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Amina Figarova: Cross-Continental Jazz

By Published: July 8, 2008
AAJ: All of this eventually turned into the album September Suite?

AF: That's right. But it's not like I came home and decided to write. I'm describing the state of mind I was in. But like everyone else, I was probably in some version of [shock]—alone and just conversing with myself. Finally, when I came home a week later, I was in such a deep shock, I was not thinking about writing; I was probably trying to deal with it in my own way. I decided not to watch anymore TV. I could not bear it anymore. Still, by accident, I saw on TV one program that struck me down. That is how it started. I just saw the program and started crying. And all my feeling came back to me. As always when I feel sad, I went to the piano and the first piece came out. One by one, it grew into a tribute to mourning. After all, it is not about a building that went down, it is about the people in the building that lost their lives.

align=center>Amina Figarova

AAJ: It's a tremendous work. Thank you for it.

You now have a new album on its way, Above the Clouds, correct?

AF: Correct.

AAJ: What should we expect with this latest work?

AF: I did not have a specific goal for this CD; I was just ready for something new. After September Suite and Come Escape with Me, I was in doubt which way I would go. I didn't want to pressure myself to go in a particular direction, because September Suite is very different from Come Escape with Me. I decided to see whatever would come out. So I must say, in this album there is a mix of groovy stuff, because I love a good groove, and I think it will take the listener to a different place from what I usually do. But not in the way September Suite does. It is hard to describe in words!

But there are two pieces on the album that I can tell a little bit more about. Those two pieces are recorded with a nonet, and they are a preview of the CD I want to record next. It has to do with the story of Henry Hudson who came to Manhattan 400 years ago—the great English traveler who went with a Dutch boat looking for the passage to China... and he anchored at what is today known as New York. When I was reading about his trip—how small the ship was, and in the beginning going even the wrong way and ending up in Norway, sailing through the ice, smoke, fog—this experience, it's all pretty incredible. So the two pieces on the album, "Sailing Through the Icy Waters" and "River of Mountains," are a preview of the whole suite I want to write about this trip.

Selected Discography

Amina Figarova, Come Escape With Me (Munich, 2005)

Amina Figarova, September Suite (Munich, 2005)

Amina Figarova, Night Train (Munich, 2002)

Photo Credits

Top, Middle Photos: Courtesy of Amina Figarova

Bottom Photo: Genevieve Ruocco

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