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Catching Up With

Jonathan Kreisberg: From Shadowless to One

By Published: November 22, 2012
AAJ: You are presenting your last CD, Shadowless. In contrast to the previous one, Night Songs (Criss Cross, 2009), this is mostly your own compositions. What's the main work difference between these two albums?

JK: Shadowless is a personal CD, it is definitely a lot of blood, a lot of sweat, because when I do all the originals it is a lot of work. And when you finish you feel exhausted. And definitely Shadowless is one of those albums. It's like you need breathing.

AAJ: Do you think it is a step forward?

JK: As musician, I always look to make a step forward. Development is necessary. We can always learn from early recordings about ourselves, or other musicians. We try to keep developing. I like when I play in a concert and people say they like a song and it is a new one, because that means they're feeling the new stuff.

AAJ: What changes can we find in Shadowless?

JK: There are different feelings, there is a kind of energy that I like. But the music of South of Everywhere (Mel Bay, 2007) had also a nice energy. To me both two albums are a kind of continuation...

AAJ: Nowadays you are working on a new project, One. Why a solo album?

JK: So I bought a couple of good microphones to record the acoustic guitar, and in summer every time I had something I liked I recorded it. And I recorded things that I didn't like, but one day I recorded something and I thought it was nice. I just had one song, it just started with one song. And I said, "This can happen." With that song I could imagine the whole CD.

AAJ: What's the main point of this record?

JK: Respecting the traditional sound of guitar, but finding new ideas, making it exciting. I didn't want it to be like another normal guitar record. So then I also bought a new beautiful acoustic guitar, a nice one from a small company, Indian Hill, and I really loved it. A weird, strange, sound from the acoustic guitar, it is almost between an acoustic and a gypsy guitar. And I used it for a couple of songs and I started using different guitars for different sounds. Everything without loops, I wanted everything to be one person playing. One: it's a simple idea that traps. So it's something you can hear, and that was the only rule: everything else could happen. The only rule was everything had to be one performance on one song.

AAJ: Is it difficult to find a balance in that kind of album?

JK: The first track of the record was very easy, and then I started thinking about the whole piece. And then it became a little bit difficult. I said "I have this, and this, but I need something else." So at the end I had a couple of things that were just improvising, those are a kind of different. The album has some interesting choices, the last two songs are the most traditional thing on the record, after the most crazy things on the record. I think the ending is a very interesting ride, a journey.

Selected Discography

Jonathan Kreisberg, Shadowless (New for Now, 2011)
Jonathan Kreisberg, Night Songs (Criss Cross, 2009)
Jonathan Kreisberg, The South of Everywhere (Mel Bay, 2007)
Jonathan Kreisberg, Unearth (Mel Bay, 2005)
Jonathan Kreisberg, New for Now (Criss Cross, 2005)
Jonathan Kreisberg, Nine Stories Wide (Criss Cross, 2004)

Photo Credit

Jimmy Katz

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