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Sunday, June 30, 2024

Peter Van Huffel - Sunday Interview

Photo By Sergei Haudring

  1. What is your greatest joy in improvised music?

    The moments of true connection that occur randomly within an improvised performance. They are sometimes amongst the entire ensemble and sometimes just a connection between two musicians in the middle of a larger group performance. But these for me are the moments that make improvised music exciting, unpredictable, and organic.

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

    I admire professionalism and open communication in regards to personality in the people I work with. While in the process of making music, I admire an ability to listen and a sincere interest and effort in connecting with others in the ensemble during the creative process. As far as I’m concerned music should never be about the individual ego.

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

    John Cage, because of his ability to stay in an almost childish state of “play” and his seemingly lack of fear of failure. I don’t love everything that he did and I don’t believe he did either, but he was always sincere in his efforts and his wish to exploration.

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

    Ornette Coleman

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

    I seem to be tremendously slow at accomplishing this, but it is still a goal of mine to create a solo album at some point in the coming years. I am still however figuring out what I want that to sound like.

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

    Yes, I am a big fan of all styles of music, as long as the artist manages to catch my attention in one way or another. Probably my favourite popular band/artist is Radiohead.

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

    I would like to be better at being lazy and letting time pass.

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

    That is a very hard question to answer as I am proud of most of the albums I have released; however if I had to choose one it would probably be the third album by Gorilla Mask, “Iron Lung”, released on Clean Feed Records in 2017.

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

    Yes but rarely. I usually listen to an album again once or twice around the time of release, partly to to make sure everything came out properly and partly out of excitement for the new product. After that it is much more rare. Sometimes I listen back to a specific track which I want to refresh on for a gig, and there are times when I decide to listen back to a whole album out of curiosity, but I don’t think this happens more than once each year or so.

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

    Probably Miles Davis’ “Bitches Brew”

  11. What are you listening to at the moment?

    The Smile, “Wall of Eyes”

  12. What artist outside music inspires you?

    I am inspired by all sorts of artists from visual artists to filmmakers, and from actors to authors, so it is very hard to pin down one name. One person however who comes instantly to mind is the Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, because of his ability to bend concept, image and storyline into a unique world all his own, which seems to unveil new layers every time I rewatch one of his films.

Peter Van Huffel on the Free Jazz Blog:

  • Peter Van Huffel's Callisto - Meandering Demons (Clean Feed, 2024)
  • Gorilla Mask - Brain Drain (Clean Feed, 2019) ****
  • Gorilla Mask - Iron Lung (Clean Feed, 2017) ****
  • Peter Van Huffel & Alex Maksymiw - Kronix (Fresh Sound Records, 2016) ****
  • The Scrambling Ex (FMR, 2015) ****
  • Peter Van Huffel's Gorilla Mask - Bite My Blues (Clean Feed, 2014) ****
  • Peter Van Huffel - Boom Crane (Fresh Sound / New Talent Records, 2014) ****½
  • Peter Van Huffel's Gorilla Mask - Howl! (Between the Lines, 2012) ***½
  • Peter Van Huffel Quartet - Like The Rusted Key (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2009) ****