Click here to [close]

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Bernard Santacruz - Sunday interview

Photo by Chris Boyer
  1. What is your greatest joy in improvised music?

    I can think of three kinds: firstly, meeting again with old accomplices with whom it is possible to continue exploring the music further with complete trust. Secondly, ephemeral encounters where everything can be discovered in the moment and where the language is created collectively. Both are based on communication and sharing. Thirdly, the solo experience and confrontation with oneself, a kind of meditation, mental and sonic drifting.

  2. What quality do you most admire in the musicians you play with?

    There are many, but the first is creativity, followed by availability, a willingness to take risks and a spirit of sharing.

  3.  Which historical musician/composer do you admire the most?

    Without hesitation, Igor Stravinsky. It's all there: the relationship to rhythm, harmony and its frictions, and colours.

  4. If you could resurrect a musician to perform with, who would it be?

    Certainly Siegfried Kessler.

  5. What would you still like to achieve musically in your life?

    To continue doing what I've done since the beginning, trying to improve my musical outlook, sound, thinking and the way I relate with others.

  6. Are you interested in popular music and – if yes – what music/artist do you particularly like?

    I am passionate about what we used to call "Black music" when I was a teenager. Particularly the Stax and Motown labels, Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding, The Temptations, Booker T. etc.

  7. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

    For a long time I was plagued by self-doubt and hampered by excessive shyness, but that all got better with time and a succession of collaborations with artists who put their trust in me. Today, I wouldn't want to change much.

  8. Which of your albums are you most proud of?

    There's one album I'm very fond of for many reasons : After The Demon's Leaving, which we recorded with Frank Lowe and Denis Charles in 1996.

  9. Once an album of yours is released, do you still listen to it? And how often?

    Most of the time, I spend a huge amount of time listening and re-listening to the music once it's been recorded, right up until the album's release. Sometimes I like to immerse in it again years later.

  10. Which album (from any musician) have you listened to the most in your life?

    The piece I've listened to the most is Igor Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring" in several versions, and there are always new ones. The last two that captivated me were by Esa Pekka Salonen and Klaus Mäkelä.

  11. What are you listening to at the moment?

    Penderecki's Cello Concerto N°2, which I discovered recently. You have to see the appetite with which Mstislav Rostropovitch throws himself into the composition; it's very physical and magical.

  12. What artists outside music inspire you?

    For some years now, I've been immersed in reading Erri de Lucca, a sensitive and ardent Italian writer. The paintings of Kandinsky and Picabia, the dances of Carolyn Carlson and Carlotta Ikeda, and the films of Tarkovsky and Cassavetes are inexhaustible sources of inspiration for me. 

Reviews with Bernard Santacruz on the Free Jazz Blog: