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following the heard
I'm interested in the orchestra because it presents a double face to the world. One of those faces is as a very conservative institution which is hidebound by rules and regulations that are very hard to shake. But the other side of the orchestra is that it's one of the few examples of human endeavour in which a comparatively large number of people work closely together in pursuit of a common aim. And that's the way I want to think of the orchestra: at its best, it's a kind of microcosm of a society which is in balance, as opposed to the one we actually live in.
The audience wants an easy time, and I think it's our job not to give it to them.
The first thing to note about this ambitious, 12-piece collective of young British jazz stars is the awfulness of its name. It promises a lot but, sadly, it just draws attention to the lumpen contemporaneity of their urban/dance/Hiphop crossover jazz, which sounds almost specifically designed for a live slot at the MOBO awards. If this is the future sound of jazz, then it's in a parallel universe where Ayler never made it out of the army, and Coltrane became a dentist.
DO: Whenever I was really inspired by something, I'd find that self-expression, honesty, vulnerability, they'd all be the common threads in it. Then you need to meet people doing the same thing. It's rare to experience anything resembling real community, which is how I think we're meant to exist as human beings. But I've found that in the F-ire Collective. And before F-ire was F-ire, all those people were just my friends and the people who taught me how to play. I wouldn't swap that way of learning for anything. Go where the music tells you to go. When you need to be free, be free, and when you need to make stuff up make it up, and when you need to be creative within something more rigid then do that. It's just the best thing.
LB: But there's still this question of why we're writing this music. I want people to hear my pieces, but I can't just write for an audience, because how can I know what somebody else wants?
GB: You can only ever know what you want. That doesn't mean you're writing against an audience, but you might want to challenge, or shock, or surprise them. The last thing you want to do is to make a complacent audience feel more happy in their complacency. You want to reveal something to somebody in a piece of music; you want the temperature in the concert hall to change.