"Coherence Creating Scenarios." Interview with Dr. James "Jimbo" P. Walsh- composer, bassist, pianist, teacher

   ...fascinating from the second the record button goes down! Deep humanism...

Folks...This is not dumbed down.  If you really want to know about musical thinking check this!

   Jimbo Walsh plays around town with a lot of people. Amongst those are Washboard Rodeo, The Naked Orchestra, the real Davis Rogan, The Other Planets.  He also is a very deep and adept composer with a fascinating background that informs that practice as well as what he brings to the various "social music" groups.  that he plays with.  He has a heavy understanding of electronic music, and integration with the rest of the 20th century classical music dis-continuum.  

This is a very interesting interview in that it really examines concepts and ideas in music while relating it to Walsh's early biography.  Jimbo has the capability to integrate the highly complex with the very simple and he has no boundaries in the kinds of music that he is interested in or could become interested in.  He has made really interesting connections across the academic world and the world of the "alternative" scene.

The biographical arc to this interview only gets as far as the end of high school for Walsh.  We plan to get another one in to get a little further and definitely get deeper into ideas.

Part 1- Coherence creating scenarios, consciousness as a rationalization for pre-conscious mechanisms, music compositional systems as an analogue to the coherence creating system in society, how different coherence scenarios clash and cause difficulty in musical appreciation or communication, coherence and incoherence as a concept in western composition and how it integrates with other cultures, Pat Carpenter, Schoenberg's concept of the musical idea and organic unity, study and analysis of western musical classics, the heresy of organic unity in the post-modern era, beginning playing experiences, music in his family, affection for the Beatles, family dynamic, influence of Father and his engagement with philosophy.

Part 2- early biographical information relating to music; piano lessons, fat people on low instruments, first ideas and exposure to improvisation, lessons with Arthur Cunningham in jazz, the differences between that previous classical training, beginnings of recomposition and reharmonization, talent for music theory, the problem with current music theory teaching, becoming aware of relationship between music and society, exposure to Charles Mingus, Tony Williams, John Mclaughlin, LSD. 

Part 3- Complexity in music signifying consciousness expansion, opinions of LSD, more on aforementioned artists, "rocking," virtuosity, seeing the Rolling Stones/ Stevie Wonder, first experiences playing in New York live music scene, blues and emotional power, heyday of progressive rock/ fusion and backlash against it, more on Arthur Cunningham, Gullah community. 

Interview with Mark Bingham- studio engineer, musician, composer, sonic adventurer, studio owner and founder(Piety St. Studios)

 Mark Bingham talks in depth about some key times in his life in music.  A lot came to light in this interview and, although we have been friends for years, I learned a lot of pieces of information that made sense of some parts of his life and work that I didn't realize.

Mark's contribution to New Orleans's music scene starts back in 1982.  Most of this interview deals with stuff earlier than that.  Even though it's a long interview and has a lot of information, a lot was left out due to time limitation.  Mark is a real good anecdote dropper- very useful in this format and we may get into a 2nd interview to tackle more impressions of the diversity of artists he has worked with. 

Part 1 deals with early recording experiments in high school, discovery by the music business, electronic music, early approach to song writing, Los Angeles, university life in Indiana, and association with composer, Iannis Xenakis.

Part 2 continues on to describe being an A&R man at Elektra records, The Doors, Bruce Botnick, The Holy Modal Rounders, Peter Stampfel, Bulgarian music, the marketing of authenticity, initial perceptions of the New Orleans music scene, the move to New York after LA.

Part 3- The New York scene in the early 70's, more in depth about Peter Stampfel, the creative impact of speed, commissions for dance companies, funding, drum machines, "crazy art bullshit", getting sick of NYC.

Part 4- The actual "secret" training to be a producer in LA, "technical" recording versus responding to the situation at hand, what makes a good studio, New Orleans musical myopia, encountering racial division in New Orleans music, Allison Miner, working for Rounder records, reinforcement of bogus New Orleans mythologies, brass bands and the growth of the players in them, why people are interested in Piety St studios, producing now, current ideas, difference between recordings of the past and present, what stands out.

Recorded May 24, 2011 in the dining area at Piety St. Studios.

Alex Mcmurray Interview

Interview clips of Alex Mcmurray just prior to the Chazfestival (2009).

 

4 parts to the interview.

 

  1. Here Alex talks about the origins of chazfest, the tin men and their involvement, musical experience, and the ideas behind Chazfestival.
  2. Alex talks about Chazfestival in contrast to the New Orleans Jazz and heritage Festival, the strains of putting on a festival, general attitudes toward organizing, and the future of the Chazfestival.
  3. Criterion for selecting bands for the festival.
  4. Alex remembers what he can about previous years of the Chazfestival, bending self-imposed rules, the non-musical elements of the festival and those pressures, funniest chazfest story.

Interview with Brian Coogan.

Keyboardist, Brian Coogan, took some time for an interview on the day of the Chazfestival.  The interview is in 3 parts.

 

  1. Here he talks about sitting in with Aurora and Walt at Chazfestival, songwriting and   its relation or distinctness from jazz, being an audience at Chazfestival, and comparisons with the Jazz and Heritage Festival.
  2. Here Coogan talks about Chazfestival in relation to artistic freedom, comparisons between New Orleans and New York, musician identity, relationship of songwriting to his viewpoints, funky dance music, his new band- The Brian Coogan Band.
  3. This section deals with dance music, Brian's background, the music he came up listening to, carting around Hammond organs and their role in New Orleans music, the ironies of nostalgia and musical  anachronisms in New Orleans music, modernity in music

Interview with saxophonist, Martin Krusche

Martin Krusche- saxophonist, saxophone repairman, sailor, plasterer, leader of the magnetic ear.  He played at last years Chazfestival (2009) and here he reflects on that experience, being an audience member at chazfest, the current magnetic ear, alternative festivals, sailing and music, and the bywater audiences' demand for mood variance in music depending on time and location.

part 1

part 2

part 3

Phil Degruy interviewee/ interviewer

Phil is one of the most fascinating and innovative instrumentalists from New Orleans.  His creativity is not bound by the guitar- he also modifies, or maybe corrects, a lot of what falls in front of him and on him.  He even invented and plays a kind of guitar- the guitarp.  In this interview in a few parts, he talks about style in his playing, his guitar influences, alternate lyrics, new orleans guitar scene history, and converses and hypothesizes about the problems of music business and herd mentality.

part 1   part 2   part 3   part 4   part 5

 

 Then the tables suddenly turned...  Phil Degruy interviewed Jonathan Freilich about times in the city, guitar, Naked On The Floor, music philosophy, music background, and composition.


    part 1 part 2   part 3   part 4

 

 

 

Helen Gillet Interview

This is an interview in 3 parts from April 2009. Helen Gillet talks about her band Wazozo, Belgian songs, oom-pah, chazfest, and nostalgia. 

(N.B. In part 2, there is a cutoff in the audio after about a minute and for a short time thereafter.  I apologize, that gap is unrecoverable. This recording was early in the series and there were some glitches.  Nonetheless, I feel that the other info, before and after the cutoff, is interesting enough to warrant leaving this up.)



Part 1

Part 2

Part 3