In January I had the immense privilege to spend just under three weeks in San Francisco where I would travel to Stanford University several times a week to take composition lessons with Mark Applebaum, attend seminars and workshops (Joshua Redman, Cassandra Miller and others) as well as meeting a bunch of the faculty and post-graduate composers. The lessons consisted of lots of talking, sharing and the exploration of ideas. I felt as though Mark was stretching my mind in ways that I didn’t know were possible, with the focus being the creation of a new work to be premiered by The Music Box Project in September. There was such an open, inquisitive and inspiring vibe surrounding everyone I met there, not to mention the quality of work being produced. Wow.
Following this, I spent the next five weeks in New York composing material for an album which was recorded with Marc Hannaford and Satoshi Takeishi at Bunker Studios in Brooklyn. I would spend a few hours a week with Marc talking about the compositions, picking his brain about all things music and he constantly challenged me to take the musical ideas further. ‘Nothing bad ever came from composing too much’.
We had several gigs booked and only had time for two rehearsals with Satoshi, who is an absolute veteran drummer/percussionist/composer. It turned out that the material was quite difficult and so Satoshi and I managed to fit in an extra bass and drum rehearsal before the gigs. Fortunately, the gigs were a great preparation for hitting the studio a couple days later. We spent a day and a half in the studio and I’m really happy with the what the group achieved in such a small amount of time. It’s getting mixed in April by long term collaborator and friend, Magnus Lindberg in his Stockholm studio.
Marc and Satoshi will be touring Australia in August with Marc’s trio we are looking to launch the new album during that period. I’m really looking forward to sharing and performing it live.
A big thank you to my old friend, artist and filmmaker Osvaldo Budet for taking these photos, and to the Australia Council for the Arts and CreateNSW for making it possible.