Finn Peters, flautist and saxophonist and a key member of new music group Noszferatu, discusses what Evan Parker, a key member of the Schlippenbach trio, means to him before their three date tour commences at the Purcell Room on November 16th. Finn writes:
I first met Evan Parker at the old Vortex on Church Street in Stoke Newington when I was 21 and had just moved to London. He was playing a duo with Han Bennink who is an old friend of mine from Holland. I got to know Han over there as a teenager and played chess with him a bit. When he introduced me to Evan in the break, I started saying all this stuff about how amazing the first set was, how I had never seen anything like it etc. All of this was true and the music was totally mind blowing. Han told me to calm down - “he is just a sax player, don't embarrass him.” Han is right – we needn't put musicians on a pedestal.
There is, however, no getting around the fact that Evan is a giant amongst saxophonists. Over the last 40 years or so he has entirely changed the face of freely improvised saxophone playing as we know it. Solo saxophone concerts require an incredible amount of stamina, both physical and mental. Evan has spent years developing his musical narrative and extended techniques like circular breathing, multiphonics etc in a truly comprehensive way. He has taken saxophone playing further than almost anyone to date and I consider him a true innovator. His broad outlook has led him to work with musicians from very diverse musical backgrounds, from Scott Walker to Derek Bailey. I think the main idea that I have taken away from hearing Evan is how important it is to find your own way of making music which comes from your life experiences. What you read, listen to, people you meet, places you go, ideas you work on – these are the things that come out in your music.
I am very excited about the upcoming double trio dates with Noszferatu and the Schlippenbach Trio and hoping that we can explore the vast grey area between totally through composed music and entirely free improvised music in a meaningful way. I am still not really convinced that it is meaningful or helpful to use these terms – perhaps there is simply human expression occasionally aided by something written down on paper. I recently worked with Evan on an album for his own PSI label with Bill Frisell and Hans Koller (who has written a piece for the double trio tour.). Evan and I discussed different world of music labels and other common musical interests – reeds (Evan has Japanese handmade reeds that have Teflon in!), our collections of birdsong 7”s (and other animal sounds including different kinds of frogs), and improvising. What does it mean and how does it work? It is always refreshing to find out that your musical heroes are just human beings at the end of the day. In Evan's case he is a very warm, giving and an interesting sort of a human too!
Ivo de Greef (piano), Finn Peters (sax, flute), Damien Harron (drums, percussion)
Alexander von Schlippenbach (piano), Paul Lovens (drums), Evan Parker (sax)
16 November 2013 – EFG London Jazz Festival, Purcell Room, 7.45pm, £20/£10
17 November 2013 – Oxford Contemporary Music, The North Wall, 8pm, £14/£10
19 November 2013 – Jazzlines / Frontiers, CBSO Centre, Birmingham, 8pm £14/£12
Featuring new works by Hanna Kulenty, Joe Cutler, Hans Koller, Dave Price and Finn Peters