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Interviews

Matthew Bourne: Montauk, Billy Moon and the Lost Pianos

By Published: March 6, 2012
The Memorymoog and Billy Moon

Bourne already has plans for two more albums to follow Montauk Variations. One will feature the Memorymoog analog synthesizer- -"Expect an often hilarious sonic journey through its circuits," warns Bourne's website. The second is a song-based quartet project inspired by A. A. Milne's much-loved Winnie The Pooh stories.

"Yes, that's the plan. I don't know what order they're going to come in, but they are clear ideas. Again, I'm not actively writing out scores for them—I do tend to procrastinate a lot—but when the time comes to put them together, that's when the magic happens."

The Billy Moon project sounds especially fascinating. "Me and [vocalist and songwriter] Seaming To did a concert in 2010 for the London Jazz Festival. We were rehearsing at her mum's house, and I was talking about the Winnie The Pooh books. I hadn't got When We Were Very Young [first published in 1924], so I took it off the bookshelf and opened it up. The dedication was 'To Christopher Robin Milne or, as he prefers to call himself, Billy Moon,' and I thought, 'What a great name.' There's something very English about those stories, which appeals to me. I think it's more to do with this sense of Englishness rather than any specific stories. I still don't know if I'll use text from the books, if I'll write my own or whether Seaming might write some lyrics. I've got a sense of what it's going to be, but I'm hopeless at pinning it down until I actually get the impulse to make the music: then it happens very quickly."

Bourne's future looks rosy, but there's no master plan. A big band, perhaps, or a major composition? "I don't fancy myself as a writer of big-scale works. I like intimate, small, groups. As I expand my own body of work, larger ensembles may come along, but I don't have a career plan—I don't know how to do that. But I am getting a bit of branding, having a game plan with the Leaf Label." Not forgetting Billy Moon.

Selected Discography

Matthew Bourne, Montauk Variations (Leaf Label, 2012)
World Sanguine Report, Third One Rises (Gravid Hands, 2009)
Bourne/Davis/Kane, Lost Something (Edition Records, 2008)

Dave Stapleton and Matthew Bourne, Dismantling The Waterfall (Edition Records, 2008)
Matthew Bourne, The Molde Concert (Foghorn Records, 2007)
The Electric Dr M, The Electric Dr M (Sound, 2003)

Photo Credits
Page 2: Sam Hobbs

All Other Photos: Jon Stanley Austin


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