Ten Questions with Steve Lehman

16 07 2009

Steve Lehman is a composer/alto saxophonist living in NY. I first saw him as part of Anthony Braxton’s 12 + 1tet at the Iridium in 2006, and since then have really gotten into his music. His writing is very complex, but clear enough to be easily digestible. He also has a knack for coming up with great concepts and translating them clearly to an improvised setting. On his latest album Travail, Transformation and Flow Lehman leads an Octet of musicians (featuring Ten Questions alum Tyshawn Sorey and former VCU’er Mark Shim) through a set of music derived from studies in spectral harmony. There’s a great description here, and it sounds complicated, but the resulting music sounds amazing from start to finish. Also, the album features a cover of GZA’s masterpiece “Living in the World Today,” and what collection of spectral harmony music would be complete without it!

Check out his music here

For more on the man himself, go here

1: What got you into creative/improvised music making, and what keeps you there?

When I first heard Charlie Parker’s music, at age 10, everything
changed for me. I definitely had one of those thunderbolt moments that
so many people seem to experience when hearing Parker’s music for the
first time.

For me, making music and performing music is about connecting with
other people, finding out about myself, and trying to find some sense
of meaning as a result of my own experiences and my shared experiences
with my colleagues and everyone else who feels they can relate to the
music I’ve involved with.

2: Breakthrough album(s) and Why?

There are hundreds of albums that have been incredibly meaningful to
me and taught me a lot about myself and the possibilities for what
music can be. A few that immediately come to mind…

1. Charlie Parker – Walkman Jazz Compilation
2. Dexer Gordon – Homecoming (Live at The Village Vanguard)
3. Aceyalone – Book of Human Language
4. Jackie McLean – The Jackie Mac Attack Live
5. Michael Finnissy – String Trio
6. Anthony Braxton – Fall 1974
7. Evan Parker – Monoceros
8. Gerard Grisey – Les Espaces Acoustiques
9. Mark Shim – Turbulent Flow
10. Antipop Consortium – Tragic Epilogue

3: How do other art disciplines affect your work?

This question is hard for me to answer. I think when I’m inspired by a
filmmaker or an artist it usually has to do with formal design and
structure. Sarah Sze and Julie Mehretu are two visual artists whose
work often has a lot of resonance for me. Their work is so expressive
but it also seems to privilege meticulous attention to detail and
technical expertise.

4: Favorite Film(s)?

My wife is a filmmaker, so I’ve seen a ton of incredible films thanks
to her. A handful that I seem to keep coming back to…

Killer of Sheep
Blazing Saddles
Cache
Jackie McLean on Mars
La Promesse

5: Favorite Film Score(s)?

I love Neil Young’s score/playing for the Jim Jarmusch film “Dead Man.”

6: Favorite Fiction Reading?

Edward P. Jones
James Baldwin
Aleksandar Hemon
Herman Hesse

7: Favorite Non-Fiction Reading?

It’s rare that I get to do non-fiction reading that isn’t music-related…

The New York Times
The New Yorker
The Economist
The Wire
Music Perception

8: Favorite Guilty Pleasure Music?

I’m too old to be embarrassed by any of the music I listen to. I do
love to play NBA Live 2008 on my PSP (Playstation Portable) which is
definitely something of a guilty pleasure…!

9: Favorite Under Rated Musician(s)?

A few that come to mind…

Arthur Blythe
Michael Finnissy
Stanley Cowell
Freddie Waits
Fats Navarro
Saafir
Kevin O’Neil

10: Recommended Artist(s)/Shout Outs?

Too many to list. This time around I’ll give a big shout out to the
amazing Paris-based percussionist/composer Karl Jannuska. If you don’t
know now you know.

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One response

16 07 2009
Hip Hop RnB Radio Streaming

glowsinthedark.wordpress.com……I like it

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