Robert Mitchell interview

Robert Mitchell is one-of-a-kind. I normally write a short introduction for these interviews but there is no need, just take in these incredible responses to my questions… [above, Robert’s album releases to date]

 

What is your earliest memory of the piano Robert?

There was an old one in the family home – which was already there when my folks moved in. The remnant of a time when they were in many houses (before record players, cassette decks etc). I would mess around on it before I was asked about taking lessons….

 

What was your learning environment like as a child?

I had a teacher locally (as in – one minute away from where we lived!). Milada Robertson. A fantastic teacher – who had tons of pupils and who taught into her 90s. My father used to sing – eventually professionally – and had lessons with her before I was born so – I was lucky to have music in the family and a route to learning that was physically closer than either my primary or junior schools!!

[Robert recommends this BBC Radio 3 programme ‘A Social History of the Piano’: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01msj6v ]

 

Where did you grow up?

Seven Kings

 

Could you describe yourself in, or with, 9 words?

Son.Husband.Dad.Musician.Creator.Teacher.Student.Lefty.Gemini.

 

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Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian

This year it has been a pleasure to work with composer-vocalist-harper Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian. I commissioned her, with support from the PRSF, to write a piece for My Iris & the Emulsion Sinfonietta, to which I wrote a response piece. Both works – Cevanne’s Muted Lines & my Tap Dance (for Baby Dodds) – both appear on my latest album and received their large-scale premieres at Emulsion V in January, broadcast by BBC Radio 3’s Hear & Now and available to listen to on iplayer until early April.

The whole process has been extremely rewarding and so I have invited Cevanne to do an interview for my blog…

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Camilla George Interview

camilla

Camilla is a fantastic alto player based in West London. She’s releasing her debut album Isang – pronounced E-S- A-NG (NG as in song) – on Ubuntu Music on Friday 13th January (same as my release date!!) after honing and nurturing her craft by playing with Tomorrow’s Warriors, the Nu Civilisation Orchestra and Jazz Jamaica.

[This interview was originally from January 2017 but some new questions have been added throughout the text in June 2017, as well as questions relevant to future activities at the end.]

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Joe Wright

Joe Wright is a true individual. Saxophonist is merely the beginning of how one would describe his activities and contribution to music and art! We met through the jazz scene in London and have had many conversations, shared listening experiences (both big ‘Food’ fans) and more recently some playing. Joe is launching his EP ‘Yarrow’ tomorrow night at the Red Door Gallery in Greenwich – an event I look forward to immensely!! – more details below.

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Joe Cutler

JOE CUTLER. PHOTOGRAPH black and white version. CHRIS REDGRAVE copy

Joe Cutler is a fantastic, versatile composer, clearly a really open-minded kinda guy! He is currently Head of Composition at Birmingham Conservatoire and is a founding member of NOSZFERATU, a contemporary music collective with Dave Price, Finn Peters and Ivo De Greef. For his full biog, have a look at his website: http://www.joecutler.com/

I met Joe very recently after Cheltenham Music Festival commissioned him to write a piece for the Emulsion Sinfonietta, who are performing at the festival with Food (Iain Ballamy & Thomas Stronen) on July 4th – gig details here: http://www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/music/whats-on/2015/emulsion-sinfonietta/ We also have some lovely mutual friends in the forms of Percy Pursglove and Hans Koller!

Joe has taken a few minutes out of his busy schedule to answer a few of my questions…

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Mike Walker

In conversation with guitarist extraordinaire Mike Walker…

Mike Walker 38

 

You say “——“, I say “——“

You say yes

I say no

You say Bye

I say hello

So you say…

…do whatever you want!

Octave pedal?

T. rex octave pedal. Gives you octave up and octave down with a ton of control of how we use them.

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David Lyttle

david-lyttle-adam-patterson-393_b&w

David Lyttle is a drummer, bandleader, composer and record label boss, based in Northern Ireland… Is there anything I’ve missed David?!

We met through a mutual friend, at Sligo Jazz Festival a few years ago… I remember sitting in with David’s band and then we all got to enjoy the incredible DJ-ing of Gilles Peterson!

Here, we talk about all things musical…

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Tom Challenger

tom challenger

So for this interview I get chatting to saxophonist Tom Challenger, a fine Yorkshireman living in the heart of South East London down the road (on the 185 bus) from me… I first met/heard Tom when he was studying at Guildhall, playing with all the people I was first getting to know when I moved to London.

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Mark Lockheart

mark lockheart

Mark Lockheart is a beautiful tenor player, always involved in highly creative projects, be they with Kenny Wheeler, Django Bates or his own fine ensembles. I have known Mark’s playing ever since I was a teenager, first getting into jazz and listening to Loose Tubes… Here I chat to him about all things musical…

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