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Sunday, March 10, 2024

Catherine Sikora - Sunday Interview

Catherine Sikora. Photo by Eric Mingus.

  1. What is your greatest joy in improvised music?

    Sometimes, when many factors (seemingly magically) align, when I am playing with people I trust and love, when my horns are behaving themselves, when I feel strong and the sound in the room is good, there is a feeling of transcendence to another place entirely, within the music. It feels to me like a different plane of consciousness, where everything is clear and bright and sparkly, my brain relaxes and I can express myself sonically with ease; that is a place of pure joy.

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

    My favorite musician collaborators are purely and authentically themselves, and are truly at ease in their own skin, and thus freely able to allow others in their presence to be the same. They are also generous listeners, who allow enough space for me to think.

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

    I have enormous admiration, love and respect for Coleman Hawkins, for the quantum leaps he made on the tenor saxophone.

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

    I would love to meet the first female artist who worked in sound, from ancient times, and play with her.

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

    Everything! I don't necessarily feel that I have truly achieved anything yet; if a life's work is a sculpture, I see my work (to date) as being like tiny little scratches on one small section of the surface of the raw material—scratches that could be viewed as the start of an attempt at work, or possibly as accidental damages. Having said that, I do want to find a way to realize a substantial piece using a large ensemble of saxophones. But I still have so much to do, in terms of practice and working with my instrument. I wish I could find more time, just for that, as well as time to devote to composition.

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

    I don't know much at all about popular music. I enjoy the music of The Roots, does that count?

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

     I wish I were less serious, and could be lighter in my attitude to life.

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

    I feel that All My Winters is the closest thing to a realization of a sound I set out to create, so in that sense I am most proud of it. It is just one relatively short track, but it is a concept I want to explore in a much larger way. Susan Alcorn and I have a duo recording coming out on Relative Pitch Records this month, and I love that recording, it has a very particular spaciousness and beauty about it. I am also very proud of the work I have made with Eris 136199.

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

    Rarely! The process of getting a thing ready for release involves so much listening that I hardly ever feel the need to revisit it later. If I do so, it is because I am deliberately looking for something in the recording.

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

    Probably Interstellar Space, John Coltrane and Rashied Ali. I went through a phase of listening to it every night when I went to bed, and did so for several months. I love that recording.

  11. What are you listening to at the moment?
    Coin Coin Chapter Five: In The Garden by Matana Roberts, as well as my own field recordings of coyotes from the high desert.

  12. What artist outside music inspires you?

    Issey Miyake! I adore his work, and one of the greatest joys in my life is to make clothing from his patterns.
Catherine Sikora on the Free Jazz Blog:


Han-earl Park said...

Catherine is the beating heart of every ensemble that is lucky enought to have her!