Interviewer: Nikita for www.rosaselvaggia.com
You have contributed to Love Sessions and this collaboration… continued in your new album. How are you with Francesco Banchini? You want to tell how (L.S.) was born…?
Francesco and I met in France, recording Love Sessions with our label… He played many instruments including clarinet, all with perfect grace… as if his hands were leaves and his instruments branches. On Alabaster he contributed clarinet, bendhir and chalumeau.
On the back of the booklet of your last CD there are citations of poets, from Dante to Oscar Wilde, why? How much does this poetry inspire your music?
Poetry for me is word-music… As a child I did not live near concert halls or opera houses, but had books. I went to boarding school but was so shy that I spent many hours alone reading poetry behind pianos, up forbidden stairs, behind ivy on a balcony… The Oscar Wilde quotation refers to #11: ‘Approaching the Island of Sirens’. Dante’s Inferno relates to ‘The Throng on the Pier’ (and) Homer’s Iliad: Odysseus surveys the carnage of a battlefield…
Speak to us of Australia, and if in some way this nation inspires your creations?
Our only national border is the sea. Our psyche carries a rebellious hatred of the establishment… a sense of exile and limitless possibility. Another factor is spiritual freedom… Our seasons don’t correspond with northern festival dates… There’s increasing respect for the Dreamtime… conveyed not so much by instrumentation, but rather in the purity, repetition and overlapping of notes.