I love the meaning of the word Phronesis

promiteam, acum mai bine de trei săptămâni, că mai avem o parte din interviul cu Phronesis. O publicăm acum.

Claudia Darian: Why Phronesis?

Jasper Høiby: I love the meaning of the word Phronesis. For me it’s close to life experience, an intelligence that you can only accumulate through living. You have to messup in order to learn from your mistakes and I think thats a natural part of life itself.

Claudia Darian: You are from Denmark and some people say that the Nordic influence in jazz has been significant in the last few years. What do you think about this? And yet why did you choose the London jazz scene?

Jasper Høiby: The Scandinavian scene is particularly strong probably as a direct result of the government funding invested in it. Funding gives the artist the time neccesary to create and focus on their art without worrying about earning money to put food on the table. I went to London to escape my own country and to get the freedom and focus I felt I needed in order to focus entirely on my music. I had two friends who left before me and they spoke very highly of it so I followed suit.

Claudia Darian: How do you feel/think about the modern jazz scene in Europe today?

Jasper Høiby: The way I see it the European jazz scene is more a name than one actual scene. I see it as lots of different scenes from each of the European countries with each their individual take on what jazz is today. I’ve heard an equal amount of good and bad music from all over the place but the level of musicianship on a technical level is incredibly high all over I think.

Claudia Darian: What is your fav jazz band of the old guard? What about the new ones, except Phronesis?

Jasper Høiby: Choosing one favorite band would mean excluding the rest of them which I’m reluctant to do. My favorite period I guess is the 50’s and 60’s and one particular trio from that time is Chick Corea’s trio with Miroslav Vitous and Roy Haynes (Now He Sings Now He Sobs). Nowadays there’s a load of amazing bands but I’ve been a keen follower of bassist/composer Avishai Cohen.

Claudia Darian: How much did jazz changed since Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald in your view?

Jasper Høiby: Jazz has changed immensly since then and I think that’s a great thing though some people are still happy staying in the past and I understand that too. For me the development of the music is very important and personally, like any great art, I want it to reflect our society today and somehow take a stand and comment on all the things we can improve on.

Claudia Darian: I heard that you experimented a lot with Phronesis, methods and approaches that I’ve also seen in contemporary performance, for instance playing/performing in complete darkness. Are these gestures becoming common devices in seducing new audiences who need incessantly new experiences or is about something else here?

Jasper Høiby: We have experimented a lot but the dark concerts wasn’t conceived as a concept. It was put together as a way of creating awareness of all the people that spend their everyday in darkness. To somehow intensify the listening experience that musicians and audiences both share.

Claudia Darian: I noticed that you are involved in many jazz projects. How do you pick them up, what you are looking for and what is your fav combination?

Jasper Høiby: Whenever working as a sideman I’m always looking for originality first and foremost. I want to be challenged and inspired by the bandleader and members and it’s important that I get space to contribute to the overall sound. The music needs to communicate and care about the audience too as they are an integral part of the process. I think my favorite setting is still the trio because the interaction happens very fast and there is enough space for everyone.

Claudia Darian: What kind of music do you listen in your free time? Other than jazz, if any?

Jasper Høiby: World music, Folk music, Classical music, Hip Hop, and lots and lots of Jazz. I’ll listen to anything thats good!

Claudia Darian: What did you think about the Romanian jazz while in Bucharest Green Hours International Festival?

Jasper Høiby: I love the way that you can hear all the influences in the music. The eastern European rhythmic launguage as well as the middle Eastern harmony. It’s something very far from where I grew up but I feel very close to it.

Claudia Darian: How hard is to make it as a jazz musician today? Why?

Jasper Høiby: I feel extremely lucky that I’m able to make a living from my music, but having said that it’s still far from easy. I know a lot of amazing people who are having a very hard time so I’m not one to complain but it is very hard to make it work. Again its a financial challenge more than anything as there just aren’t enough money in selling concert tickets and cd sales are slowly becoming obsolete with ‘free’ digital music everywhere. I’m a big believer that art needs government funding. We can’t meassure arts success in the money it makes. Art is about enriching and challenging peoples perception and expanding their minds and there should be no pricetag on that.

Claudia Darian: What next for Phronesis?

Jasper Høiby: We have plans to tour USA, Canada, Europe and Australia in 2013. There’s also a big show in London with an extended line-up and then we’ll record our 5th album too so yes, it’s gonna be busy!


Deși colaborează cu mulți alți muzicieni și cu alte trupe din jazz-ul european, Phronesis este proiectul favorit al lui Høiby, inspirat din fascinația pe care o are pentru combinațiile neobișnuite de sunete și ritmuri africane, orientale sau est-europene. Trio-ul a fost la București în perioada 1-4 iunie la cea de-a patra ediție a Green Hours International Jazz Festival, organizat de Voicu Rădescu și echipa Green Hours, fiind invitați ca una dintre cele mai interesante trupe de jazz la ora actuală. Dealtfel creativitatea și vitalitatea jazz-ului lor neobișnuit i-a propulsat în cele mai mari festivaluri din Europa, unde și-au câștigat un public entuziast și fidel. Forța cu care Hoiby își manuieste contrabass-ul într-un ritm al corzilor amețitor, senzualitatea pianului lui Neame și intensitatea tobelor lui Eger, dincolo de abilitățile lor instrumentale, creează un sound atipic, de care te desparți greu, ai experiența unui groove original, fascinant și plin de vitalitate.

La cel de-al patrulea lor album, Walking Dark (2011), cu care au performat și la București, Jasper Høiby (Danemarca) – contrabas, Ivo Neame (UK) – pian și Anton Eger (Suedia) – tobe, membrii trio-ului au experimentat propriile compoziții și aranjamente muzicale. În ceea ce mă privește cred că au reușit excelent să îmbine sensibilitatea fiecăruia într-un album foarte bun. Îmi plac la fel de mult Zieding (Anton Eger), Eight Hours (Jasper Høiby) și American Jesus (Ivo Neame). Albumul se găsește și în România, dacă îl găsiți, nu ezitați.

Photo © Phronesis



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