Showing posts from 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…

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 Ki…

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 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.


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…

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 he…

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 …

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,&…

Art for Cancer group on

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 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. 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! Please visit us when you can! I'll be back soon with more 'one question' interviews! Wishing all of you well wherever you are....

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 Orszack…

Farewell dear 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 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 image of spaciousness...the sky Julie loved so in the Blueys... om mani padma hungs to you and yours Julie....

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 g…

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'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 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!

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 c…

Please visit my art site bentensmiling on

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! Along with this I've just put some new images of mine up on my art site on including one taken from a friends home in the Blue Mountains.

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 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…

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…

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 starter…

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 …

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!