene anyway.
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