10 October 2021

Face to face

There's always music before the chat although this chat was different.  First the music.  Host Jeremy led his band with Steve Barry, Noel Mason and Alex Hirlian in a quite professionally prerecorded setting.  These are very good players and this was a very satisfying modern jazz outing.  A wonderful drums entry from Alex, into a plaintive tenor melody, then a response, all in an 8-feel, then stops and starts on  a bridge and an end head and into a tenor sax solo.  Nice, punctuated, syncopated bass, swapping 8-bar piano and sax solo passages, then into piano with long 8th note lines, sax triplet drops, driving, busy, then some concurrent soloing, busy drums and a fade to end.  Really nice, but not the topic of the chat.  Instead that was Jeremy and Zoe Haupmann, artistic director of SIMA, talking of various things: the effect of COVID on musos and clubs, the use of streamed concerts, the intimacy and centrality of playing live with others and to an audience, engagements with live streaming, prerecords and struggles with tech.  The fact that you don't have to leave home.  But as Zoe said, she'd done enough gardening and surfing.  They talked of coming albums, coming shows, coming bookings as musos and as venue.  Talking hopefully of audiences also dying to get out to hear music live and happy to give support to venues and players.  Noting that Melbourne and Wangaratta jazz festivals were cancelled this year while Europe and the US is picking up for shows and tours.  Zoe has bookings to record with Ian Moss and festival gigs booked for next year with Missy Higgins and Ian Moss.  She spoke of the joy of bookings being received; "good to have hope" despite multiple reschedules.  But also of fears of lost musos and venues.  And of the particular demands for early/mid career musos and their limited opportunities for networking.  That always there is "no substitute for that live experience" and how we've learnt these things through COVID.  I learnt that the old (not original!) Basement is now Mary's Underground.  The performative ritual of musos and the concert experience of sitting still without checking phone as a liberty, some thing special, a sense of community, as something spiritual.  These are special moments and aren't forgotten: a feeling, unique and rare, precious.  Reminiscing on old time gigs with hubby Evan.  "Can't wait [for gigs to return]"  said Zoe.  And this chat also launched of the Jeremy's Face to Face video series, but it was not much discussed.

Jeremy Rose (tenor) performed with Steve Barry (piano), Noel Mason (bass) and Alex Hirlian (drums) then chatted with Zoe Hauptmann (artistic director of SIMA, bass) for the Earshift Festival.

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