Monday, November 30, 2009

Part Two: An Interview with K Anderson Matthews

Jan.s: You’ve previously shared with us some of the background to how your interest in music developed. A family sharing music, beginning with your Grandparents whom I believe are of Norwegian heritage.

KAM: Aren't you something else?! My parents are of Norwegian heritage. My family hailed from Skien; Flekkefjord and Sogndal, the southern coast and the middle of Norway. I was fortunate to have travelled around in 1976 and saw the little towns that they came from.

I was very lucky to have connected with some distant relatives in Sogndal and spoke what little Norwegian I knew with them and saw my Great Great Grandfather's farm on the hillside overlooking the fjord with gorgeous waterfalls... Thank God, I made that trip!




I had studied Norwegian at the University of Minnesota back in the 70's, don't remember the language much now, but, I hope I have retrained the accent...that is a long story. I had a good friend Vivi in Oslo I stayed with and was able to spend several months in Norway touring around. Most of what I remember about my Norwegian heritage was kept alive by all the Nordic dishes (lutefisk and lefse, kransekake, jarlberg cheese, goat's cheese, fenalor, smoked salmon and all that herring!) my mother served at holiday times and the Norwegian grace we said. "Ja, you betcha" and Ole and Lena jokes are something of the folklore of Scandinavians because of the influx of so many Scandinavian immigrants that settled in Minnesota.


jan.s: Tell me more about the influences of this on your life and music…?

KAM: When I was studying Norwegian during my college years, I performed some Viking songs and Scandinavian/American immigrant songs for my classmates.. easier than writing papers about Knut Hamsun, Henrik Ibsen or any of the other dark, Norsk authors, I thought. I had already done tons of meaningful essays! So because of all this, I nearly had a degree in Scandinavian Literature..which is popular in Minnesota.. but where else? Norway! I guess.

Jan.s: You have a Scandinavian sense of humour K...! Now can I ask you where that humour came from in your family?

KAM: I think the major influence goes back to my Grandfather again.. he was so funny telling all the Norwegian jokes.. He would dress up as Santa and read the "Night Before Christmas" in a Norwegian accent, and we thought he was Santa, but why does he talk so funny? ..playing his violin for his grandchildren dressed in a top hat and tails, doing magic tricks, pulling flowers out of his sleeves and petting his fake skunk that looked real to a small child. And we wondered who he was? Who was that man in that hat? He was a wonderful musician and performer and poet!

He made it all look so easy and loved the music he played! His toe tapping, I remember most..counting out the beat! There was a book written about him years ago, which described him as a real taskmaster with his bands and orchestras, he taught music in many public schools.. and every note had to be perfect! Plus, my mother had a gorgeous voice and was always singing, she sang for weddings and funerals and in the church choir.. her loving, selfless, accepting attitude made me think anything was possible. Listening to her sing as she cooked, now that was really great!!! She is truly the only person I know that Never said an unkind word about anyone! That's sort of like having Gandhi as a Mom.

And I must remark about my Dad, I could write a book about the energy of this man. That is a whole new topic, to go into another day... He was an incredibly generous, complex but, gifted man!

So yes, my Norwegian heritage was very important to me. But, mainly I was blessed to have parents that believed in kindness; integrity, loyalty, hard work and they worked hard to teach us, by example, to be at our best and love and accept everyone!

Jan.s: K, yours is a great heritage and I'm so happy you've shared it with us. I can almost see, hear and share a meal with your family - mmm goat's cheese, smoked salmon and food which I can only guess at along with...' all that herring!' and "Ja, you betcha'...! Next time we'll have to hear more about Ole and Lena in Minnesota!

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/kandersonmatthews http://www.myspace.com/kandersonmatthews

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

An Interview with K Anderson Matthews

Jan.s: K, who were your musical influences?

KAM: My first was my mother and older sister. We all hung around the piano and Mom and Connie played pop, jazz, show tunes, hymns, folk songs, and novelty songs from many eras. We mostly we sang the songs from the 1920's through the 60's, the Great American Songbook. I always loved best being together, listening to the lyrics and the sweet melodies with the family all chiming in.



My grandfather was also a huge influence. He was a musician, orchestra and band leader, played cornet and violin and all the instruments a bit. His rendition of the "Flight of the Bumblebee" on his cornet was always amazing to me.

He was a perfectionist/taskmaster according to his music students. For me he just was a sweet man tapping his toe with a musical twinkle in his eye. I learned to love music first at home. I sang my first solo at about six years old in church, with no fear whatsoever. Things changed later on.

My first love was Nat King Cole. As a child of three (when we got our first television set back in the 50's), he had a show where he came floating elegantly down the long stairs singing, "Mona Lisa" and I was awestruck. Also about that time I was convinced Liberace was smiling only at me. Next, I guess was Tony Bennett, Ray Charles and after that Stan Getz.

I listened to every female singer imaginable over and over again. Joni Mitchell, was one of the first singers I totally adored! Judy Collins, before Joni came onto the scene and Arlo Guthrie and Bob Dylan and that's a whole long story. Rock, Folk and Blues influences.

Starting at about twelve, I was learning every Barbara Streisand song. Her first albums were fantastic! During college I became more interested in all the Jazz singers, like Sarah Vaughan; Ella Fitzgerald, definitely Billie Holiday, Peggy Lee, Anita O' Day, and Mabel Mercer and her expert phrasing and diction and delivery and the list goes on and on. Also, a dear friend of my family, Bonnie Herman had a big influence. She has a stunning voice. She would sing around the piano with my sister and their friends. Those girls were all fabulous singers with wonderful voices that harmonized beautifully. I learned so much from those happy times, singing and most of all listening.

Jan.s: When I first heard you, two of my favourite singer came to mind,both shaped my early singing years.June Christie and Peggy Lee. I also heard a European singer I had the great good fortune to do some study with, Norma Winstone.

KAM: I like things to be simple and subtle. Not too much for embellishing. Peggy Lee, is a favorite of mine. I love June Christie's rendition of "You're Blase" And Norma Winstone is a wonderful artist. Thanks so much for suggesting that I am reminiscent of them.

Jan.s: K, your choice of omitting your full name is somewhat indicative of what I perceive as your nature...there's a quiet consideration and a somewhat elusive quality...it's there in your singing as well...very mysterious!

KAM: I don't know if it is mysterious or just plain fear. Often performance anxiety makes me want to flee. I love people but, I tend to be very private, sort of a Garbo-like " I Vant to be Alone" . I feel that anyone who wants to find their own voice or way of expressing a song needs quite a lot of privacy for study and reflection. I omitted my full name and reduced it to K for two reasons. I wanted to assume a new identity as a singer and my first name is too dang long and sounded too formal

Jan.s: K, Thanks so much for sharing some of your journey with us...I look forward to hearing more of your gorgeous vocals and to hearing more of your life stories...

http://www.myspace.com/kandersonmatthews

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/kandersonmatthews K Anderson Matthews is a jazz singer based in Detroit..we found each other through myspace...we've become firm friends...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

An Interview with Bobi (nee Nicholas) Petch

Jan.s: Bobi...we're back in contact again after many many years and it's wonderful.

We first met in the 1960's when you were in Sydney working for Dinah Lee. You and Dinah were the hippest gals on the scene!

You emanated style and street smart...at the same time I found you always inclusive - both of you were, and with great smiles! I'd love you to share with us about what brought you to Australia and also about working with Dinah....

Bobi: Firstly, my sister Denise Austin lived in Sydney and was one of June Dally Watkins top models. She heard about a job coming up as a Store Model for Farmers Department Store on corner of George/Pitt Streets. Carol, the model who was leaving, was off to open Sportsgirl in Melbourne in 1964 - So having a job to go to, I flew back to Sydney, and flatted in Double Bay with another Kiwi, Jenny Steele, who was the Fashion Compere there. Fashion Co-ordination employed five girls including Judy who married Ken Done, the Sydney artist.

We modelled daily, five parades every day. All the department stores employed their own House Models in those days. I joined in Jan 1965 - closed in July. During that time, Dinah was flying to Australia for The Johnny O'Keefe Show, Saturday Date, (and maybe Bandstand?) I met Dinah (Diane Jacobs) in Auckland at The Casual Shop early on in 1964, then on one Friday night in Queen Street Auckland, she yelled across the road, "Bobi, I have a new name -- pulled out of a hat. Dinah Lee".

When Dinah came to Sydney for TV she would usually pop into Farmers when I was modelling for a catch-up. Often for special parades we used Sydney DJ Tony Murphy (Murf the Surf) as compere. As well as Jenny Steele there was always quite an audience watching the parades. I had my Mod look, completely different from the other models.

Billy Thorpe would also pop in to say hi and watch as well. Dinah's records were shooting up the chart's and her Manager, Jim Haddleton decided to move family and Dinah to Sydney towards the end of 1965. She also moved into the same block of flats in Victoria Street, Potts Point.

At that stage I was flatting with Jacky Holme a full time model with June Dally Watkins. After Fashion Coordination closed its door at Farmers, I was offered another job working for one of the buyer's as I was a shorthand/typist, but turned it down. I was offered the job Managing the new NZ Boutique "The Casual Shop", which was opening on King Street, Sydney beside the Tivoli Theatre exit selling one off dresses usually like Quant, and UK designers.

We opened with a big Fashion Parade at Nat Kipner's Dance club in Pitt Street. Max Merritt and the Meteors backed it. The clothes were made in NZ, and in '65 exported to Sydney. The shop was very successful, and would sell out quickly, while we waited for new stock to arrive. I stayed at the Casual Shop for 5 months. They had dressed Dinah in NZ as it was a very up to the minute Boutique. All Dinah's stage and day clothes came from there at the time.

When Dinah arrived to live, before I left the Casual shop I would usually go out on jobs with her as company. She was doing the Millers Hotel Circuit, Leagues and RSL Clubs, The Motor Club in Sydney at that time, plus TV, Radio etc.

By Christmas '65 Dinah's Manager Jim Haddleton, put it to me, that as Dinah was booked a year in advance that he felt she needed someone to travel with her as Road Manager, Secretary/ PA.

He was married with a young family and didn't have the time - I handed in my notice, and replaced myself at the Casual Shop and I moved into her flat. By early January '66, we were both in Melbourne for promoters Eddie and Pedro. it was such a different scene to Sydney's Club Scene. Dances, Restaurants, the odd Hotel, TV - but it was very busy and exciting, more English than Sydney, with lots of groups, and niteclubs like Berties, Sebastian's, Thumping Tum, just some of where the 'Beautiful People' congregated.

That first trip to Melbourne, Tom Jones and Herman's Hermits were appearing there, and we had met them the week before at The Chevron Hilton, Sydney. EMI, Di's Record Company would invite us to their Media do's, therefore we met a lot of their visiting International Stars. We travelled by taxi daily to every job for at least a year or more, before she bought her first Mini in '66.

Jan.s: Bobi...I can tell there are some more stories here about that Mini...I want to know more...!! Your life and stories are fantastic...I can't wait for the next interview!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

An Interview with Peter Williams



Jan.s: Peter, we go back to the sixties when you were playing with Max Merritt & The Meteors.
I remember you guys either coming to our gig at Romanos for a late night jam with Little Sammy & The In People or us heading around the corner to hear you at one of your gigs...You worked with a variety of bands during that period but I'd like to ask you about the highlights...

Peter: Jan, on reflection there have been lots of highlights in many little ways but maybe an outstanding one is that after many years I realised that the first song we (The Groove) recorded in the U.K. when we arrived was done at Abbey Rd., and written by David Most (Mickey's brother) & Clive Westlake called 'How The Web Was Woven'.

Initially they were quite enthusiastic about it but later changed their minds & pulled it from us!  Subsequently they gave it to Elvis & he recorded it about a year after us! (and never had success with it anyway!) So we in a sense sung the 'demo' for him!

It was years later I realised he had recorded it!

David McKay (who worked with you over there) was the producer & Alan Parsons the panel operator! We, (Tweed Harris & I) wrote another song called "The Wind" and put the orchestral part around it we had used for 'How The Web Was Woven' using the keyboard set up "Procoll Harem" had used a couple of years before on 'Whiter Shade of Pale'.

We were also blessed to have Marcie & the Cookies and Little Pattie sing the Choral part. E.M.I. did a wonderful promotional job but alas success was not forthcoming!! I have always been and still am a full time musician! I have included two pics one from way back Max & the Meteors on Billy Thorpe's 'It's All Happening' and a more recent one!


Monday, May 18, 2009

An Interview with Bill Barnes

Jan.s: Bill, I believe you grew up in the South...? Were they any direct musical influences from growing up there?

Bill: At first, growing up in North Carolina may have been an impediment- as a kid from Pittsburgh, I had some hard times growing up in a community that was still sore over the civil war. I might add that, even though Monk and Coltrane were Carolina-born, they both escaped. There are certain earthy, folksy attributes unique to the south that left a mark on my playing.

Back in the 1950s, radio and TV ran a lot of local artists, mostly in the country or R&B genres, and that had to have rubbed off. Still, there wasn’t much jazz in my life until I was well into my teens. My first jazz guitar influence was Kenny Burrell- prior to him, it was all rock ‘n roll, R & B, the Barkays and, of course, Stax session guitarist Steve Cropper.

Jan.s: By the late sixties you were working with musicians who were driving more than half the teenager population into reckless hedonism! ...You were playing with them! : (to quote) '... R & B artists like, Eddy Floyd, Spider Turner, Dobie Gray, Rufus Thomas as well as pop artists Gary US Bonds, Dion and others'.

Bill: Well, during the late sixties, when I was still in high school, I had started an R&B group with some college boys from NC State and Carolina and learned a little about working with horns. Back then R&B recording artists who were either on their way up or past their prime would use “pick-up bands,” mostly white soul bands from the South, who would work for cheap just to be onstage with some of these luminaries.

We had an old Greyhound bus which would break down in some uncomfortable places- like south Georgia, where we were actually run out of one town at gunpoint when our bus’s alternator failed. That was when we toured with Arthur Conley, an Atco Records star who had the hits “Sweet Soul Music’ and “Funky Street.”

This was about a year after Otis Redding died. I had the rare privilege of playing a concert at Tuskegee Institute- in 1968!

Jan.s: Tell us about one such musician/band that had an effect at the time on your playing...?

Bill: My horn band, The Variations, which backed up Arthur, Eddie Floyd and so many others, was the gig which helped me get into jazz. On the road we would listen to Blood, Sweat and Tears, the Flock and Dreams and tried to emulate that sound.

When we first worked with Arthur, he had his own guitarist, a Macon, Georgia session player named Carl Williams. At first I only played the warmup and dance sets, but took over the job of conducting and playing Arthur’s set when Carl left to play with Clarence Carter, who offered him more bread.

Carl was an extremely lyrical and rhythmic player- he could make his Gibson 335 semi-hollow body scream and cry! I stole most of his ideas and tricks. He used to talk about this one session cat at Capricorn Studio who played with a bottleneck- I think it was Duane Allman, but I never got a chance to meet him until years later.

The guy who helped me make the transition into jazz was a guitarist from LA named Clif Kuplan. I was 19 when I met him at a friend’s house in Raleigh- we were jamming and he just blew my doors off. From that time until I left North Carolina, I picked his brains shamelessly- it was probably irritating for a 27 year old to have this pimply-faced teenager always showing up at his door, but, well, there it is. Through Clif, I was turned onto Pat Martino, Larry Coryell, Mclaughlin, Bucky, Wes, the whole constellation of jazz guitarists. I had to learn how to play, all over again.

Jan.s: Bill, you have had amazing journey, thanks so much for sharing this part of it with us...I look forward to hearing more...!

Bill's latest release: November 2011 can be heard online and purchased via Ponca Jazz, link as below:

http://www.poncajazzrec.no/barnes/

Bill's websites:

http://www.billbarnesguitar.com/

http://www.myspace.com/billbarnestrio

Some of the people Bill's played with:
http://www.eddiefloyd.com/  
http://www.soulwalking.co.uk/Rufus%20Thomas.html
http://www.dobiegray.com/ http://www.spyderturner.com/

Saturday, May 2, 2009

An Interview with Evie Pikler



Jan.s: Evie, we go back a long time, back to the 1960s but I want to begin at a later period, in 1980 when you invited me to visit you in Paris. I've an image in mind of both you and I on the Champs Elysees and then squeezing backstage into a tiny dressing room where you were preparing to go on stage...tell us about this place and what you were doing in Paris? Why Paris?


Evie: The club you mentioned was called La Villa D'Este. 

In 1968 I visited my sister living in Paris to pursue a modelling career and auditioned for a radio/television show called, ‘La Petite Conservatoire’ which had at its healm a formidable Madame Mireille. She invited me to perform on her show regularly and to tour France. These were my first professional singing jobs and the experience and exposure lead me to a woman, Brigitte Bertholier who was a French music publisher.


She gave me original songs to sing and almost a decade later when I returned she signed me to CBS Epic label to record a song written by Carlos Santana and Charles Level called ‘Un Cri Du Coeur.’

I had recorded some of Michel Legrand’s songs with the ABC big band in Sydney before I left and when Michel heard me singing ‘Pieces of Dreams,’ he invited me to perform with him at a televised concert with some French stars from ‘Les Parapluies De Cherbourg’ and other films that featured his music.

It was at this concert that I met Michel’s good friend, Stan Getz and shared our love of jazz.

A soul club invited me to sing six nights a week and I met the African American performers who were working in Paris.

The owner's name was Sarah who was Jewish and her club was called 'Sarah's' and she lived upstairs and loved all African American music and culture so made a home for them in Paris . . ex-pats Memphis Slim and Mickey Baker would sing there . . along with whoever was in town .

The cast of 'Ain’t Misbehaving', 'Porgy and Bess' and the 'Harlem Globetrotters' would come after their gigs finished to unwind with black-eyed peas, Southern fried chicken and collard greens. We would jam into the wee hours and I became good friends with the ex patriates like Memphis Slim, Mickey Baker, The Delta Rythm Boys and the Golden Gate Quartet.
 

One of the members of the GGQ, Paul Brembly and I united and our daughter, Jesse was born in Sydney on Christmas Eve 1978. I remember how you and Alison (McCallum), Michelle (Fawdon) and Brenda (Kristen) and other sisters surrounded Jesse with a loving welcome.

Jan.s: Yes Evie, a truly wonderful occasion celebrating Jesse's arrival in the world with you. Evie, now I'd like to return to asking you if you would share with us some of the influences these seminal gospel/blues/jazz musicians were having on your own musical journey?

Evie: All the music was exciting but what struck me was the history behind the music. Listening to the stories that formed the traditional spirituals, gospel, blues, and jazz gave me a deeper understanding and appreciation of the lives lived during the formation of these sounds.

The spirituals came from the rural times of cotton picking and the Church. As Christianity took over traditional African songs, so the hymns were sung with African rythmn. The GGQ were rejected by the Church for their music being too rythmic; although they sang traditional songs. They preceded Elvis in bringing hip movements to popular music, which supposedly led the young astray. Jazz reflected the urban experience, while as today Rap is right on the street.

African American culture led the pop music explosion . . Mickey said . .while you folk are copying us we have already moved on . . So in a nutshell their lives formed their music . .'Strange Fruit' is still a witness song to put us in the picture of the rural South .

To work with such innovators was a whole new world opening up for me. The music I was sharing, like the jazz with Jimmy Smith, the first one to coin the phrase "I've got my Mo Jo working . . "  and blues from Memphis Slim whose hit, 'Everyday I Have the Blues' came from him hearing an old cleaning lady singing while she was ironing....

Along with music of Mickey Baker and Jack Hammer who wrote the monster hit, 'Great Balls of Fire', led me to a deeper appreciation of the original within the Aboriginal when I returned to Australia.

Jan.s: Evie, you are formidable.. there is not only a musical richness of experience in your story but the honouring of those you have met and their stories. ..I have so many more questions to ask you...but for now Evie, thank you.

Evie Pikler will be a guest speaker at the forthcoming 'The Dreaming Festival' 5- 8th June 2009.  http://www.thedreamingfestival.com/

Evie's journey: 'Invited to join Aboriginal delegation as honoured guests to witness the first sitting of Maori Parliament in 60 years. NSW Sydney - Sans Souci - co-facilitated Women's business gathering Sunshine Coast, Queensland Maroochydore - Received blessings from traditional owners to perform my song, 'Olympic Dreaming' at the lighting of the flame ceremony as part of the torch relay through the Sunsine Coast. Caloundra - Shared "Noosa's Song" with Gubbi Gubbi elders who passed on their blessings to the song (song written on Gubbi Gubbi traditional land)'

http://www.rainbowdreaming.com/evie.php

NSW Sydney - Sans Souci - co-facilitated Women's business gathering Sunshine Coast, Queensland Maroochydore - Received blessings from traditional owners to perform my song, 'Olympic Dreaming' at the lighting of the flame ceremony as part of the torch relay through the Sunsine Coast. Caloundra - Shared "Noosa's Song" with Gubbi Gubbi elders who passed on their blessings to the song (song written on Gubbi Gubbi traditional land)'

http://www.rainbowdreaming.com/evie.php

Monday, April 20, 2009

An Interview with Wendi Forbes

Jan.s: Wendi, you are a renowned healer in the Blue Mountains, you're a practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism and you're going through a sea change! Can I ask you about your 'take' on change? Wendi: Here you go Janice.... Thank you for the challenge - it has been good to try and put this in words and to have to think about it. Change? Tricky .... that's like asking a girl what her personal response to infinity is. Its left me gob smacked for a few weeks. Change is one of the constants in our reality at any level. It is something which has fascinated me as long as I remember. Our experience of Consciousness is so linked to our experience of and perception of Self and Other, which is in a state of constant change. This is something I am facing in every relationship. Even the aspects of our lives which we view as static, such as rock,is in a state of ongoing movement and change. In thinking about this question I am returning over and over again to both Science,"energy is not lost, it changes form/manifestation " ( a soft version of 1st Law of Thermodynamics), and Buddhist practice, " form is emptiness, emptiness is form" ( The Heart Sutra) Jan.s: Wendi! You've planted quite a few seeds for us to contemplate on...thank you. Here's Wendi's website - please take a look at her amazing array of healing essences! http://www.humanifest.com/

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Art for Cancer group on imagekind.com

Sending greetings to all on this beautiful sunshine filled Blue Mountains day...I'm enjoying the last of these warm days as autumn approaches...soon it will be a long brrrrr in these here hills... Below you'll find a banner for Art for Cancer which you can click on to see one of my pieces of artwork, along with many other beautiful works by imagekind.com members ..the group has been has been formed by the gracious, Cid Palacio whose work can also be viewed and purchased in this group and site. ART for cancer on ImageKind I'm meeting so many wonderful fellow artists on this site..recently I've come across the beautiful and haunting photography of Ariana who now, as I've learnt also has a blog! Yeah Ariana! http://www.arianasart.blogspot.com/ Please visit us when you can! I'll be back soon with more 'one question' interviews! Wishing all of you well wherever you are....

Monday, March 23, 2009

An Interview with Tracey Campbell

Jan.s: I'm listening to your CD 'Sunshine Embrace' and I'm enjoying both your bright and sultry vocals and impeccable keyboard skills....There's a lovely mix in these largely self penned tracks of sunny Brasil 66/ Latin crossover; infused with Ozzie know how and your general exuberance...!! Tracey, I'm intrigued...who influenced you vocally? Tracey: I'm so glad you're enjoying listening to Sunshine Embrace, the album was a big healing process at a difficult time and worked like a charm! My younger teenage self was influenced by Joni Mitchell and Bonnie Raitt. I think in later years I am more influenced by some great pianists even vocally, I mean the phrasing and stuff. I play and create melodies on the keys as I sing them, gotta mention Eliane Elias, number 1 favorite and Joe Sample for impeccable phrasing, he phrases like a singer. All the musicians on the album were assembled by Phil (my hubbie). I felt so privileged to work with Jackie Orszacksy on bass, Phil and Jack went back a long way to 'Jump Back Jack' days and 'Industrial Accident'. He plucked Phil out of Electric Pandas when they met in a recording session for the Pandas, Jack played all the bass for the pop band and Phil was the drummer at the time, Jack tempted him to come and play some funky sh.....t! He played like his usual maestro self and added dark shady color with the piccolo style on some of the tracks. The back up singers Toni Mott, Toni Allayalis, Mark Williams, again had a history with Phil from the Toni Nation band, they just came in and did their thing, smooth as silk, nailed it! The trumpeter was a guy neither of us had ever worked with, Simon Ferenci, he came recommended by upright bassist Jono Brown (who plays on 2 tracks adding his stand up acoustic class). Simon worked effortlessly to create the exact sound we wanted, he'd do a take and we'd be ecstatic and say to him....well how was that for you?........man of few words, he'd shrug and say...."I could do it better", we'd laugh and let him go at it again. Very humble! http://www.traceycampbell.com/

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Farewell dear Julie..om mani padma hungs....

Dear Julie Milligan, much loved by all here in the Blue Mountains passed away, last night...but me thinks Julie is still around...her favourite local singer, Robyne Dunn's music just came up on my computer....ah....the Blueys are a mysterious place.... Julie, you will live on in our hearts for countless aeons and may countless blessings be yours in all your future lifetimes....you were gracious and kind to all...and we will miss you sorely.... I can't find the photo I wanted to post of Julie and Robyne, caught by me, spontaneously one lovely Bluey's morning...but it's on this blog... For now...an image of spaciousness...the sky Julie loved so much...here in the Blueys... om mani padma hungs to you and yours Julie....

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

An Interview with Adam Warnock


Jan.s: Adam, You're the quintessential Renaissance man...accomplished in so many areas... You're a great lead guitarist, a singer/songwriter, composer, you write for film and you're a visual artist and also you've written children's literature...oh yes not to forget, you're a committed family man with two young sons! Oh yes, gotta say I keep listening to your songs...I particularly love the track "King of Fools"....' Tell us about what you're doing now!? 


Adam: Janice. You do say very kind words about me, thank you! At the moment I'm putting together a pitch for an American for a particular sport and it's pretty exciting. I wrote a song explicitly for it and put it to a mock up TV commercial and I hope that the recipients dig it.

That song you're listening to, King of Fools, is part of an album project called "Tremor" which I've had mastered by Kathy Naunton at DB Mastering in Sydney and it sounds great. I'm going to make it available on CD Baby soon. I'm also writing lots of songs and starting to co write again after a long lay off. 

There's also a follow up to the children's book/ CD, "Hello Gus". I haven't got a title for the next instalment yet but it'll probably be something witty like the first one. Maybe Gus II or Gus again (kidding). I'm keen on starting new projects and I'm loving my new studio 'cause it's a comfy, creative space and with one thing and another I'm keeping really busy. I'm also going to be putting a short film in for next years Tropfest in which the signature item is "dice". My buddy in Vancouver is a collaborator and we've scripted it already!


 Apart from that I have a subscription to Songlink, an online A&R company out of the UK, where they send me hit lists and I try a place songs with artists right around the world. 

Art for arts sake and the rest can take a number and wait in line! My web addresses are as follows:
http://www.adamwarnock.com/ 

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=790768

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A sharing from jan.s and also Bree Brown!

Helloe Friends... As I write, I'm listening to the final mixes of my second CD...this one's on the body/mind relationship...it's title is....'Arterial Flow'...a CD co created with and lovingly mixed by Kirk Kadish...with inspired artwork made and photo shopped by Australian artist, Beth Norling... At the moment we're on the look out for the right online distributor...so keep your ears to the ground! In the meantime take a look at the badges below...of which I have no other way 'yet' of knowing quite how to do...except to post here...they come from the wonderful site of Bree Brown....please read her celebration of living our lives with authenticity.... Enjoy! http://www.brenebrown.com/badge

Friday, February 27, 2009

An Interview with Shele Parker

Jan.s: Shele, We've only met recently but there's a sense of like- mindedness. You're on a journey of discovery through a number of creative means...tell us about one of them. Shele: Which one? (laughing). I only just today finished a painting, but later tonight I intend on writing for my next zine, and then I'll work on some photos I've taken...(seriously!) The one thing that serves as an umbrella to all of my creative endeavours is the themes which I tend to work within. Whether its a painting, writing, photography, drawing, or modelling, I work on the principle of celebrating the ordinariness of everyday life. I am constantly inspired due to the practice of observing 'ordinariness'. By ordinariness, I mean to include everything one commonly considers as humdrum, or boring, and definitely and absolutely those things that people don't even consider because they're so very common. This is the platform from which I like to operate on. An image can spark a story, a conversation a comic strip... Working on the theme of ordinariness is also therapeutic for me as much as it is professional. I am for the most part, for many of my days inspired and content, as it is the simple things that impress and amaze me. It reinforces within me that it is the simple things that are the most poignant, and certainly, the most important. That's my answer, hope you like it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Please visit my art site bentensmiling on imagekind.com

Greetings! At last the sun is shining in the Blue Mountains without the intensity of a few weeks back. As always I love discovering other artists sites on the net and especially blogs...Here is one I love...and my apologies if it doesn't link as I'm having trouble doing so...unfortunately you will have to cut an paste until I figure this out! www.lesfleurs.canalblog.com/ Along with this I've just put some new images of mine up on my art site on www.imagekind.com including one taken from a friends home in the Blue Mountains. www.imagekind.com/bentensmiling

Friday, February 13, 2009

Giving thanks, from the heart to all who touch our lives

What a week! With raging bushfires in Victoria and such a tragic loss of life, loved animals, native flora and wildlife...My thoughts and prayers go out to all. To a talented actor and kindly soul, Reg Evans with whom I had the great good fortune to work with alongside Theatre Director, Beverly Blankenship...in Melbourne many years ago, I would like to pay tribute to you and your partner Angela...and to all who perished in the fires in Victoria. Om mani padma hung. 'May all beings be free of suffering and the causes of suffering. May all beings attain enlightenment. Now here on a rainy old Blueys afternoon...after such a contrast of temperatures in the 40's last Saturday, I give thanks for this precious life and wish that all beings be free from harm. Taking respite from the weeks ravages, I've discovered a little bit of inspiration on the following blog...As I'm knew to blogging I still can't figure out quite where to put things! Nonetheless here it is! As a child the world of small toys, especially anything 'old world' captured my imagination and gave me delight...As an adult it still inspires me...The effigies made of human beings cross all cultures and yet are symbols that can embody the myths and magic that speak of our dreams and every day lives... http://www.littlefragmentstudio.blogspot.com Come and Be Inspired!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

An Interview with Michele Addey!

Jan.s: Michele! I met you when you were a child...a highly emotive child who I easily related to! Your readiness to be in the centre of where the action was was evident even at the age of four! Whilst that was so long ago...Tell me something that's been important to you from those crazy London days! Michele: It's hard to relate to that age and place for me now, but I know for sure the need to be independent has never left me. I remember needing to be in the whirlwind, but really as an observer. I like to slowly pass out the bits of information I can glean from watching. Before I make myself out to be some sort of smarty pants, I also like to be amused. That's probably most of it. I enjoy sitting back an allowing others to entertain me. Observation is a truly underrated trait. At that time, (the early '70's) my mother and family had such an amazing and varied group of super talented friends in all areas of the arts. Certainly not a straight crowd in any way, but that manifested the understanding that any kind of intolerance or bigotry is learned. That lesson I try really hard to impress on (my son) Mick. We live in a relatively conservative and unvaried community. When he was two, he met an east Indian man, and the first thing he said was "you're brown, like the leaves". It was Autumn. I didn't say anything, and let them have a discussion. There was no awkwardness, just honesty, and I thought that turned out exactly the way it should've. www.hgtv.com/michele-addey/bio/index.html for your reference: photos: jan.s & michele...lundun daze early 70's. jamie schmidt & michele (t.v.pals) Michele Addey : On TV : Home & Garden Television Source: www.hgtv.com Originally from England, Michele Addey is an arts aficionado and loves pretty things. Her yen for design began as a budding artist in college where she majored in Fine Arts and went on to study painting in Paris. She has worked as a scenic artist for the stage, commercials and blockbuster movies, Share

Saturday, January 31, 2009

An Interview with Kirk Kadish.

Jan.s: You're an accomplished pianist/composer Kirk and you have many musical projects running concurrently in a variety of modalities... What and who are your major musical influences? Kirk: I think Duke Ellington summed up my point of view when he said, "There are only two kinds of music: good music and bad music." I can't really describe very well how I decide what's "good" or "bad". I just know that a piece of music will either strike a resonant emotional chord in me or not. And that very discernible effect can change over the years or even from day to day. Today, for instance, jazz/R&B singer, Rachelle Ferrell, has really been speaking to me. And I heard a Peter Kater tune earlier that also just grabbed me. When I listened to him the other day, he wasn't really working for me. So I guess that makes me very fickle! Long-standing influences? Let's say Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett, Brian Eno, and Pat Metheny for starters. Then there's this young lady from "down undah" who's been impressing me a lot lately with her innovative, original, and inspirational vocal creations. She truly has a musical mind unfettered by convention or old, worn-out rules. Can anyone guess of whom I speak? Hope so! ;o) -------------------- www.kirkkadish.com/ www.myspace.com/tradewinds nb: Kirk Kadish & I have a soon to be released CD, titled 'ARTERIAL FLOW'. Keep watching this space for it's soon to be announced release!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Part Three - Hilde Hefte - Norwegian Jazz and Randi Hultin.


Jan.s: Norway has produced a number of unique Jazz artists. I first became aware of a number of them during the early 80's. Terje Rypdal, Jan Garbarek and Karin Krog to name a few but there were no doubt countless others. Would you share with us what you feel allowed the Norwegain Jazz scene to develop in such a rich and unique way?

Hilde: Your last question is simple and easy, good “jazz-workers”. There lived a person in Norway named Randi Hultin. If it hadn’t been for her the story would have been different I think.

She was close friends with all the greatest American jazz musicians and she managed to get them to visit Norway, doing concerts, playing with the Norwegian musicians – and she arranged jam sessions in her own house almost every night.

She planted the seed for a lawn for all jazz musicians in Norway to walk on. That’s one of the main reasons.

The other one is that every jazz musician in Norway worked with each other no matter age, generation, color or genre within jazz.

The old ones got the playfulness from the young ones and the young ones got the depth from the old ones.

Everybody was lifting each other up and helped each other, no jealousy, no “no you can’t do this, you can’t play, you can’t sing” etc. etc.

Randi Hultin gave every Norwegian jazz musician the opportunity to play, record with there idols from the US. This was in the 50’s, 60’s mostly, but then the ground was made for all the things that happened later.

When I recorded my first solo jazz album 1999 Randi Hultin used all her contacts, even the head of the magazine Down Beat. She called him and told him about the record, sent it to him and he wrote about the CD in Down Beat. She did things like this for everybody and of her own free will, never getting paid, but in the love for the music. This is only one of the reasons, but it’s too long to write about it all here.

Jan.s:  Hilde, thank you so much for enriching us with your story of Randi Hultin and of the camaraderie shared amongst jazz musicians in Norway.  So many have no doubt benefited by Randi's  incredible passion & commitment  to  jazz.  May her memory live on and may you continue to create and record such wonderful music.

http://www.myspace.com/randihultin

http://www.hildehefte.no/

http://www.myspace.com/hildehefte

Friday, January 9, 2009

Ms Jessica Gerger and that kiss!

WISHING EVERYONE A HAPPY NEW YEAR! Apologies that I couldn't add 'The Kiss' photo Jessica Gerger sent me...with the New Year my brain is beginning to become slightly...functional! Here 'tis!