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Sunday, October 1, 2023

Sunday Interview: Billy Martin

Billy Martin. Photo by Matthias Heschl.

What is your greatest joy in improvised music? 

The act of creation! To be activated and have a conversation with the cosmos (or other musicians or the audience.
What quality do you most admire in the musicians you perform with?

Those who speak less musically, have patience, supportive and know when to throw down and take over as in a solo.
Which historical musician/composer do you admire the most?
Ornette Coleman.
If you could resurrect a musician to perform with, who would it be?
Nana Vasconcelos, Ornette. Both who I have met but did not really get the chance to play with them.
What would you still like to achieve musically in your life?
Larger theatrical work with an orchestra and large chorus.
Are you interested in popular music and - if yes - what music/artist do you particularly like?
Yes of course. it goes back to Rolling Stones, Bowie, Burt Bacharach, the Police, Public Enemy, Lil Kim. But now, it’s difficult as things are spread out more on internet.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Composing more, earlier.
Which of your albums are you most proud of? 

Ugh. hate that question. I have over 40 records that I released with and without bands. My own record I would say 'Meshes' (Amulet), with Medeski Martin & Wood, 'The Dropper'.
Once an album of yours is released, do you still listen to it? And how often?

Not really. Sometimes I revisit. Not often. I get burned out after awhile around the release date.
Which album (from any musician) have you listened to the most in your life? 

Have no idea.
What are you listening to at the moment? 


What artist outside music inspires you? 

Maya Deren, John Cassavetes, Robert Altman, Cy Twombly.

Reviewed albums with Billy Martin: