Interview with Jon Gagan

02020-08-13 | Uncategorized | 9 comments

I have given many many interviews in the past thirty years, in person and on the phone, and usually I know within two minutes whether the interview will be fun and interesting or whether it will be an incredible drag. I appreciate the art of asking questions and this year I decided that I want to learn more about it. As I do with most subjects I am interested in I prefer to jump in with both feet and do it and learn from that doing.

This is my first attempt… completely unedited. I asked Jon to be my subject and he agreed. Having known each other for a long long time made the interview easier and also more difficult. Most of these subjects we have covered before, while sitting in a cafe or while driving or flying to a gig.

I used Zoom to record our call. Our voices aren’t well balanced as mine is a little louder and has more room sound/reverb. I am guessing that Jon’s voice was processed by Zoom and that the app might have automatically removed the room sound from it. I should have used a headset for a better sound on my end. I think the interview would have benefitted from being a little shorter and tighter. This is a work in progress and I will attempt to do more interviews.

9 Comments

  1. JaneParhamKatz

    Ottmar, what a privilege to hear you two talk about music. Please convey my regards to Jon.

    Listen, either I am inside your head, or you are inside mine. I was just preparing a post about Jon for your Diary. I had written, “I miss Jon G. Do you think he could come over to your house for a streaming?”

    I wish I had not started out by first learning to read notes, per my piano teacher. Now, after a lifetime of learning music from the sheet, I am intimidated by improvising. You know what, I’m going to start experimenting on the keyboard. I have experienced magical moments when the music flowed. Now I am encouraged.

    I liked the discussion about getting to like a piece of music that you first couldn’t stand by continuing to listen to it. I did that with Richard Wagner and Bela Bartok. Now, as you said, these are among my favorites.

    I get obsessed by a piece of music, like Jon said he did with the Faure Requiem. I even get crazy about one phrase. Back when we had cassette tapes, I ruined many by rewinding and replaying one spot again and again. Then I made my own tape of the phrases I loved playing over and over for 20 minutes each. My favorite was a certain line in Khachaturian’s ballet, SPARTACUS.

    Your delightful friend,
    Jane

    Reply
  2. Steve

    This was an excellent and entirely enjoyable interview.

    Reply
    • Melissa Madere

      Hi Jane. I couldn’t stop listening to Slow for a year. It wasnt an obsession though. It was a conduit becoming wider with each play.

      I’m hearing so much of Ottmar’s music for the first time. (Its timeless.)

      The recording of Jon’s interview won’t play. I’ll watch the movie about the floating monastery.

      It just dawned on me you aren’t a far-off and far-away fan of OL as I am. No matter. One Love.

      Reply
      • JaneParhamKatz

        Yes, Melissa. Lots of love.

        Reply
  3. Victor H.

    Good stuff! I hope you do more. The parts about strong traditions vs. innovation in music was particularly interesting in light of your recent post on “Circles”.

    Reply
    • Melissa Madere

      I’m excited to come online and find this (I haven’t listened yet, but will immediately.) It fits perfectly in my morning of serendipitous realizations. I’m just outside of the Bay Area on a river watching a wild thunderstorm hit the water; the light is spectacular. I’ve had no music for many days and crave Jon’s lead on #4, Up Close. I’ve never looked to see the title and decide to do so today…The River. I’m no longer surprised.

      I hear the joy with which the guitar is supporting the spectacular bass solo. The strumming itself seems proud to step back and remain engaged, as when the sun is proud of the full moon.

      #6 Silence. Jon’s, bass is deeply moving. (Jon, bass is my favorite instrument, and you’ve become my favorite bass player. I feel every note you play. )

      While I looked at the title I saw that #3 is called Cocteau, and so have now been introduced to Jean Cocteau through you, Ottmar. Again, my horizon is widened through your influence.

      Ottmar, you channel divinity through your music and your devotion to it. It’s not just something I feel. It’s there for everyone to receive.

      I’m deeply content to watch the rain dance upon the river and listen now…thank you.

      Reply
  4. Carolynn

    I love listening to or watching interviews of people who I don’t normally get to hear their “real” voices. It’s a real treat. This was a great “two-for-one” with both you and Jon. Thanks for doing it and sharing it.

    Reply
    • Melissa Madere

      Ooops. I’m trying to get the recording to play and duplicated a comment? I don’t have sound on the interview…

      Reply
  5. Melissa Madere

    I’m excited to come online and find this (I haven’t listened yet, but will immediately.) It fits perfectly in my morning of serendipitous realizations. I’m just outside of the Bay Area on a river watching a wild thunderstorm hit the water; the light is spectacular. I’ve had no music for many days and crave Jon’s lead on #4, Up Close (I’m trying to count each note ; ) . I’ve never looked to see the title and decide to do so today…The River. I’m no longer surprised.

    I hear the joy with which the guitar is supporting the spectacular bass solo. The strumming itself seems proud to step back and remain engaged, as when the sun is proud of the full moon.

    #6 Silence. Jon’s bass is deeply moving. (Jon, bass is my favorite instrument, and you’ve become my favorite bass player. I feel every note you play. )

    While I looked at the title I saw that #3 is called Cocteau, and so have now been introduced to Jean Cocteau through you, Ottmar. Again, my horizon is widened through your influence.

    Ottmar, you channel divinity through your music and your devotion to it. It’s not just something I feel. It’s there for everyone to receive.

    I’m deeply content to watch the rain dance upon the river and listen to you interview Jon now…a privilege …indeed. Thank you.

    Reply

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